Health Effects of Moldy Buildings – ME/CFS



This page lists medical journal articles discussing the relationship between ME/CFS and moldy buildings.

The Health Effects of Moldy Buildings page of the Paradigm Change site provides further information on this topic.


Gunn SR, Gunn GG, Mueller FW. Reversal of Refractory Ulcerative Colitis and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms Arising from Immune Disturbance in an HLA-DR/DQ Genetically Susceptible Individual with Multiple Biotoxin Exposures. Am J Case Rep. 2016 May 11;17:320-5. PMID: 27165859

The authors report reversal of co-existing ulcerative colitis and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms arising from biotoxin exposures in a genetically susceptible individual. Following elimination of biotoxin exposures, VIP replacement therapy, dental extractions, and implementation of a mind body intervention-relaxation response (MBI-RR) program, the patient’s symptoms resolved. He is off medications, back to work, and resuming normal exercise.


Morris G, Berk M, Walder K, Maes M. The Putative Role of Viruses, Bacteria, and Chronic Fungal Biotoxin Exposure in the Genesis of Intractable Fatigue Accompanied by Cognitive and Physical Disability. Mol Neurobiol. 2016 May;53(4):2550-71. PMID: 26081141

Patients who present with severe intractable apparently idiopathic fatigue accompanied by profound physical and or cognitive disability present a significant therapeutic challenge. Investigations often reveal the presence of a range of pathogens capable of establishing life-long infections with sophisticated immune evasion strategies. Other patients have a history of chronic fungal or other biotoxin exposure. Herein, we explain the epigenetic factors that may render such individuals susceptible to the chronic pathology induced by such agents, how such agents induce pathology, and, indeed, how such pathology can persist and even amplify even when infections have cleared or when biotoxin exposure has ceased. A history of chronic mold exposure is a feasible explanation for such symptoms, as is the presence of B. burgdorferi.


Gharibzadeh S, Hoseini SS. Is there any relation between moldy building exposure and chronic fatigue syndrome? Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(6):1243-4. PMID: 16527430


Chester AC, Levine PH. The natural history of concurrent sick building syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychiatr Res. 1997 Jan-Feb;31(1):51-7. PMID: 9201647

An outbreak of chronic fatigue syndrome linked with sick building syndrome was recently described as a new association. To clarify the natural history of chronic fatigue syndrome in association with sick building syndrome the 23 individuals involved in the outbreak were interviewed four years after the onset. The researchers conclude that the fatigue related to sick building syndrome, including chronic fatigue syndrome, is significantly more likely to improve than fatigue identified in sporadic cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.


Chester AC, Levine PH. Concurrent sick building syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome: epidemic neuromyasthenia revisited. Clin Infect Dis. 1994 Jan;18 Suppl 1:S43-8. PMID: 8148452

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is usually characterized by upper respiratory complaints, headache, and mild fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness with defined criteria including extreme fatigue, sore throat, headache, and neurological symptoms. We investigated three apparent outbreaks of SBS and observed another more serious illness (or illnesses), characterized predominantly by severe fatigue, that was noted by 9 (90%) of the 10 teachers who frequently used a single conference room at a high school in Truckee, California; 5 (23%) of the 22 responding teachers in the J wing of a high school in Elk Grove, California; and 9 (10%) of the 93 responding workers from an office building in Washington, D.C. In those individuals with severe fatigue, symptoms of mucous membrane irritation that are characteristic of SBS were noted but also noted were neurological complaints not typical of SBS but quite characteristic of CFS. We conclude that CFS is often associated with SBS.


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