The Locations Effect


A girl sits on a chair under a palm

Individuals with mold-related illness often report doing well when visiting certain locations in the Caribbean.


Many individuals who have become hyperreactive to toxic mold report that outdoor toxins have just as much of an impact on them as indoor toxins, and that changing locations can have a remarkable effect on their feelings of well-being.

A separate page of the Paradigm Change site lists some Locations Effect Research articles.

In the Paradigm Change Locations Ratings Project, individuals who already are avoiding mold provide their assessments about the effects that particular locations have had on their health. The average ratings for each location are plotted on a color-coded map.

In a totally separate mapping initiative, the Paradigm Change Visitor Project looks at whether individuals who are sick enough to be looking for information about mold illness or ME/CFS online are especially likely to live in particular locations.

The Paradigm Change blog post Outdoor Toxins of Relevance to Mold Illness Patients provides possibly useful information for individuals interested in taking advantage of the Locations Effect.

Giles Meehan discussed the locations effect in a Get Well from M.E. video, called “Where Are You with M.E.?” (viewable at the bottom of this page).

The Locations Effect Facebook page provides attractive photos and stories about feel-good locations.

A good deal of information about taking advantage of the Locations Effect is discussed in the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance, written by Lisa Petrison and Erik Johnson.

This topic is frequently discussed in the Mold Avoiders Facebook group.

Location Effects in the Caribbean is a Facebook group where people discuss their experiences feeling better in that part of the world and work on planning trips to go there.


The Paradigm Change Locations Ratings map from November 2018.


Additional Articles

British musical star Michael Crawford attributes his recovery from myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) to moving to a pristine coastal town in New Zealand.

Biohacker Damien Blenkinsopp tracked his improvements during a trip to Death Valley in Spring 2014.

Corinne Segura of the blog My Chemical-Free House summarized some thoughts on doing an avoidance sabbatical in a good location.

She also provided some suggestions of locations that might be appropriate for a sabbatical.

A Mold Avoidance Sabbatical in the Moab Desert (a post on the Living Clean in a Dirty World blog) provides detailed travel information for people considering visiting this location. (Note that some mold avoiders have reported having problems in Moab since 2015, however.)

Other mold avoidance travel guides look at Mercey Hot Springs (near the San Francisco Bay Area) and Death Valley National Park.


Media Articles


Adventure Journal:

Scottish Doctors Issuing Prescriptions To Go Hiking – October 22, 2018

Bulletproof Executive:

Forest Bathing Makes You Smarter (Happier, Too) – August 1, 2016


Chris Kresser:

Health Benefits of Green Space – January 16, 2019



Doctors are Prescribing Nature to Patients – October 5, 2018

Living Near Nature Linked to Longer Lives – April 22, 2016


Collective Evolution:

Living Near the Sea Can Improve Your Mental Health – May 6, 2016

Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains – April 8, 2016


Dr. Oz – The Good Life:

Women Live Longer When Surrounded By Nature – April 18, 2016



Why “Green” Helps in Urban Life – August 2, 2016


Harvard Health Publications:

A Prescription For Better Health: Go Alfresco – July 2010


Huffington Post:

Connecting with Nature Has Real Health Benefits – April 29, 2016


Medical News Today:

How Sitting in Traffic Jams Can Harm Your Health – August 29, 2016



Nature Deficiency Syndrome – July 13, 2017

Nature Heals – August 20, 2016


Mind Body Green:

5 Surprising Ways the Place You Live Affects Your Health – July 8, 2014


National Geographic:

This is Your Brain on Nature – January 2016



Stress and the City – June 22, 2011



The Problem with Nature Therapy – January 21, 2016


NeuroScience News: 

Living Near a Forest Keeps Your Amygdala Healthier – October 13, 2017



Forest Bathing – July 17, 2017



ADHD is Fuel for Adventure – January 20, 2016

Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me In the Morning – November 28, 2012


Pacific Standard:

Green Spaces Linked to Kids’ Cognitive Development – June 16, 2015



The Microbiome of Where We Live – September 9, 2017


Science Alert:

People Who Work Remotely Are Happier and More Productive – May 13, 2016


Science Daily:

Cities Have Individual Microbial Signatures – April 19, 2016

Why Do Sunbathers Live Longer? – March 21, 2016


Scientific American:

City Living Changes Brain’s Stress Response – June 22, 2011



Living on a Main Road Could Be Making You Fatter – May 25, 2015


The Globe and Mail:

How Green Cities Are Better For Us – July 14, 2014


The Guardian:

Air Pollution Linked to Increased Mental Illness – June 13, 2016

Data is the Secret Weapon – May 29, 2016


The New York Times:

Walking in Nature Changes the Brain – July 22, 2016

Greenery Makes Us Happier – March 16, 2016

Ions Created By Winds May Create Changes in Emotional States – October 6, 1981


Time Magazine:

Your Surroundings Could Be Killing You – March 15, 2016


Travel and Leisure:

You Should Take a Beach Vacation – May 9, 2016


Washington Post:

“Forest Bathing” Is Latest Fitness Trend – May 17, 2016

Living Near Trees is Good for Your Health – July 9, 2015

Nature Walks Are Good for Your Brain – June 29, 2015



Patient Reports


Health Rising:

Constant Vigilance – May 2, 2014


Honey Colony:

How I Discovered I Was a Mold Warrior – July 8, 2016


Leading Health Indicator:

A Change of Scene Helped My Fibromyalgia – April 28, 2016


Living Clean in a Dirty World:

Following in Erik Johnson’s Footsteps – August 4, 2016

My Experiments with Mold Avoidance – July 21, 2016



What I Learned from A Vacation – May 28, 2015


 Giles Meehan discusses the locations effect.


Links on this page are in orange (no underlining).