Following are some links to articles that seem consistent with Approach #5, which suggests using special cleaning techniques to remediate possessions.
1) Biotoxin Journey
2) Paradigm Change
3) A Good Health Advocate
4) Hybrid Rasta Mama
5) Get Better Wellness
6) Divinely Toxic
7) Michael Pinto – Mold Sensitized
Here are some additional comments by Michael Pinto of Mold Sensitized (posted in the Mold Avoiders group) in response to criticisms of the above article:
There have been a number of interesting comments over the past few days about an article laying out the basics of cleaning contents for individuals who are mold sensitized. As the author of the original article I can certainly speak to its intent. I had hoped that the three main purposes for compiling the information would be clear to the readers. In contrast the article was never intended to be disparaging of a medical professional’s opinion.
Based on our experience with helping hundreds of sensitized individuals deal with these devastating situations, it was my desire to let people know that:
Point One. The decision about contents (saving, disposing, cleaning methods, do-it-yourself versus professional) is much more nuanced than simply saying “toss it” or “clean it”.
Point Two. There is a significant emotional aspect of people’s connection to their contents. Suffering from mold exposure and becoming reactive “steals” much from people; their health, their sense of fairness, their financial reserves, their self-esteem, their home, and their contents. Oftentimes, being able to save even a few key pieces can make a huge difference in terms of an individual coping with the myriad of losses that surround mold illnesses.
Point Three. There is a lot of technology that is available through professional restoration contractors to deal with contents that many sensitized individuals and their treating physicians may not be aware of.
Let me just offer a few more details on each of these items to supplement the article and address some of the comments.
I will be the first to admit that cleaning porous materials that have been water damaged and are supporting mold growth is not only difficult but problematic in regards to the outcome for a sensitized individual. We only recommend attempts at that in the rarest of situations.
Conversely, there is little risk, in our experience, with individuals cleaning and saving non-porous items such as dishes and silverware that have been in a contaminated house and may have some fungal spore or mycotoxin residue on them. In fact, our working assumption in such cases is that all the contents are contaminated and must be dealt with properly. However, to suggest that the china that has been in the family for generations, the silver flatware, or the Waterford crystal glassware cannot be cleaned and sanitized to the point where all mold and mycotoxins are removed is not consistent with the scientific evidence and experience of many.
One of the main thrusts of the original article is that when dealing with a household full of contents they have to be sorted and categorized to help with the proper decision making. The cleaning matrix in the article offers solid guidance based on hundreds of projects.
With all of the loss that sensitized individuals suffer, oftentimes a little win can go a long way toward their being able to deal with all of the hardships that they have to endure.
A huge percentage of our clients who are mold sensitized quickly come to the understanding that they will have significantly fewer physical goods when they are done with the process of dealing with mold contamination than they had prior to their illness. Being able to offer them the hope that they can salvage some items that are intrinsically valuable (to the point that they are priceless) is important. Even if extraordinary efforts have to be utilized to clean those items to the point where they do not trigger a reaction, such efforts can provide an incentive for the sensitized individual to make the tough decisions necessary for them to heal.
The article’s third intended point of emphasis was that there is an ever increasing array of new technologies that can be utilized to assist with content cleaning. It is clear that standard washing of items for a sensitized individual is typically not adequate. However, cleaning hard goods with ultrasonic technology, laundering soft goods through an Esporta Wash System, applying a post-cleaning sanitizing step using a ionized hydrogen peroxide solution are technologies that are not available to the do-it-yourselfer but have an impressive track record in addressing the personal goods of sensitized individuals. A consultant/contractor/case advisor who does not understand these technologies and discuss them with the sensitized individual and their medical professional is doing a disservice to an individual who has already suffered extensively.
One final thought, if the decisions about content cleaning are managed properly there is little downside to attempting professional cleaning of specific categories of contents and even selected pieces that are not typically cleanable. If the specialized cleaning efforts still results in an exposure (even after they pass rigorous testing criteria), then they have to be disposed of and the sensitized individual knows that they did everything that they could to save their precious items. While any potential exposure to a sensitized individual can be traumatic, making blanket assumptions that contents cannot be cleaned can be equally traumatic.
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