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    mold and dizziness (6 Posts)

  • bill bill @ 6:03 AM
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    mold and dizziness

    I have a friend who believes mold in her house is the cause of her dizziness. She claims that when she is away for couple of days it's gone. I just acted as the GC in remodeling both bathrooms. I'm not too sure of the mold issue.
    Here's my thought. She has a bunch of house plants. Could house plants (which seem in good shape) affect air quality so as to cause dizziness? We took one old and decaying plant out and she she claims a benefit.
    She has already dropped 30k on medical test and the ball is now in my court. Also her house is very clean. THX
  • Jamie Hall Jamie Hall @ 7:46 AM
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    Mold can causer

    a lot of problems, for sure -- take a look at

    http://www.medicinenet.com/mold_exposure/page2.htm#what_kinds_of_health_problems_may_be_linked_to_mold_what_are_symptoms_of_mold_allergy

    for a list.  Dizziness, however, is not usually regarded as one of them -- although in the case of a severe sinus involvement, it could be (but you'd know about the sinus involvement for sure!).

    However, I'm no doctor and don't even pretend to be -- your friend would be well advised to consult on the dizziness issue with an ear/nose/throat specialist or neurologist.  It could be harmless.  It could also be anything but...
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • icesailor icesailor @ 8:37 AM
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    Plant Populations:

    Jamie, I say what I said because the poster brings up the issue of plants in a home. Does the number of plants equal a Jungle (like I have seen) or just or an African Violet or two and a Pepper Plant.
    I know that Global Warming was a figment of Al Gore's imagination. But in my 50+ years of paying attention. I noticed "weedy" type plants move into cooler New England and become pest like. As atmospheric CO2 levels rose, it seems like some plants, more adapted to suck more CO2 out of the atmosphere, more successfully compete with other plants for a place in the food chain. Like weeds in a lawn.  
    As far as checking out what's wrong, that's another issue. Recently, I got a card in the mail. Usually, any card goes right into the round file with the plastic bag in it. This one seemed official and from the city water department. It advertised a free water and plumbing inspection for anyone on the city water system to check for quality. I figured they wanted to look at backflow devices on outside sill-cocks, water heaters etc. So I sent it in. A guy shows up with a big plastic case (bigger than the case my Bacharach Insight analyzer comes in, and a big fancy clipboard. He opens it up, and it was an upgraded version of the one I had when I dabbled in water treatment and was certified by the WCA. He whips out this device and fills it with some water out of the kitchen tap and shows it to me, telling me that I had minimum "Utility Grade", city water. he shows me this digital device that says 137. That's really bad water. "What's the PH?" Oh, I can do that for you. All he has to test the PH for is one of those pool water sample color things. He samples it and I tell him it's 7.0 before he tries to compare on the color chart. He's trying to sell me an under counter RO system that he will practically give me. Pal, the only way you're going to sell an RO system or ANYTHING to us is if you can convince me and then I can convince my wife. Because if SHE was here, you'd be long gone. I tested my water over a year ago when I was down and had my PH meter that also tests for dissolved solids. It was 7.0 PH and 45 TDS. And you're supposed to run the water for a period to get a fresh draw. I get my liquid at Costco, Beer, my wife drinks at least a 2 liter bottle of diet Coke a day, and I drink flavored sparkling water. My coffee water comes out of my Brita pitcher.
    Beware of strangers, knocking at your door.
  • Jamie Hall Jamie Hall @ 9:01 AM
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    I love the story!

    These folks with their free inspections drive me nuts -- or I drive them nuts.  Every once in a while I tell one who seems to be a particular sucker to come by the ark of a place I care for and tell me how to upgrade it... it's always good for a laugh.

    Plants, however, can surely be a problem -- they put a lot of moisture in the air, and can themselves harbour an interesting array of molds and fungi and what not.  Not to mention that there are some of them with rather powerful perfumes (stinks?) some of which I dislike intensely...
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • icesailor icesailor @ 7:56 AM
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    Plants & Mold:

    One problem with lots of plants in a house is the massive amounts of water that they require for photosynthesis. They take out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to use to grow, and put back oxygen. The original polluting gas, when the atmosphere was all CO2. Plants evolved that took out CO2 and emitted O2. 40% of rainwater is lost back to the atmosphere through evaporation and photosynthesis by plants.
    Coral reefs are entirely built on Carbon which over time can become limestone. Take a plastic bag and put some small marble chips or Portland cement inside the bag. Pour some acid in the bag. Allow it to dissolve the marble. Put a small candle on a table and "pour" the gas from inside the bag. The candle flame will extinguish. The acid released the stored carbon in the rocks. Molds, Moss and Lichens and are plants. If you give a plant a pleasant environment in which to grow in, it will grow. Like weeds in a lawn.
    House plants also give off forms of pollen. Diagnosing is based on a method of exclusion. If your friend removed some plants and felt better, she might be on to something.
    Some Mold Remediation Specialists are like some dentists. Opening your mouth is like opening your wallet. They get to see how much you have to spend.
    If the house is super tight with moisture condensation on the windows and window stiles, excessive moisture and mold are a usual suspect. Add pollen.
    Molds and many house plants don't depend on insects to propagate. Those little dots UNDER fern leaves are how they propagate. Molds just expel a fully formed plant that can grow in a nice location. I've seen it all over some houses with plants. Especially ones that are so tight that it is hard to breath.
  • BillW BillW @ 4:47 PM
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    Mold causing dizziness

    Mold, its mycotoxins and spores can cause allergic reactions. Watery eyes, itching, sneezing , hoarseness and coughing are all possible. ONLY a medical professional can tell what you are allergic to, and what effect it has can vary widely from person to person. House plants are a common cause of IAQ problems, mainly from mold growing in the potting soil, and pollen that the plants produce. If a house is tightly sealed and ventilation is minimal, you can concentrate pollutants of all sorts, and amplify their effects. Ice & Jamie have given some good answers, and I don't need to repeat them. Here is a possible plan of action.
    1. Get tested by an allergist to see what your are allergic to.
    2. If you are allergic to molds and pollen, remove the plants from the house. Source removal is usually the best "cure" for IAQ issues.
    3. Consider upgrading your filtration system, or using a portable unit in your bedroom.
    4. Right now, tree pollen levels are sky-high, with mold spores varying from low to high, depending on the rain.
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