At the mold seminar I attended earlier this
month, the use of chlorine as an anti-mold chemical was not
only debunked, but the opinion was proffered that chlorine
irritates mold and tends to make it grow more vigorously
once recovered from the initial assault.
Besides finding the odor of chlorine obnoxious,
the vapor is dangerous and the impact on our ecological systems
is devastating. The hosts of the seminar stated that plain
old ordinary borax is a better fungicide than chlorine. I
have to confess I haven't tried it yet, but I have tried
a 100% natural product that seems hugely promising: TKO
Orange with cinnamon essential oil added.
||Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil,
Since I am only writing from personal
experience, I would like to relate another story. I
bought a few bottles of this product at a conference in
Seattle last year. The woman who cleans my house
had been using it for general cleaning purposes but after
the mold seminar, I decided to mix up something for spraying
on carpeting and walls. The spray bottle baffled
my cleaning lady so I dumped the contents into the washing
machine, yes the same infamous machine that first caused
the damage to the house. I washed all my bedding,
three loads: lamb's wool bed pad, sheets, and blankets. For
the first time in nearly five years, I slept peacefully
the entire night: no coughing, no itchy eyes, no
pressure in my head.
I mentioned this to my attorney who said, "but
it only worked one night." I was dumbfounded. She
was, unfortunately, absolutely right. The second night
was not so good, the third was less comfortable yet, and
by the fourth, I felt we were back to square one.
I had mixed essential oil of cinnamon with
the TKO Orange. Obviously, it worked on my bedding,
but since the underlying problem is not solved, all progress
is short-lived. Mold thrives on dust. This is
another thing I learned at the seminar: 80% of mold
grows on dust.
I had Mary go after all dust, starting
in the room with my cockatoos. We mixed up some more
stuff and she wiped down the ceilings and walls in the bird
room as well as the area just around my bed. Once again,
I got through one night without itchy eyes, but it didn't
last. Obviously, my nightmares are not over, but I
feel that each of the measures has reduced the burden and
restored some quality to my life.
a study done at the University
of Manchester, pillows, even relatively new pillows,
were found to be contaminated with Aspergillus fumigatus,
one of the more toxic molds, and the one implicated
in the deaths of patients suffering from leukemia,
AIDS, and complications stemming from bone marrow
Each pillow had 4-16
different types of mold and a million spores per pillow,
the worst being synthetic pillows.
As noted in the account of
my own ordeal with mold, dust
mites eat fungi, but the researchers in Manchester
speculated that the mold may, in turn, live on the
waste products of mites as well as scales from the
Something I found in my blood.
I believe it is a mite.
On the classical radio station,
there is an advertisement by Dux
Bed in which it is recommended that sheets be washed
at least once a week and that the bed pad be included in
this weekly ritual. The reason is that the skin is
the body's largest organ of elimination and much of what
we process through our skins ends up in the place we spend
one-third of our lives.
Mac, the Mold Dog, checking my
pillow. No aspergillus!
For more on mold dogs, click
After posting this, I washed
my pillows. One feather pillow survived the ordeal. The
other had a hole. The little Tempur-Pedic is now a
wreck. I don't feel so bad because the study said
synthetic pillows are worse than others (like someone had
to tell us what we already know.) I just ordered replacements
on overstock.com which is so affordable that one can justify
the folly of throwing things into the washer that clearly
said "dry clean only."
27 October 2005
Updated 3 October 2006
Click here for discounts on bamboo linens and apparel,
mention the words "green sleep" for your bonus items, $20 worth of gifts for every order of sheets and pillow cases or $10 of gifts on other purchases.
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