Mold Decontamination Options:
Is Chlorine Dioxide Useful?
As we see many states faced with massive flooding and excess humidity in homes due to power failures and no air conditioning, it is useful to look at options for decontamination. Of course we have various federal agencies with trivial experience in treating indoor mold toxin illness telling citizens to merely expect "some eye irritation, shortness of breath and a runny nose." Perhaps they will volunteer for some mycotoxin human research since it is all so safe. No, I did not think so. Indeed, mycotoxins have been tested on humans as cancer killing agents, and the patients were so ill that the research was halted.
So how can we kill mold and denature the mold toxins in a home or other building? This is an area of research that is evolving and some powerful products are on the horizon. But the fact is that most indoor mold clean ups likely fail, and so my concern is the consequences of inhaling mycotoxin filled dust. Since I am not an anti-clinician and actually see real suffering patients with indoor mold exposure, my concern is little is being done to make patients aware of real clean-up standards. And even "professionals" are often clueless. Some look to government agencies for wise advice, but that is like the government agencies offering water in Katrina's hurricane. Always getting it too late after people are ill or even die.
Below are some real experts who are looking for solutions and not merely saying dangerous things like mold toxins give you a "runny nose." You believe our taxes pay for this nonsense?
In this abstract and article below, they exposed a number of indoor molds to chlorine dioxide gas to see if it might be used to kill molds.
Effect of chlorine dioxide gas on fungi and mycotoxins associated with sick building syndrome.
The growth of indoor molds and their resulting products (e.g., spores and mycotoxins) can present health hazards for human beings. The efficacy of chlorine dioxide gas as a fumigation treatment for inactivating sick building syndrome-related fungi and their mycotoxins was evaluated. Filter papers (15 per organism) featuring growth of Stachybotrys chartarum, Chaetomium globosum, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Cladosporium cladosporioides were placed in gas chambers containing chlorine dioxide gas at either 500 or 1,000 ppm for 24 h. C. globosum was exposed to the gas both as colonies and as ascospores without asci and perithecia. After treatment, all organisms were tested for colony growth using an agar plating technique. Colonies of S. chartarum were also tested for toxicity using a yeast toxicity assay with a high specificity for trichothecene mycotoxins. Results showed that chlorine dioxide gas at both concentrations completely inactivated all organisms except for C. globosum colonies which were inactivated an average of 89%. More than 99% of ascospores of C. globosum were nonculturable. For all ascospore counts, mean test readings were lower than the controls (P < 0.001), indicating that some ascospores may also have been destroyed. Colonies of S. chartarum were still toxic after treatment. These data show that chlorine dioxide gas can be effective to a degree as a fumigant for the inactivation of certain fungal colonies, that the perithecia of C. globosum can play a slightly protective role for the ascospores and that S. chartarum, while affected by the fumigation treatment, still remains toxic.
It appears that this treatment may be useful as one component of mold killing in a structure. But if a building has had significant water damage and has developed "black mold" or Stachybotrys chartarum this treatment is not sufficient alone. It would be interesting to see if Aspergillus species would be sensitive to this treatment--a mold that grows in high humidity and does not need water to grow.
Source: Wilson SC, Wu C, Andriychuk LA, Martin JM, Brasel TL, Jumper CA, Straus DC. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Sep;71(9):5399-403.