Firewood and Mold Problem Q & A
Q. I store several cords of firewood in my garage which is directly under the living room of my house. There is a white mold which grows on some of this cut and split wood. Some of the wood which has the mold on it is very light, as if the substance of the wood has been consumed, although the size & shape of the pieces has not changed. The wood feels dry, and the mold also is not slimy or wet feeling, although the wood burns faster then the wood without any sign of mold. The property I own is about 5 acres of wooded land in Northeastern Connecticut. I have cleared about 1/4 acre on the far corner of my land, and I use this area for working my firewood. I first noticed mold growing on my cut wood after I had cut down a few maple trees from my own property. I had cut the wood into manageable pieces and brought them to the back of my house. After just a few weeks, I went to split the wood, and it was already deeply rotted and covered with white mold. I try not to leave wood laying for very long out there now. For several years, I occasionally get a possible mold smell in the house. This is a very pungent smell, and nothing that compares to anything I recognize. It is almost a chemical smell. My domestic partner never comments on the smell, and when I say I smell it, he says he cannot. Yet the smell fills the house and is very noticeable to me. This smell comes and goes, only lasting for a day or two at a time, but I can go weeks without noticing it. I have not made a record of when I seem to notice it although I have recently thought to do so. I seem to notice it more on damp rainy days. This smell is definitely from within the house, and not outside. I recently saw a documentary on TV regarding mold, and never thought to link the smell to the mold on the firewood until I saw this TV show. In this show, the people who lived within a house that later was deemed to be filled with black mold were all coming down with unexplained symptoms. This worried me, as I have a list of unexplained symptoms also. The medical problems I have gone to my doctor with, and he cannot explain thru medical testing are as follows: Chronic, constant Headache, Chronic fatigue, Bloody nose, Joint pain, Memory loss Skin rashes, mild [Diagnosed as "dermatitis" by my doctor]. [Feb. 8, 2003]
A. As to the differences in your being able to smell possible mold, while your partner doesn't---that is normal because people's sensitivity to mold and in smelling mold varies significantly from one person to another. The many very serious mold health symptoms you are experiencing should be a big wakeup call to you to take action in regard to hiring the thorough and complete mold inspection, testing, and mold remediation of your house. For your health well-being, remove immediately all of the firewood from your garage and store it outside and away from your home [maybe up on blocks and covered with plastic or tarps to keep rain from wetting the firewood and to keep mold spores from getting airborne to travel into your home]. Mold spores have probably traveled in air movement from the mold growing in the firewood beneath your garage into the rest of your home. You need to have your entire home carefully inspected and mold tested by a Certified Mold Inspector to determine what types of mold are in elevated levels inside your home. Living in a woods also increases substantially the entry of airborne mold spores into your home through open doors and windows and window screens. You may need to use powerful hepa filters with large ultraviolet lights to remove and to kill airborne mold spores entering your home from your woods, where mold has a great, ongoing feast on decaying wood, leaves, and plants. For more info on mold inspection and testing, please visit the mold inspection page of Mold. If you want to do your own initial mold tests, you can buy do it yourself mold test kits with mold laboratory analysis at Mold Mart.
The material provided above is from Phillip Fry as a free service.
He can be located from any one of the many hyperlinks underlined in the article above. He offers many services internationally.
Due to the litiginous nature of medicine and the many curious lawyer-controlled anti-physician organizations in the USA, with their excellent command of 9th grade biology, Dr. Schaller cannot support or oppose the ideas listed above, and merely offers them for you to discuss with your physicians, your local trial lawyers, your local politicians (lawyers), the local state medical board, your mold consultant, your local insurance clerk, and the local health department.
If you think I had fun writing those last lines, you are correct. J