Dr James Schaller
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Two researchers prove that a fairly common Aspergillus species, Aspergillus fumigatus, which is found in moist places in homes, schools and buildings with water intrusion, makes a very high amount of mold toxins. Many mold agnostics feel that indoor mold is not able to make mold toxins and if they do the amount is incidental. This article shows that on common home or building items like latex paint that four types of mold toxins are made and that these chemicals on the spores are about 1% of the weight of the huge spore. This is a huge production of a coating chemical on the spore, and is more than a dash of white powdered sugar!

Further, this Aspergillus species has spores carrying dangerous ergot toxins with a diameter, mass, and specific gravity than enhance their ability to be inhaled and stirred up from a surface. Of course, if the toxins contact dust, then they can become airborne even easier.

Finally, ergot biotoxins are among some of the most dangerous mold toxins that exist. Some problems from exposure include: pain, trembling and shaking, and wryneck, a more or less fixed twisting of the neck, which seems to simulate convulsions, muscle spasms, confusion, delusions and hallucinations, hair problems, gangrene, loss of extremities and death. And here we see they are easily made in a latex paint environment in massive amounts in a manner that makes them breathable, compared to molds with larger spores.

Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form [breathable form] in or on its conidia [spores] , to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids [mold toxins], fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium [spores]. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia [spores] likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia [spores] of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success.

[Bolding is my insert]

Panaccione DG, Coyle CM. Abundant respirable ergot alkaloids from the common airborne fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Jun;71(6):3106-11.

My Thanks to these researchers ...

Dr. J

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