Introduction to
"FUNGUS AMUNGUS"


I had long been researching facts for this report when the January 10, 2006 deadline for receipt of information from the City of Springfield came and went. Since Albert L. Baker of SASS Northwest was also expecting information to be included, we decided to wait, which we did. Two weeks passed, and then an unexpected case history fit for the FUNGUS AMUNGUS file appeared in my e-mail inbox. It came from a writer friend who had no idea she was inspiring me to finish this report with or without the anticipated data. It is reprinted here with her blessing.


THE RULING TYRANT


Some years ago, my son Gregg broke up with his lady, and moved in with Bryan and his wife, Missi. Their bathroom was so bad that he laid a wooden slab in front of the stool so you didn't fall through the floor when using it. Of course, it finally did fall through the floor into the crawl space, along with the bathtub.

The mildew and mold was the ruling tyrant there! Because of money, Gregg didn't get it completely redone for four months.

Gregg is a painting contractor. He rebuilt it as payment for staying there. They came to my house to shower and use the facilities. Gregg has some friends in the plumbing business who gave him everything he needed in that line (tub, toilet, sink, pipes and fittings, etc.) but it still wound up costing about $300 in money for a new floor, tile, cabinets, wood, fIxtures, etc.

It was strange to look in there and see the crawl space instead of a floor. But she's happy with it now. Clean, simple and no mildew or mold.

They have so many other problems with that house I don't even want to think about it. So you are not alone in your house miseries...

Jeanne Streible, Springfield
2005 Missouri Senior Poet Laureate

My "house miseries" as of this writing include a buckling bathroom floor covered with plastic trash bags which are secured with colored duct tape. This, at the suggestion of indoor environmental air-quality specialist Jim Echols, should help keep mold spores in check although he told me that mold can never really be eliminated. It can be treated and reduced, but will return under conditions conducive to its proliferation.


LIVING WITH MOLD


Jim Echols said some people tolerate exposure to mold with no ill effects, especially those who are young. Others develop symptoms later in life. When I am exposed to pungent raw damp mold, I have an instant reaction, ranging from sinus infection to bronchial asthma that leaves lasting effects that continue for months. At this writing, I am still coughing from exposure to mold in October 2005. Fortunately the wheezing that can shut down air passages has passed, but as a precaution I always carry a packet of Sudafed antihistamine tablets, which are an inexpensive allergy tablet that works for me. Another natural asthma aid is coffee or caffeine drinks like Coke or Pepsi; experiments with coffee enemas,which are popular in some health spas that cater to the super-rich and film stars, are reputed to be almost as good at curbing allergies as Mae West's upper colonics were for flushing out toxins and, therefore having flawless skin well into her eighties.

Thank you, but no thank you. I drink my coffee from a cup. And a nip of thick, green antihistamine cough syrup ftom the Dollar General Store enters the blood stream quickly when a critical attack catches me offguard. Learning to live with mold requires a lot of experimentation in order to survive. I hope some of these tips will help you cope so you live as long as I have with mold.



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