As Summertime Heats Up, So Does Your Exposure to MOLD

As a cancer survivor myself, I understand first-hand how important it is to address deadly diagnoses quickly. That’s why today I want to bring something to your attention… especially as summer heats up.

Several years ago when experiencing chest pains, I went for a calcium score scan thinking my heart might be involved but found instead to my surprise that my symptoms were due to exposure to mold in our rental house at that time.

As I detailed in my book, I Used to Have Cancer, an alarming 40% of schools and 25% of homes are estimated to have mold infestations–one of the greatest yet unacknowledged threats to our health. Mold not only poses respiratory health concerns, but is a known carcinogen; summer heat temperatures only exacerbate this threat further.

Let’s Talk Mold

Mold is much more than an unsightly growth on your bathroom or kitchen walls; it can produce mycotoxins – toxic substances that enter your body through your nose and eyes – which may eventually reach your brain through other channels such as nasal secretions and tears. And some of the strains of these mycotoxins are known carcinogens.

The Fearsome Foursome

  • Aflatoxin. A substance produced by Aspergillus mold, it was first identified during feed outbreaks during the 1960s but now considered a serious risk by both public and regulatory bodies alike. According to the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), prolonged exposure can increase cancer risks significantly.Aflatoxin’s cancer-causing mechanism involves binding to DNA and leading to mutations that lead to tumor development, while increasing risks by inducing oxidative stress which damages cells, increasing risks for cancer development. Aflatoxin has been linked with liver, gastrointestinal and lung cancer cases; additionally it increases risks through inducing oxidative stress which damages cells further increasing risks for cancer development. (PUB MED: Aflatoxin Toxicity. 2023 Feb 19)
  • Ochratoxin A (OTA). Produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species, Ochratoxin A has been classified by the IARC as potentially carcinogenic due to its production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause DNA breaks that lead to cancer. Fusarium species also produce Zearalenone (ZEN), an estrogen mimic which induces reproductive organ cancers by mimicking its hormone effects. (PUB MED: Ochratoxin A: its cancer risk and potential for exposure. 2006 May-June)
  • Zearalenone. Fusarium species produce Zearalenone (ZEN), an estrogen mimic which may cause cancers of reproductive organs by mimicking estrogen activity and stimulating estrogen receptors in cells. (PUB MED: The determination of zearalenone and its major metabolites in endometrial cancer tissues. 2018 Feb)
  • Citrinin. Manufactured by several species of Penicillium and Aspergillus fungi, Citrinin is widely recognized to cause kidney damage and has been identified as a potential carcinogen due to its ability to create oxidative stress and DNA damage in its target organs. (PUB MED: Toxicological properties of citrinin. 2009 Dec)

Become A Mold Detective

Mold can be more than an eyesore; it poses real health risks that could potentially lead to cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Solutions to Eliminate Mold

  • Find the Source. When it comes to eliminating mold from your home, you first need to find and eliminate its source.
    • Mold spores grow in damp, humid environments, so start by finding and fixing any leaks in roofs, walls, or plumbing.
    • A Moisture Meter is useful for detecting whether a surface is moist enough for mold to grow. Mold can begin to accumulate on surfaces that contain approximately 20% moisture. You can purchase a Moisture Meter online or at your local hardware store.
    • Ensure that areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, are well-ventilated and equipped with dehumidifiers if necessary.
    • Use mold-resistant products during renovations, such as mold-resistant drywall and paint.
    • Promptly dry any wet or damp materials and discard items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as carpets or ceiling tiles, if they become moldy.
  • Change Your Air Filter Frequently. If you can’t remember when the last time was you changed your A/C filter? Then it’s probably been too long. Air filters should be changed (at a minimum) every three months. During the summertime or if you have indoor pets, it’s recommended that you change your air filter monthly.
  • Take Our QUIZ: Is Your Home Cancer-Proof? If you are battling cancer, you’ll want to be sure your home supports your health. Find out if your home and office are healthy by taking our QUIZ.

Clean It Up… Safely

Bring in the mold remediation experts if you need to, as tackling mold can be a risky clean-up measure. Check out The Templeton Wellness Resource Directory for contact information for reputable mold mitigation experts.

Have You Been Exposed to Mold?

Ozone therapy could be just what’s needed if you have been exposed to mold: in just 10 seconds it can kill 99.99 percent of bacteria, fungi, yeast mold viruses in your body – even cancer cells!

>>To gain more information on this revolutionary treatment, check out these two video interviews with Dr. Frank Shallenberger that I recently conducted: Part 1 and Part 2.

As Summertime Heats Up, So Does Your Exposure to MOLD

Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay


Related Articles:

Ozone Therapy: Your Secret Weapon for Treating Cancer and Much More
Green Guardians: Houseplants That Double as Mold Busters
The Silent Menace of Mold and Its Related Cancer Risk
Mold in the Home: A Dangerous Dilemma
Surviving Toxic Mold


Hokeness K, Kratch J, Nadolny C, Aicardi K, Reid CW. The effects of fungal volatile organic compounds on bone marrow stromal cells. Can J Microbiol. 2014 Jan;60(1):1-4. doi: 10.1139/cjm-2013-0708. Epub 2013 Nov 15. PMID: 24392920; PMCID: PMC4603560.

Haleem Khan AA, Mohan Karuppayil S. Fungal pollution of indoor environments and its management. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2012 Oct;19(4):405-26. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PMID: 23961203; PMCID: PMC3730554.

Dhakal A, Hashmi MF, Sbar E. Aflatoxin Toxicity. 2023 Feb 19. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan–. PMID: 32491713.

Clark HA, Snedeker SM. Ochratoxin a: its cancer risk and potential for exposure. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2006 May-Jun;9(3):265-96. doi: 10.1080/15287390500195570. PMID: 16621780.

Pajewska M, Łojko M, Cendrowski K, Sawicki W, Kowalkowski T, Buszewski B, Gadzała-Kopciuch R. The determination of zearalenone and its major metabolites in endometrial cancer tissues. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2018 Feb;410(5):1571-1582. doi: 10.1007/s00216-017-0807-7. Epub 2018 Jan 24. PMID: 29368148.

Flajs D, Peraica M. Toxicological properties of citrinin. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2009 Dec;60(4):457-64. doi: 10.2478/10004-1254-60-2009-1992. PMID: 20061247.

Janie L. Harris Extension Housing and Environment Specialist, Mold An Indoor Air Pollutant. The Texas A&M University System.


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