Question: Approximately 7-9 years ago, I worked in a building in which I may possibly have been exposed to mold and developed asthma. Prior to being in the building, I used to run up to 7 miles, almost every other day, almost religiously.
In reviewing my health records, it appears that prior to being in the building, I never had a breathing problem, or went to the doctor much. It seemed that after being in that building, the breathing problems persisted.
For my undergrad practicum, I was in the building beginning in Fall, around September. Then by end of year, when I finally went to the doctor, I was told I was suffering with breathing problems. The doctor diagnosed that I had asthma, which I could not believe. I had been running for over 20 years at that time, and could not believe that asthma came on just like that.
When I did my graduate practicum in the building, I was congested all the time. Later, when I started working in the building on June 9, 2003, by Friday, June 13, 2009, I was sick. I went to my doctor, and was again told by the doctor that I had asthma….
My story continues,…. But, to make it short, I have been to medical doctors, specialists, naturapathic doctors, etc., etc., etc., who continue to treat the symptoms, and have not been able to tell me the cause of my ailment.
I have submitted to two allergy tests: one early on, and the latest completed in December 2009, which showed I tested high for several types of mold, including Stachybotrys. I have been on sick leave, and decided to look on line to research the molds, other allergens I appear to be highly sensitive to, and came to your site.
On that note, too, when I was working in the building, I used to clean my work area. I kept some of the paper towels used to clean and dust, which were soiled with blackened dusts. My question is: can those towels be tested even though much time has passed, since I last worked in that building at end of 2003?
I just want to be cured, and to be able to run again.
Answer: Thank you for your email. I can feel for you having experienced something similar to what you have described. Fifteen years ago I had what doctors called bronchitis and others called Asthma. No doctor was able to tell me the cause of this problem. I was not sure whether the cause(s) of my asthma was from home or my place of work. At work, I was working as a plant pathologist and used to culture a lot of fungi (yeasts and molds).
Almost 15 years ago when I left my place of work and the house where I used to live, I have not had even a single attack. I still work with molds including Stachybotrys almost every day.
As for your question regarding testing of paper towels, I am not sure if that would be of any help. First, are those paper towels still there? Secondly, what would the towels be tested for? If mold, 7 years is a very long time!