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Sandy, Toxic Mold, and (at last) a theory potentially explaining 'Sick Building Syndrome'

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                                      GWI     SBS

Fatigue                         yes       yes

Pain                              yes       yes

Respiratory                  yes       yes

Skin                              yes       yes

Cognitive                      yes      yes

Gastrointestinal           yes     yes

Figure 1, (1,3,4)

Does a common denominator of AChEi exposure explain such mirror imagery?
Again, potent AChEis emanate from particular groups of fungi often associated with incidents of SBS, or more specifically, from particular mycotoxins within these groups.(5,6,7)  However, to date and in contrast to GWI, it appears research has yet to address the potential health effects this AChEi exposure may generate or the explanation for SBS it may provide.

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We believe the SBS question may well be associated with mycotoxins such as Territrem B (TRB), "a potent and irreversible inhibitor of  acetylcholinesterase (AChE)",(5) and one which has been found to exist in both Penicillium sp FO-4259 (6) and Aspergillus terreus.(5)  This is particularly significant given that both Penicillium and Aspergillus are commonly associated with SBS,(7) though questions remain as to how broadly AChEis generally, and mycotoxins such as TRB particularly, may be found within each genus, as well as within other indoor molds. 

Further, should the linkage we hypothesize between SBS and mycotoxin-born AChEis be proven, this is again not to say that other causes of SBS do not exist, for we believe they do (chemical pollutants).  However, it is known that Penicillium sp FO-4259 contains multiple AChEis, including Arisugacins A and B, plus Territrems B and C, with the table immediately below highlighting their respective potencies.(6)

AChEi Strength

IC50 (uM)     

Arisugacin A


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Territrem C


Territrem B

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I am an American investigative political journalist living in Sweden, and have lived in Sweden since July 1997. My work has appeared fairly widely, including in America's Christian Science Monitor, Spain's El Mundo, Sweden's Aftonbladet, Austria's (more...)

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