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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/28/14

Why Doesn't the Government Do Something About Indoor Air Pollution?

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Message Cheryl Wisecup

This is one of the most common questions we receive at the Global Indoor Health Network. Our position statement provides detailed information in response to this question. The short answer is:  Big Business says NO WAY. And, as we know, government answers to Big Business, not to individuals.

Similar to other cover-ups in our history (such as lead, radon, asbestos, etc.), Big Business doesn't want the truth to be known. The naysayers have published numerous papers over the years denying the dangers of these substances. For example, tobacco companies knew that tobacco was harmful for 50 years before the truth finally came out. And, insurance companies removed coverage for mold from insurance policies as soon as they started seeing too many claims for water damage and mold.

One of the early naysayer papers published in 1992 was titled "The Next Environmental Battleground: Indoor Air." The author told the government not to enact regulations about indoor air quality because it would (supposedly) devastate the real estate industry, lower employee wages, and increase death rates among low income workers. The so-called "solutions" he recommended included adding "Boston ferns" and other plants in offices. And, the #1 option offered in the paper said the government should "DO NOTHING."

It's important to note that this naysayer paper came out shortly after several federal government agencies and others published significant papers (from 1987-1991) about the dangers of indoor air pollution. The naysayer paper was obviously intended to shut down the growing concern about this important public health issue.

Medical myths are also perpetuated by medical organizations. One example is the Mold Statement published by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). The ACOEM Mold Statement was published in 2002 and re-issued in 2011. The 2011 version was almost identical to the original version. In fact, nine years later, the 2011 version did not update its review of previous research papers nor include new research that could have expanded or revised its position.

The ACOEM paper claims that people can only become ill from mold if they eat it. They are wrong, and they know it. They have known about the inhalation health effects of mycotoxins (toxins from mold spores) since at least 1985 and probably much earlier. ACOEM claims that mycotoxins are not volatile, and, therefore, are not inhaled. However, this organization fails to cite peer-reviewed literature that demonstrates the mycotoxins are present in dust and ultra-fine particulates.

The U.S. Army funded a study that took place from 1982-1985. The paper is titled "Toxicologic and Analytical Studies with T-2 and Related Trichothecene Mycotoxins." They proved that the inhalation effects of mycotoxins were similar to the effects of mycotoxins that were intravenously injected.

In another study in 1987, researchers found that "inhalation of T-2 mycotoxin is at least 10 times more toxic than systemic administration and at least 20 times more toxic than dermal administration."
Inhaled mycotoxins cause serious health problems
Inhaled mycotoxins cause serious health problems
(Image by Google Images (from Berkeley Lab article))
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So, the next time somebody tells you that mold and mycotoxins aren't harmful unless you eat them, tell them they are wrong.

And, the next time someone asks you why the government doesn't do something about indoor air pollution, you can give them the answer.

To learn more about the health effects of mold, mycotoxins, and other indoor air pollutants and the influence of Big Business on these important public-health issues, read the GIHN position statement and check out the GIHN video titled "Big Business and the Big Lie Strategy."

The Global Indoor Health Network (GIHN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is uniting experts and laypersons from the world. GIHN's vision is a global community of individuals and organizations working together to ensure that comprehensive information and guidance concerning medical treatment, investigative techniques and solutions are available to address the effects of contaminants in the indoor environment of homes, schools and businesses. Visit our website here.  
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