Question: My husband and I were exposed to extremely high levels of Aspergillus (indoor count 33,000 ppm-outdoor count 400-500 ppm), Stachybotrys, Penicillium, Chaetomium, Cladasporium and a few others…
This exposure was over a period of 2 1/2 years. We didn’t know the mold was in our home and we and the doctors could not explain or diagnose our symptoms (ie: bleeding noses, flu like symptoms, chronic fatigue, aches and pains…just to name a few). We both have tumors (lungs, liver, ovaries). Do you know of specific blood tests available in Canada to test for the molds listed above. We have been tested for Cryptococcus gatti but realize that this is not for all mold types. Our doctors are unwilling to accept the idea that the molds in our home caused our symptoms or made us sick. Please, can you help?
Answer: Were the spore counts reported as parts per million (ppm)? Mold spore counts are usually reported as spores per cubic meter of air and not as parts per million (ppm). That’s beside the point. You wanted to know whether there are specific blood tests available in Canada to test for the molds Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, Penicillium, Chaetomium, and Cladosporium. I believe there are, although I don’t know who is doing it. The tests may not be available for some species.
The test is based on mold-specific antibodies. The presence of antibodies in the blood only indicates that one has been exposed to mold at some time. It does not indicate when one was exposed, where the exposure took place, or how much of mold one was exposed to. Therefore, a positive test for mold-specific antibodies alone is generally not enough to prove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildings are caused by exposure to mold.