Voices of national support came in to help express concern regarding the reality and severity in a sector of public health, effecting millions of Americans, that has been unaddressed and almost totally ignored, common environmental factors that can cause disease and death in everyday people.
The wakeup call should have been clear in late July 1976, as American Legionnaires returning from a state convention from the Bellevue – Stratford hotel in Philadelphia, began to fall ill with mysterious symptoms, pneumonia and fevers topping 107 degrees. Six of the first 14 men that first came down with this mysterious illness quickly died. News of infection from other American Legionnaires and convention attendees spread; the final case count reached 221 infected, with 34 dead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologists scrambled to investigate the disease, searching for the cause which was later named “Legionnaires’ disease”. This disease came from an environmental gram-negative bacteria known as “Legionella” found in the HVAC ductwork at the Bellevue, caused by bacteria colonization from water damage, unchecked humidity and condensation in the system. This was the beginning of what was to become known as “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS).
So was this a freak isolated instance, never to be heard about again? Or was this the beginning of the new Asbestos of the millennium? Either way with 34 dead, 211 infected how could public health officials continue to let indoor water damaged environments go unchecked, and turn a blind eye to it for the next 40 years? Each year 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease alone in the U.S. However, many infections are not diagnosed, reported, and some are misdiagnosed as another condition, so this number may be higher.
The National Treatment Centers for Environmental Disease understanding the serious implications of human exposure to these aggressive disease causing microbes set out to isolate all of the things in an indoor water damaged environment that could make a person sick, the findings of their reports were startling.
In a single indoor water damaged environment where there was just a long term HVAC condensation accumulation of water they discovered the following: Legionella bacteria, Klebsiella bacteria, Actinomyces, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Streptomyces, mycobacterium, Mold, Yeast, Mycotoxins, Endotoxins, and Exotoxins, The spokesperson from NTCED went on to say: “This is just a short-list. If these microbes get into your body serious illness will follow.”
Our medical community has a fairly good working knowledge of bacteria, the real danger that most people don’t understand is Mold, Mycotoxins, and Endotoxins. Mold and Mycotoxins truly are the new Asbestos of the millennium. Mycotoxins are organic poisons produced by mold growing inside of water damaged environments. These substances are so toxic they are measured in the parts-per-billion or “ppb”. If the United States Foods and Drug Administration (FDA) finds just one half part per billion of aflatoxin mycotoxin in milk, it is labeled not fit for human consumption. We have people with ten times that amount of toxin in their bodies coming into our facility. And it’s all from water damaged environments, and they are really sick. With these toxins, it rains on the rich and poor as where any home, school, or place of work is subject to water leaks. Once water leaks are left without proper maintenance bacteria and mold growth can ensue.
The hard part about these exposures is that most doctors and even the patient can’t relate the symptoms to the environment, it takes a specialist who sees this day in and day out to recognize it. Most of the patients get misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Arthritis, Asthma, ADHD, and so on. It is our goal to raise public awareness of these little understood environmental hazards, we believe Mr. Hannity being kind enough and stepping up to help, is a phenomenal step in the right direction to creating an overall awareness and improvement in public health for the entire country.