It all began with a dog. Some family members moved into my uncleís house and they brought a tiny little dog with them. The dog apparently was allergic to pine trees because it developed a terrible skin rash and began loosing skin everywhere.
My Uncle got really sick from this. At first it was just respiratory. His lungs seized up and his muscles began spasming. From here things got worse. He tried cleaning the house and had his ducts cleaned to try and get rid of whatever was making him sick, but nothing helped in fact it got worse. He replaced his furnace with a heavily filtered one with UV lights and Hepa filters. Still it got worse.
It got so bad he could not live in his own house and moved in with us. During the days he spent his time ripping out the carpets and flooring in his house. He threw out all the books he owned, his bedding and his rugs but nothing helped. Some of the carpets made him sick to be around. We got rid of every chemical and cleaner he had in his house. It seemed to get worse when we agitated things over there.
Now he lives with us and some of the other family members have developed the same reaction. The symptoms they complain of is a burning sensation on the tongue and a numbness around their lips. This is followed by a sense of ants crawling on their skin. They report a chalky feeling and a taste in their mouths. Washing their mouths with drinking spirits seems to help for a short while. There is some burning sensation on the face. It seems to adhere and infect everything it gets near.
The funny thing is that we have washed all our clothes many times over. The affected family members claim the laundry room is toxic and that something in the clothes washing has caused the same thing that is happening at my Uncleís house to happen here, it seems to be spreading. We have bleached, scrubbed and washed the laundry room. We have run multiple loads of bleach through the washing machine but with no luck. We setup an ozone generator in there over night. We sprayed the walls with sealant.
Further the afflicted family members are having troubles in the family vehicles. They get a reaction when they go in there, supposedly spread into their by them through contact. They say that it gets worse when the heat is on. Cold seems to make it better.
My uncleís house has had the windows open with fans blowing the air out for almost 2 months with little success. A receipt book was brought from there and put on a desk in our family room and they began to react to that. We had someone from Capital health come out to search for VOC, volatile organic compounds, but they found nothing.
We cannot figure out what it is. We thought it was formaldehyde from old carpets but they are all gone and it seems way to contagious. So far three in my family are re-acting and two are not. We are worried that whatever chased him out of his home will chase us all from ours, four senior citizens and a student homeless. Right now my Uncles claims the problem is localized to one room a sun room on the back of his house next to the green house. We figured mold but it is too contagious for that. Moisture also seems to make it worse. People are washing so often during they day their hands are cracked and red. We are all very worried about losing our homes. Please does anyone have any ideas?
It began with a little dog, who was allergic to pine trees? How could you possibly know that? What happened to the little dog who lost his/her skin ? This is a facinating turn of events!
All we have is the owners word on it and he argues it had nothing to do with the dog, he might be right. We sent the dog and the owner away but the symptoms persisted.
We just sent the sufferers, twins, to a allergy specialist who tested one of them and found no allergies at all. The twins suffer the most but they are not alone and they are claiming that the toxin seems to adhere to cloths and now tools, plastic and metal?
We are totally at a loss. Parasites? toxins? demon possession? They all seem just as likely
With all you describe I would strongly suspect mold. The toxic molds are very tenacious at dispersing their spores and VOCís. and are very easy to cross contaminate especially into cars and onto things like paper, clothing and furniture. The mycotoxins they produce can be very difficult to remove causing sickness long after the person has left the contaminated building. With all the work your uncle continued to do at the affected house after moving into your relatives home, it would be extremely easy for cross contamination to occur.
Iíll give you a sobering example which may make it easier to understand. I am so sensitive to mold that if someone lives in a house where one of the molds grows that I am very sensitive to, I cannot get within 10 feet of them without reacting. And if I were to hug them I would get very sick indeed. Or if I were to get into their car, I would react very strongly and be quite ill. All because of how easily and quickly the spores will hitchhike on anything they can, looking for another place to grow.
Bottom line with mold, if you are sensitive to it (usually genetic), then you will be reactive to the live mold, the dead mold, the mycotoxins, the vocís and the residue from all of it.
Oddly enough most DRís and many allergists are not knowledgeable enough to properly diagnose and treat it. They are simply not well trained in all the range of reactions that each person can have and often mis-diagnose, no matter how well meaning they may be. Unfortunately they often do not suspect mold even when there is good reason to. If at all possible for your relatives who are sick, it would be best if they could see an environmental DR as they are well versed in all the possibilities and know the best tests. This could also help with understanding what toxins are involved just in case it isnít mold.
Many of the symptoms you named could easily be mold related including the dog. I would have the house thoroughly tested. Be sure to find someone who specializes in diagnosing rather than treating if at all possible in order to get an unbiased test. In order to find a reputable person try asking for recommendations from a DR who specializes in mold treatments or from any environmental groups in your area. This is the best way to get accurate and trustworthy results.
If your Uncle is suspicious of the greenhouse wall, take that very seriously as a strong suspect for mold as that is a red flag situation. My advice, have your uncle stop working on the house and then coming back to place where all live, get rid of all paper from the affected house (mold feeds on it), clean all surfaces with GSE solution (grapefruit seed extract) including washing clothing & bedding, get house and cars tested for mold.
If I were you Iíd go for a strong mix with a ratio of 4 drops GSE per ounce of water. Use that for cleaning surfaces and spraying inside of car. A common brand in health food stores is Nutribiotics. For washing clothing use Ĺ teaspoon per regular load. Be sure to always add the GSE to warm water and mix well. In washer, let clothing soak for 1 hour without any detergent being added yet. After soaking, wash as normal. There are other brands of GSE solutions being sold as mold solutions. They are also effective. I only have experience with one of them. GSE is not cheap but it is VERY effective. I have saved several things with it and I know of several specialists who recommend it.
One important note on testing, make sure you do not solely rely on gravity plate testing as there are certain highly toxic molds (stachybotris) that do not plate well and must be tested by other means such as tape sampling. There is also vacuum air sampling which is much better at accuracy for testing. And of course there is nothing that replaces a visual inspection by a knowledgeable eye.
I hope you get answers soon and can get relief from symptoms quickly.