Friday, April 23, 2010

Peanut Allergies and Aflatoxins

Here is a theory of mine. I don't know if there is anything to it, but there are definitely a few coincidences that I have observed that I think are worth mentioning.

I was pregnant with my little girl, B2, when we moved into the house. We found mold in the bathroom before B2 was born. We definitely know that we had stachy and aspergillus. Now at that time our entire house was not highly contaminated. That happened after the first "remediation." During the remediation of the bathrooms, the fiberglass tubs (with aspergillus underneath the tubs) were cut out by an incompetent construction company. This company did not do any containment of the area and also told me to leave the HVAC system in the ON position during the remediation, thus spreading mold throughout the entire house and contaminating the HVAC system. Not only did they fail to contain the mold, but they also failed to inform us that we needed to vacate the house, especially since B2 was under 1 year old (which I later found out is an age where you should be told to vacate the remediation area-really no one should be around, but especially not babies). SO we were sitting in our living room while particles of fiberglass and mold were floating around the house and getting into our bodies. As I write this I seriously wonder "What was I thinking?" How could I have been so foolish? Why didn't I take more pictures to prove the incompetence of the remediators?

Of course, there is a plain and simple answer: Lack of knowledge and lack of education. And as far as not taking more pictures, that was just bad advice from someone. At that time I had never even heard of mycotoxins and was very naive about mold.

Anyway, back to my theory. We had lab tests confirming the presence of aspergillus in our house. The counts were about 10X higher on the indoor samples than they were on the outdoor control sample. Aspergillus mold produces a mycotoxin called aflatoxin. After I started listening to Doug Kaufmann and read his books, I realized that peanuts are frequently contaminated with aflatoxin. It just seems to me like an interesting coincidence.

Of course, there are many arguments against this theory. Rather than waiting for people to point out some of the problems with my theory, I will point them out myself just to show that I don't just throw theories out there without first thinking of other possibilities. One might say that corn and other cereal grains are also frequently contaminated with aflatoxin, so why then does B2 not have a corn or cereal grain allergy? Or another argument might be that she is allergic to tree nuts and sesame, which are not as highly contaminated as peanuts, so if it is a reaction to aflatoxin then why is she allergic to other nuts as well? Also, there are many different types of aspergillus, so how do I know if the type of aspergillus that was in our house is the same type that contaminates peanuts (I really need to dig up our lab results to see if it says anything about the type of aspergillus we had)? I truly don't have the answers to any of these questions. I'm just giving my personal observations and theories of what (in my opinion) could be connected to B2's peanut allergy. I guess I just see some sort of connection between having a peanut allergic child and living in a house contaminated with aspergillus, both which are connected to aflatoxins.

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