Article of Interest: Damp Homes Causing Sickness in Babies, Toddlers

Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Thousands of babies and toddlers falling sick from damp homes in Britain, NHS doctor warns” from The Guardian.

Thousands of babies and toddlers are being admitted to hospital in England each year with lung conditions probably linked to damp and mould-ridden homes, a senior doctor has warned.
Dr Andy Knox, an associate medical director for the NHS, said squalid housing was having a “profoundly negative impact on the nation’s health” and worsening the crisis in the NHS.
“It is becoming a really major health issue for us as a nation, and we need legislation that is going to properly deal with this,” he said.

Read the full article.

Mold in homes and buildings is an important factor for people who suffer from chemical intolerance (CI), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

In fact, mold is the most-cited exposure that initiates CI, according to a 2023 study led by Miller and published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe.

The study furthers understanding about how a two-stage disease process called TILT (toxicant-induced loss of tolerance) begins.

“TILT can develop rapidly, for instance after a pesticide exposure, or gradually if someone is working or living in a setting such as a moldy building,” Miller said.

Mold is becoming more of a problem, too,

“In recent years, global warming has led to more rainfall, floods, hurricanes, roof leaks and water intrusion, resulting in increased mold growth indoors,” said Dr. Raymond F. Palmer, professor of family and community medicine at UT Health San Antonio.

How can you find out your chemical intolerance and share the news with your doctor?

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!