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Mold Exposure Treatment: Mold in Florida’s Military Housing Communities

Mold exposure can cause sleep problems, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion.

Mold Exposure Treatment Tampa FLDo you suspect mold in your home or office? Having mold in your home and mold exposure won’t necessarily make you sick, but it does have the potential to cause specific health issues. Is it time to have a mold exposure treatment?

If you follow our blog, you may recognize a familiar theme in the title of this post. In 2019, we wrote about mold outbreaks at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

We wrote that these were “chronic, recurring mold outbreaks that are literally making military personnel and their family members, patients, and treatment providers sick.” Then just last year, we posted an update about five military families that filed a class-action lawsuit against owners and managers of private housing at MacDill.

Like mold itself, the problems with mold in military housing just won’t go away. As recently as April 26 of this year, the Associated Press reported that a U.S. Senate panel finds ‘grave’ health risks in military housing.”

This time, the allegations centered on housing provided to service members stationed at Fort Gordon Army Base in Georgia and Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, where the company responsible oversees about 1,700 homes at the two bases.

Mold in Water-damaged Buildings

Reports about mold illness and mold in water-damaged buildings are gaining traction in both mainstream and social media, which helps raise awareness about a significant and growing threat to our health.

Unfortunately, many landlords, property management companies, and conventional medicine practitioners either ignore the problem or downplay its seriousness.

Because our practice is located in South Florida — just minutes from MacDill Air Force Base — military families experiencing symptoms of mold illness frequently come to our Tampa functional medicine clinic seeking help. Often, every member of the family is sick, but each suffers different symptoms.

For example, in one family we recently saw, both parents and three of their four children were showing symptoms of mold-related illness.

  • Their two-year-old girl had chronic eczema, ear infections, and difficulty breathing.
  • Their four-year-old boy had developed restless sleep, headaches, and allergies.
  • All of the kids were sick every month with something new and were constantly taking antibiotics.
  • Mom developed thyroid autoimmunity (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), and dad was having severe heartburn.

The family’s doctors failed to recognize that everyone in the family was becoming ill from mold. Instead, they just kept treating the symptoms. As family members grew more and more ill, they started to do some research and noticed musty smells in their homes. Upon further investigation, they discovered previous water damage to the HVAC system.

When You Suspect it’s Mold, it’s Probably Mold

Mold Exposure Treatment Tampa FLThey suspected the problem was mold, and by working with trusted mold inspectors and through medical lab testing and analysis, we were able to confirm that it was.

This was after the family’s military housing contractor had denied that mold was present in the home after doing their own testing.

It’s appalling, to say the least. When a private company came in, its technicians had no trouble identifying the mold — they could see it, and test results were positive for mold. We tested the family for mold toxins in their urine, and the levels were severely elevated for the two children and their dad.

With the help of mold remediation services, we’re able to help families like these. The first step is to address the source of the exposure, either by moving out of the building or through mold remediation, which is the process of killing and removing the mold or sealing it so that the mold and its toxins no longer pose a health risk.

Unfortunately, we can only help the families we see. Imagine the number of people who are visiting their primary care providers or one or several specialists that aren’t properly trained to recognize, diagnose, and treat mold illness.

We see this as a huge problem for our military families locally, across the country, and probably on foreign bases, as well. And that goes for non-military families as well.

Raising Awareness About Mold in Tampa Homes

By writing about mold and the high probability of it in water-damaged buildings, we hope to raise awareness among patients, doctors, landlords, and property managers.

We hope that all housing providers voluntarily inspect their properties for mold and do the right thing — provide mold remediation when mold is discovered. Those that don’t should be held accountable.

In the meantime, if you or a family member is experiencing any of the following symptoms, we urge you to visit a functional and integrative medical practice that has the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat mold illness:

  • Cognitive or memory problems (brain fog, trouble focusing)
  • Headaches
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Muscle cramps or joint aches and pains
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Red eyes or light sensitivity
  • Asthma or sinus problems
  • Unexplained rashes, itching, or skin irritation
  • Tremors or dizziness (vertigo)
  • Digestive issues, such as a change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, or abdominal pain
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Night sweats or temperature regulation issues
  • Excessive thirst or increased urination

If you’re in the South Florida area, we can help. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.