House Contaminated W/ Burning Substance, Attacks Lungs Help!



I pray someone out there understand what I am about to type. I am at the end of my rope.  Back on 1 Aug 2014 I had mold cleaned out of my HVAC and air ducts in my 1950s duplex in northern Virginia. My life has not been the same since. I had no health issues before that and probably had not been to the doctor in 1.5 years. Something that is an extreme irritant or toxin to me, I suspect mold spores, was spread through my house, likely in the duct cleaning process. I had the house tested for mold three days after the contamination and there were borderline and just above unhealthy levels of cladosporium in two rooms, the rooms with the most mold growing on the air duct registers, incidentally. 

When I come into contact with the substance it stings/burns my skin in pinpoints and when I breathe it for a period of time (hours), I become ill.  When the air is at its worst in the house, my ears, nose, eyes, throat and chest burn. When the contamination first occurred and I tried to sleep in the house, I would have symptoms the next day at work or away from the home, hours later, consistent with hypersensitivity pneumonitis.  I woud feel very weak and ill and not be able to breathe well.  I could not even play with my daughter on a playground because I was winded and sick.  Other times I will feel weak, tired, anxious, with discomfort or pain in my torso, and just toxic for lack of a better term. There were times when I had neurological issues, confusion, tingling hands/feet, weakness. This could also be the meds.  I was sleeping in a tent in my back yard in August and Sept. 2014. My oldest son had to move in with me in September, so I moved back into the house and sleep with a N100 organic vapor respirator. This is not easy. I do not get enough rest and the respirator is severely irritating the bridge of my nose.  It is no way for my son or I to live.

I went to a pulmonary specialist who sent me to an allergist. I was tested by 2 allergists for allergies, with negative results. Three other people live in the house with me but are not affected. My immunologist theorizes that I have a genetic susceptibility to sensitivity to the substance. He is talking about infusion therapy and meds to supress my immune system. But I am not allergic to anything. And he seems resistant to the mold issues when I bring them up.  I checked with a local doctor who subcribed to the Shoemaker theories. But she does not take insurance and wants $400 for starters!  Plus have not confirmed that mold is the issue.  Those ducts probably were not cleaned for 60 years. So it could be a lot of things. But whatever it is, it does not affect my son or two renters.

I've been on Qvar 80 2 puffs 2X/day and Nosonex 1 puff per nostril 2X/day, prescribed by my allergist/immunologist.  But the side effects are very hard on me: anxiety, weight loss, weakness, possibly cognitive issues.  I tried to cut the dose in half over the holidays. I learned that not only did it work well in protecting my lungs, it also had a systemic effect making my skin less sensitive to the substance. When I cut the dose, I had more symptoms. I also learned that it must take very little of the substance to affect me. This may be the most troubling discovery of all. I cannot seem to get away from it. I've cross contaminated my car (which is the worst) and work area at my job. I've probably also contaminated my other house where my estranged wife and other three children live. It's tough because I have no place to go to get away exept a hotel - which I cannot afford.  My wife will not agree to me even temporarily staying at our other house with her and the kids.


I bought a real HEPA vacuum (pullman holt) and have been vacuuming the floors and my bed periodically.  I also bought a whirlpool whisperpure air purifier.  I had two industrial strenth air scrubbers running in the house for a few days at a time several times - under negative pressure. But I still get sick if I stay in the house for very long.  There has been some improvement. But I am not sure if the air is better or if it is the meds.


Has anyone had symptoms similar to this?  My wife does not believe me - but she really does not want to.  My family, who live 6 hours away, don't understand, but try to be supoprtive. Please someone tell me you get it.  I am at the end of my rope. Thanks.



  • Welcome to the Bulletproof forum, rmw! If you don't get any response from forum members, you may want to try searching for related topics to see if you can find your answers. Good luck to you!


    BP Moderator

  • Welcome to the Bulletproof forum, rmw! If you don't get any response from forum members, you may want to try searching for related topics to see if you can find your answers. Good luck to you!


    BP Moderator

    Thanks a lot. Sorry to jump in and dump. But this is the first place where I have seen that people have had similar, if not the same, experiences. I know I will have a lot to offer once I can get a handle on my own situation.  Look forward to being a part of your community.




  • Did you ever find an answer? I would hesitate to say that it was mold spores that did this unless you had significant fungal growth. if you were more comfortable outdoors, in an environment that typically contains significantly higher concentrations of mold spores than indoors, then I would think something else is at play.

    First, I would inquire into any chemicals they used during the cleaning get process. Very few things are approved for use in ducts.

    Second- do not take this the wrong way but do not underestimate the power of anxiety. As a consultant I have seen countless clients that have developed similar responses and yes it can manifest in physical ways. Much like someone who has panic attack in an elevator and then has one every time. It has nothing to do with the elevator, but the mind made the connection. And please don't think I am downplaying your issue. As a person that suffers from anxiety I merely mention it as a possibility because I have found it to be true in myself and countless others I have consulted with.

    Good luck to you!
Sign In or Register to comment.