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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 312836, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/312836
Research Article

A Water-Damaged Home and Health of Occupants: A Case Study

1Citrus Heights, CA, USA
2Progressive Healthcare Group, Benson, AZ 85602, USA
3Neurotest, Inc., Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
4USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
5Center for ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery, Atlanta, GA 30327, USA
6Compliance Solution, Honolulu, HI 96823, USA

Received 16 July 2011; Accepted 4 September 2011

Academic Editor: Janette Hope

Copyright © 2012 Jack Dwayne Thrasher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A family of five and pet dog who rented a water-damaged home and developed multiple health problems. The home was analyzed for species of mold and bacteria. The diagnostics included MRI for chronic sinusitis with ENT and sinus surgery, and neurological testing for neurocognitive deficits. Bulk samples from the home, tissue from the sinuses, urine, nasal secretions, placenta, umbilical cord, and breast milk were tested for the presence of trichothecenes, aflatoxins, and Ochratoxin A. The family had the following diagnosed conditions: chronic sinusitis, neurological deficits, coughing with wheeze, nose bleeds, and fatigue among other symptoms. An infant was born with a total body flare, developed multiple Cafe-au-Lait pigmented skin spots and diagnoses with NF1 at age 2. The mycotoxins were detected in bulk samples, urine and nasal secretions, breast milk, placenta, and umbilical cord. Pseudomonas aueroginosa, Acinetobacter, Penicillium, and Aspergillus fumigatus were cultured from nasal secretions (father and daughter). RT-PCR revealed A. fumigatus DNA in sinus tissues of the daughter. The dog had 72 skin lesions (sebaceous glands and lipomas) from which trichothecenes and ochratoxin A. were detected. The health of the family is discussed in relation to the most recent published literature regarding microbial contamination and toxic by-products present in water-damaged buildings.