Your Environment is Making You Sick

It was January 1, 2021.

My family and I stayed up past midnight, like families all across America, to celebrate the coming of a new year.

We laughed, we danced, and we ate a spectacular meal — Swamy’s Kitchen knows how to throw down!

Later that morning, I awoke, heart pounding, four walls closing in on me, desperately trying to catch my breath. I stumbled out of bed and into the living room where I fell to the floor and yelled to my husband, “Call 911!”

My husband picked me up and sat me on the couch. Before I knew it, there were 8 paramedics strewn across our living room, starting at me, poking and prodding at me, lifting up my shirt to get a reading on my heart. A few moments later, I was loaded on a stretcher being driven to the nearest emergency room. They asked me, which ER do you want to go to? I said, “Tuality Hospital.”

This would be one of many trips during the next two months.

In and out of the ER like it was clock work. I’d stumble in after my husband dangerously dodged the onslaught of traffic to try to save my life.

Each time, the same symptoms manifested: shortness of breath, heart racing, oxygen dropping, blood pressure elevated, shaking uncontrollably, dizzy, slurring speech, and sometimes, unable to even walk. And each time, they’d send me home with no prognosis.

You’d think after the first or second occurrence, I’d be dead by now and yet, I’M STILL HERE.

How can someone visit the ER so many times and still come up with no answers? That my friends is a little taste of our American Medical System. They sure know how to write a long list of drugs or surgically remove a tumor but they know nothing about chronic illness… or do they?

After a year and half of declining health, I spent my time voraciously reading, studying, searching, and visiting every specialist in the book that would tolerate me. If they weren’t going to get to the bottom of what was happening to me, I SURE AS HELL WAS.

I wish I knew then, what I know now. And I know, many of you wish the same. Wish that you could get those many years lost stuck in bed, stuck in your home, a prisoner to your own body made to feel like it was of your own doing. You’ve lost the ability to live and as Environmental Lawyer, Robert McKee has questioned a jury in a case where a victim was injured by their home, what is the quantifiable number equivalent to losing the ability of pursuing your passions?

The jury’s response? Millions.

If you think Covid-19 is bad, well, hold onto your seats ladies and gentlemen because I am about to tell you about an emerging problem that is only going to get worse.


In your mind, you’ve already passed judgement. Telling yourself, well, my home is clean. It smells great. I had a small leak, but that’s fine now. I don’t have mold. If I do, I’ll just clean it with bleach.

Let me ask you this. Do you have drywall aka sheetrock in your home?

Well of course you do because like white sugar and white bread, dry wall was invented because it “is the best way to create affordable housing for millions… holding the promise of a better, cleaner, easier life.” [1] We all know that statement and we all can read between the lines. Cheaper, better, faster means poor quality with poor consequences. Our homes have become just as processed as the food that we eat.

This article from the Atlantic provides great details of the rise in drywall usage,

“Drywall, also known as plasterboard or wallboard, consists of two paperboards that sandwich gypsum, a powdery white or gray sulfate mineral. Gypsum is noncombustible, and compared to other wall materials, like solid wood and plaster, gypsum boards are much lighter and cheaper. Starting in 1946, drywall became popular in homes across the U.S. According to the Gypsum Association, more than 20 billion square feet of drywall is manufactured each year in North America. It’s the staple of a billion-dollar construction industry that depends on quick demolition and building. Today, USG is by far the largest of the eight gypsum manufacturers in North America. It holds around a quarter of the wallboard industry’s market share and does $4 billion in sales a year. Oh and by the way, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s conglomerate, owns 27 percent of the company.” [1]

One man’s poison becomes another man’s profit. Thanks Warren, now let me explain…

The team and I at Exposing Mold have been putting together the experts in the field, willing to give us the time or day, to discuss these very important and very concerning matters.

One that struck a major cord was an interview with Dr. David Straus, a retired Microbiologist and Immunologist of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. His sister was struck down by the effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome therefore he naturally grew an interest in trying to figure out what the cause was for his sister’s suffering. That led him to the subject of mycology. Interesting right? He somehow intuitively understood this connection. He spent copious amounts of time gearing this specialty towards the study of molds and mycotoxins. What was unique about his situation is that he was able to obtain funding for his mold and mycotoxin research by a local company that was interested in putting out a new test that could detect mycotoxins in the air. In exchange for the successful apparatus of detecting the mycotoxins from molds like Stachybotrys, he would provide the company with this unique apparatus to conduct business. Funding is extremely limited for this type of research. We’ll cover the reasons why in another blog post.

The findings of his 43 years of work in this arena were shocking. He shared with us that most mold testing companies are inept at finding hidden molds or heavier molds like Stachybotrys, fogging is not a viable source of mold and mycotoxin removal, and that the only way to fully remediate a building is to first stop water intrusion, second, locate all source of molds, and remove and replace areas with clean building materials. The biggest shocker of them all was that every piece of drywall that is used in homes has Stachybotrys, toxic black mold, already in the material. [2] In addition to this, the gypsum that is excavated is not environmentally friendly — it harms the workers by dust inhalation, the mines are often prone to collapse, when it becomes wet it creates a noxious gas that is lethal to humans in high doses, and it can contaminate water and raise its acidity, thus harming marine and animal life. [1]

A water event in a home or building is often seen as the culprit to the growing of Stachybotrys, however humidity, heat, and available food source can encourage the black mold to grow as well. [3] Stachy isn’t the only mold to fear as there are other species that can cause a long list of health issues. Chaetomium, Aspergillius, Pencillium, Fusariam, Cladosporium, etc., all add insult to injury to the those cohabitating with them. Each mold spews out it’s own unique set of mycotoxins that have been connected to adverse health issues like traumatic brain injury and cancer. [4,5] To those attached to their ERMI’s, air tests, and tape tests, just know that they do not show you the full picture of what is going on in your home.

Some other very important bits of information he shared was to pay attention to your symptoms. If your mold test comes back relatively fine but you are losing your hair, experiencing pneumonitis, sensitivities, loss of skin, have shortness of breath, etc., you are more than likely being affected by hidden dangerous molds. These molds have the ability to send families down an endless spiral of suffering; from the costs of testing, remediation, relocation, storing or replacing treasured items, to the compounding medical bills.

Just think about feeling like you are going to die, yet you never do. Day in, day out. Year after year. Until all of a sudden you are taken by cancer, heart issues, or by suicide. This is the repeated cycle of those dealing with an issue that goes beyond their genetics, their dietary choices, something not so, but so obvious as the four walls you surround yourself in. We live our lives moving from one box to another and with each year that passes, the increasing crises of cancers, heart issues, and unexplained chronic diseases rises. Is there a connection here? Absolutely.

When will the experts and medical care providers stop their malfeasant acts against society and warn people of these environmental issues we face? Where has the integrity from our medical and research professionals gone?

Ever since Erik Johnson’s fight for research and investigation of toxic mold serving as the source for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the world famous Tahoe mystery malady outbreak, it is apparent that the vested interests would rather cover up the truth to rake in the money from the endless sick people screaming for help on deaf ears.

Shame on insurance companies. Shame on puppeteering physicians and researchers. Shame on everyone else that has turned their back on Erik who has spent the last 35 years of his life trying to sound the alarm to save others the agony he endured.

Erik, we hear your alarm. It is now time for the strong to stand up and protect the weak.

Writer: Alicia Swamy, Vice President of Exposing Mold Inc.