What are really really bad molds?

In fact, there is no such a standard in CDC or NIH, or even the medical societies, who has or have set a criterion. But medical and clinical research already had found many commonly isolated molds or fungi from animals and human. Every medical text book has those mold or yeast names described. Since people are getting older and living longer, new fungal pathogens are growing and emerging.

All molds and yeasts are bad!!!

The book "Atlas of Clinical Fungi. G. S. de Hoog et al. 2000. CBS Netherlands" described thousands of fungal molds and yeasts, which are reportedly isolated from animal or human hosts published in scientific journals.

Medical mycology textbooks mainly include those common but pathogenic molds and yeasts:

Aspergillus fumigatus; Coccidioides immitis; Paracoccidioides braziliensis; Histoplasma capsulatum; Blastomyces dermatitidis; yeast Candida albicans; yeast Cryptococcus neoformans; Dermatophytes, which infect skin and nails.

  • Any molds that can grow in 37C are potentially human pathogens.
Because within human body, the temperature is 37C, a mold to be a pathogen, has two conditions to meet: to tolerate a 37C temperature and to resist or evade the human immune system.

  • All BSL-3 and some BSL-2 molds!
BSL-3 molds: such as Penicillium marneffei; Coccidioides immitis; Histoplasma capsulatum.

BSL-2 molds: such as Aspergillus fumigatus; Aspergillus flavus; Aspergillus terreus.

  • Opportunistic yeast pathogens: Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans
Both yeasts are saprobes, yet they are capable of invading humans if the host has weakened immune systems. Candida can even invade human skin, digestive tract and reproductive tract, causing so-called "Candidiasis". Cyrptococcus can cause "Cryptococcosis".

  • Dimorphic fungi
Dimorphic fungi are meant that a fungus can take both morphological forms: in filamentous moldy form or a more-or-less yeast form, upon different culture conditions. Most fungal pathogens do take yeast forms once they are invaded human tissues.

Courtesy of Nature Review Immunology, by Luigina Romani, @ http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v4/n1/box/nri1255_BX2.html

Black Mold Stachybotrys

Black Mold Stachybotrys

This article is also available @ http://www.bioidea.net/

The really black "Black Mold" Stachybotrys, or so-called "Sick Home Syndrome" mold Stachybotrys is the biggest fear in the Indoor Air Quality industry.

It is a cellulolytic saprophyte with a worldwide distribution and is frequently recovered in water-damaged buildings.

This black mold aroused significant notification when infants in Cleveland, Ohio, died of pulmonary hemorrhage after lived in Stachybotrys infested houses.

From the authoritative book "Atlas of clinical Fungi" (de Hoog et al., 2000, CBS Netherland), this mold is not described but referred to as "a toxigenic fungus, it was isolated from lungs of a child with pulmory hemisiderosis" .

That publication goes to the Journal of Pediatrics (Okan Elidemir, Vol.104 No.4 October 1999, pp. 964-966), in which "Stachybotrys atra, a toxigenic fungus, has been implicated as a potential cause of pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants living in water-damaged homes. Although epidemiologic evidence supports this association, neither the organism nor its toxic products has ever been recovered from humans. We report the first case in which Stachybotrys was isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a child with pulmonary hemorrhage. Stachybotrys was also recovered from his water-damaged home. The patient recovered completely after his immediate removal from the environment and subsequent cleaning of his home. This case provides further evidence that this fungus is capable of causing pulmonary hemorrhage in children".

A case study published in Journal of Respiratory Medicine (Shariat and Collard. Vol.3, issue2, page 74-75, 2007) confirmed that "a patient who presented with acute respiratory failure and histopathological evidence of diffuse alveolar damage shortly after exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum in her home".

Stachybotrys chartarum micrographs with magnification of 600x and 1000x.

Very Tough Molds Infect Hand Skin

There are types of molds called "dermatophytes", or dermatophytous fungi which are common in our environment, usually in soil, could infect human hands (palm skin or nails), if in contact with the mold spores or conidia, when doing gardening work.

Some of those dermatophytes are so tough and resistant to local treatment with over-the-counter anti-fungal ointment or cream to the localised skin infection over a prolonged period of 6 months, that prescribed medicine must be used to systematically inhibit their growth, and cure the skin. Those fungal infections are related to "athelet' foot" and "Jockey's itch".

Those dermatophytous fungi belongs to the genera Microsporium, Epidermophyton, and Tricophyton.

For mold testing, go to www.bioidea.net.

A man killed by mold spores called Aspergillus

Now most people know that molds in a house is a big concern for health. And there is one more scientific evidence.

A healthy man with a normal immune system who inhaled mold spores (Aspergillus) while doing gardening work actually died in a few days. This incident is reported in a scientific journal "The Lancet" as well as in the UK press in June 2008.

Mold spores inhaled by human can penetrate deep into lungs and lodged in lungs' aveoli. The mold Aspergillus spores are so small that they are very fit in lungs' aveoli. Mold spores will germinate when warm and humid, while the human immune system will counter-attack.

The overwhelming immune response indeed arrest and shut down the man's system. He died within days from the mold disease called "invasive aspergillosis".

See related sites:

* Facts about Fungi (also including Molds)

* Mold spore photos

* Wild Mushroom (fungi) Photos

* Cultivated Mushroom (fungi) Photos

* For Mold Testing

Mold, Environment, and Health

Mold and related information please see www.bioidea.net.

Finished Maori Shoulder piece

Here's the finished shoulder tattoo design in Maori style.

I have to add it to my website/webshop, but here's a small preview for you.

Last week I made a custom
piece for a customer from N
It had to match the style of an existing tattoo.
He wanted a symmetrical design, based on a fish/shark, with elements like triangles and scales.

inspiration also resulted in another shoulder piece.
Not a
vailable on my website yet, because I need to scan it in high resolution.
Please let me know what you think of
the latest designs!

I'm working on a step by step example on how to I design my maori shoulder pieces. Hope to post it in a few days.

Kind regards,


Maori Shoulder Piece

Hi there,

Today I worked on a new Maori shoulder piece.
When I draw a new design, I start with a sheet of paper,
200 grams, size A3 (29,7 x 42cm).

The materials I use are just a simple medium hard pencil for the first sketch.

First I make a rough sketch for the shape of the design.
Then some main elements are designed and I try to get a nice flow in the overall design.
(My tattoo's have no specific meanings, I just combine different tattoo styles into one esthetic image)

When that's done, I fill the small shapes with nice triangles, lines or other tribal tattoo patterns.

Finally I trace the tattoo design with a black marker and remove the pencil lines.

If you have questions on my Maori designs, just contact me at info@storm3d.com,

Kind regards, Mark Storm

New blog on Maori tattoo designs


Today I started my new weblog, to give you some information on my tattoo designs and give an inside look on how I create the images.
I always loved to draw and sketch, but for the past five years I have been creating Maori and other tribal tattoo designs.

On the 1st of July, my new tattoo website went online.
It's a webshop for all my tattoo designs. Customers can purchase the high resolution designs, to use for a personal tattoo.
I also do custom pieces, just contact me for details and pricing.

If you want to visit it, please click the link below:
Maori tattoo designs on Storm3d.com

Any comments, questions? just let me know!

Kind regards,

Mark Storm

Air quality in Malaysia: impacts, management issues and future challenges.

Centre for Environmental Technology and Natural Resource Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor. awang@fsas.upm.edu.my

OBJECTIVE: Observations have been made on the long-term trends of major air pollutants in Malaysia including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, the ozone and total suspended particulate matter (particularly PM10), and sulfur dioxide, emitted from industrial and urban areas from early 1970s until late 1998. METHODOLOGY: The data show that the status of atmospheric environment in Malaysia, in particular in highly industrialized areas such as Klang Valley, was determined both by local and transboundary emissions and could be described as haze and non-haze periods. RESULTS: During the non-haze periods, vehicular emissions accounted for more than 70% of the total emissions in the urban areas and have demonstrated two peaks in the diurnal variations of the aforementioned air pollutants, except ozone. The morning 'rush-hour' peak was mainly due to vehicle emissions, while the late evening peak was mainly attributed to meteorological conditions, particularly atmospheric stability and wind speed. Total suspended particulate matter was the main pollutant with its concentrations at few sites often exceeding the Recommended Malaysia Air Quality Guidelines. The levels of other pollutants were generally within the guidelines. Since 1980, six major haze episodes were officially reported in Malaysia: April 1983, August 1990, June 1991, October 1991, August to October 1994, and July to October 1997. The 1997 haze episode was the worst ever experienced by the country. Short-term observations using continuous monitoring systems during the haze episodes during these periods clearly showed that suspended particulate matter (PM10) was the main cause of haze and was transboundary in nature. Large forest fires in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan during the haze period, clearly evident in satellite images, were identified as the probable key sources of the widespread heavy haze that extended across Southeast Asia from Indonesia to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The results of several studies have also provided strong evidence that biomass burning is the dominating source of particulate matter. The severity and extent of 1997's haze pollution was unprecedented, affecting some 300 million people across the region. The amount of economic costs suffered by Southeast Asian countries during this environmental disaster was enormous and is yet to be fully determined. Among the important sectors severely affected were air and land transport, shipping, construction, tourism and agro-based industries. The economic cost of the haze-related damage to Malaysia presented in this study include short-term health costs, production losses, tourism-related losses and the cost of avertive action. Although the cost reported here is likely to be underestimated, they are nevertheless significant (roughly RM1 billion). CONCLUSIONS: The general air quality of Malaysia since 1970 has deteriorated. Studies have shown that should no effective countermeasures be introduced, the emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the year 2005 would increase by 1.4, 2.12, 1.47 and 2.27 times, respectively, from the 1992 levels.

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