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Healthy Living in a Toxic World, Issue #001 -- teaser here
November 06, 2014

In This Issue:




If you are wondering if there is a possibility that there could be mold growing in your walls even though you had an air quality test and a mold inspection and both turned up negative for toxic mold, the answer is yes there is a possibility!

Mold inspectors typically visually inspect your house, do an air quality test and use a moisture meter to check the walls for moisture.

But they can miss a lot depending on how good or bad they are.

I have seen some run so quickly through the house with the moisture meter that it was ridiculous.

And I have watched some see a lit up area on the moisture meter and without even checking passed it off as probably a pipe, when it was later found after cutting a hole in that spot, that the dry wall was wet and covered with stachybotrys on the backside of the drywall!

And the air quality test using an air pump and spore trap is a very unreliable test because molds only emit their spores at certain times of the day that depend on atmospheric conditions. So if you happen to test at a time the molds are not emitting spores, you might not find any mold spores at all.

So, what do you do if the air quality test was normal and the mold inspector did not find anything but you still feel sick in your house and suspect you may have mold that is possibly growing hidden in the walls?



Either rent or buy a moisture meter from your local home improvement store. You need to get one that has a mode that does not require sticking pins in your wall. They are a little more expensive than the ones that just have pins.

The advantage to doing it yourself are:

1. No one is going to be as careful and comprehensive as you in your own house.

2. You can spend as much time as you need over several days if necessary to do it right.

3. Its probably cheaper than most mold inspectors.

Watch the utube video below to see how its done.



Traditional mold detection methods can be costly and drag on for weeks. Certified Mold Dogs generate quicker and more accurate results, which leads to lower remediation costs for homeowners and insurers. “Man’s best friend” has been used for years by military and law enforcement agencies to detect bombs and drugs, among other things. In Europe, dogs have been used to detect mold for over 20 years.

Mold Dog trains, certifies and sells mold-detecting dogs and offers a free web-based information and referral service for insurance and real estate professionals and homeowners. The properly trained and certified detection dog is recognized in court as a “scientific instrument” (US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals)

According to a report prepared by the Institute for Biological Detection Systems (IBDS) of Auburn University (Auburn, AL), dogs have the following capabilities:

Sensitivity: Documented limits of olfactory detection for the dog range from tens of parts per billion to 500 parts per trillion. Discrimination: Dogs are extremely good at discriminating a target vapor from non-target vapors that are also present, even at relatively high concentrations of non-target odors. Odor Signatures: When being trained to detect a substance, dogs learn to alert to one or two of its most abundant vapor compounds. Multiple Odor Discriminations: Dogs can easily learn as many as ten odor discriminations.

In America, dogs have been used for years by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the military to detect bombs and drugs, among other things. In fact, a 1991 Congressional report noted that: "...the dog and handler team remains the most widely used, accurate, durable and flexible system available for detecting illegal drugs and explosives (Technology Against Terrorism, 1991)." Each year, the Department of Defense, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spend considerable resources to breed, raise, purchase, train and maintain working dogs. On September 11, 2001, dogs were among the first to be called to duty to search for survivors. Since then, the use of dogs to search our airports and seaports for explosives has grown exponentially and dogs continue to play a critical role in protecting the United States from terrorism and other threats. Several years ago, the insurance industry posed a question to Bill Whitstine, owner of Florida Canine Academy: “If dogs can sniff out bombs, drugs, people and arson, then why not mold?”

In response to this question, Whitstine immediately put together a panel of experts to include: Chief forensic chemist Niles Bashaw of Innovative Applied Science Laboratory, in Tampa, Florida; Microbiologist and Industrial Hygienist Michael Williamson of Apollo Environmental Inc. in Gibsonton, Florida; and for veterinarian and research support, Dr. Larry Myers of Auburn University, in Auburn, Georgia. After more than two years of study, this panel of experts concluded that dogs could, in fact, be trained to sniff out specific microbial volatile organic compounds associated with over 18 specific species of the most common “toxic” molds. Later, armed with the support of the experts, Whitstine began training the first dogs with a few mold odors. Once it was clear that dogs could find the hidden mold in various building structures, Whitstine began to fine-tune the dogs’ detection abilities by adding additional odors. Finding hidden mold is not as hard as finding arson, bombs or drugs. For example, arson-detection dogs must alert to more than 30 different types of accelerants and must be able to do so after an arsonist has poured gasoline in a buildings, the building has burned to the ground, the firefighters have put thousands of gallons of water on the fire, and all of the burned items are masking the odor of the trace amounts of accelerant left. The dog must then sniff through the ashes and accurately pinpoint the remaining parts per trillion of gasoline left. Similarly, drug dealers routinely try to hide their drugs by masking the odor with items such as coffee or fabric softener, but still the dogs find it. By way of contrast, mold is not hiding from us; however, mold is frequently not visible to the human eye. At the Florida Canine Academy, mold-detecting dogs are trained to discriminate scents of various types of microbial colonies in a variety of structures, including attics and crawl spaces. The method of indication is a passive method (sit). If the dog finds mold, the dog will alert the handler to the location. The mold dogs receive 800 to 1000 hours of training and are proficient in their duties before the handler arrives at the Academy. The mold dog and handler are then paired and trained together for a minimum of 40 hours. Quarterly testing and annual recertification are required. At the end of the course, the Certified Master Trainer verifies that each canine team is capable of discriminating scents of the mold and issues certification. The mold-detecting dogs’ training includes minor obedience, odor identification, search patterns, scent discrimination, various types of building search areas, socialization and vehicle rides. The handlers’ training includes canine handling, search patterns, working in different types of buildings and structures, proper care for the dog, canine first aid, canine CPR, sampling and minor obedience techniques as well. The Mold Dog represents the newest technology and latest trend in the inspection industry. For consumers, this is great news - quicker and more accurate remediation leads to lower costs!

Certified Master Trainer (CMT)

Bill Whitstine (CMT) owns and operates the Florida Canine Academy, which trains bomb, drug, money, weapons, termite, mold and accelerant detection canine teams. Five years ago, Bill identified the growing problem of mold in homes and businesses and worked with researchers to further investigate the possibility that dogs could be trained to detect molds. Recently, Bill founded Mold Dog, a subsidiary of the Florida Canine Academy, to train, certify and sell mold-detecting dogs.

Bill has been a leader in the field of canine training since 1989 when he was the first person to attend the Maine State Police Canine Academy in Accelerant Detection. Bill is the author of the only published book on accelerant detection canines and was the founding president of the Canine Accelerant Detection Association as well as the International Termite Detector Dog Association, which are both international organizations. Bill has been featured on over nine shows, including several segments on the Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel.

I talked to Bill and the cost is about 350 for a 3000 sq foot house and he and his team will travel distances. Traveling distances would most likely be an additional cost. (They even travel internationally.)




FUNGAL OVERGROWTH AKA CANDIDA SYNDROME: If you are experiencing symptoms from exposure to toxic mold, you may have noticed that you suddenly have a white tongue and may be reacting allergically to foods that you never used to have a problem with. Most likely you are experiencing a candida or fungal overgrowth in your entire digestive tract which includes your mouth as well as your intestines. It is thought that this may happen as a result of the immune suppression caused by exposure to toxic mold. Could it also be the fungus you are being exposed to has set up camp in your digestive tract? I think it is a possibility because some of the toxic molds can live in the human body.

Candida is a type of fungus that normally grows in your body at low levels but when it overgrows can cause toxic symptoms.

The sad thing is that even if you leave the mold exposure, the candida or fungal- overgrowth seems to stick with you. If you do not take care of it right away it can get so deeply embedded in the intestines that it will be harder to get under control.

In my research, I recently came across a really good book on Candida called "Yeast Infection No More". This book is the most comprehensive book I have ever seen on this subject. The treatment plan is similar to my treatment plan in a lot of ways but there are some additional suggestions that I think may be really helpful.

The treatment program is structured in a specific way and that is what the author claims is one of the keys to the success of her program.

Also The Complete Candida Cookbook, that the author also provides, is very helpful when you are trying to figure out just what it is that you can eat.

So if you have been struggling with a candida infection or overgrowth syndrome and would like to see a different approach to this problem I would encourage you to check this out for yourself. Just click the link below to learn more:



Dr. Mary Ray DO

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