Three Misconceptions about Indoor Mold

Three Misconceptions about Indoor Mold

I find that health care practitioners are the first responders to those with mold illness, so that’s fine as long as said practitioners know a bit about mold.

The trouble with that is, while these practitioners likely have a rich knowledge about herbs, foods, etc., they likely don’t know much about home construction, plumbing, air flow, remediation etc.

In short, they are not home mold experts.

This can cause some issues when clients are coming to them ‘first’ with questions. While I don’t think every home mold expert needs to become a health expert and vice versa, I think at least we mold practitioners need to have a working, basic knowledge regarding mold in spaces and on belongings.

If clients are coming to use first, we need to steer them in the right direction.

In this blog series, I discuss three skill sets practitioners may be lacking with their mold clients. Today’s blog is about the environmental side. If you missed blog one on communication skills, please click here.


Three Things to Know About Mold

Mold spores and mycotoxins are not the same.

Mold is a filamentous fungus that grows in clusters. The smallest unit is called a spore. The spore is not visible to your eye–only a mold colony is visible to your eye.

Mold can be powdery, as you may have noticed when you disturb a moldy orange at the bottom of the bowl. Spores go airborne; they help mold live and spread–like a flower spreads pollen.

There will be mold spores in the air in your home and outside your home. They will also collect in dust. If they have a moisture source, they can grow.

Mycotoxins are even smaller than spores. Mycotoxins are chemical compounds that can be emitted by mold. 

But the math is not as simple as one mold species makes one mycotoxin. In fact, one mold species can produce different types of mycotoxins. But I digress…

The important thing here is that removing an area of mold colonies does not remedy the fact that mycotoxins have likely spread about the house.

And mycotoxins cannot be ‘killed’ because they are not living organisms. They can, however, be transformed chemically by other chemical agents.

Clients can be tempted to make big mistakes by removing some mold but not cleaning up properly or not disposing of affected clothing and books.

This can be a big waste of time and money and the client will not heal in this environment. So that is item one of your duty as a mold practitioner: teach your client about mycotoxins.


Home mold testing is tricky.

Just like the human body is complex, a home is complex. It has air flow, ‘layers’ including floors and wall cavities, humid spots, appliances that can leak, etc.

Just like you cannot run one test and tell a person all their health problems, the same is usually true for a home. 

I observe many practitioners telling a client to ‘just run an ERMI’ (a type of dust test), even though an ERMI is hard to interpret, wasn’t designed for residential mold testing, and doesn’t reveal where potential water damage came from.

When the ERMI results are in, the client may be confused, and the practitioner isn’t much help.

When I get asked about testing (which is often!), I emphasize that you first have to have some background. 

  • Does the client rent or own?
  • Are they affected at work or in a public building?
  • Are they affected in a vehicle?
  • Is there visible water damage or a musty smell?
  • What can the client afford?
  • How sick are they? 
  • How open are they to moving?

You can imagine that a college student in a dorm is in quite a different situation than a couple that bought a home 3 years ago.

Same for a healthy family that has a new bathroom leak vs. a family with a severely ill child, in and out of the ER.

The situation dictates how to go about testing. 

So do your client a service and ask these questions and consider options with them. We will cover this in our upcoming Toxic Mold Trained practitioner course!


Leaving a moldy home is not straightforward.

One thing to consider with mold testing and decision making is the law and insurance. Another is the feelings, finances and energy levels of your clients.

Acute, new water damage that you catch can usually be covered by insurance, but the homeowner needs to know how to supervise a proper fix. A renter had better supervise a proper fix as well!

Legally, I don’t think a renter can bring in a mold inspector without permission. A mold inspector is expensive too. When renters and employees request mold testing, it is often inadequate.

These situations can get very complex and clients, with cottage cheese for brains thanks to mold, sometimes get quite obsessed with trying to right a wrong.

I’ve had clients, very sick, stay in a condo fighting an HOA. I’ve had clients still trying to get compensation from a landlord 2 years later when it’s all but impossible. I’ve had clients refuse to move from their beloved family home.

It’s a mess, and you’ve got to be ready. There may be times to decide to not take a case because the client simply isn’t ready to listen and make changes. Or you may want to stick with them and just keep nudging them in the best direction.

Right now the law and insurance don’t fully protect us from the financial and health devastation of mold. We have to take responsibility for ourselves in most cases. And feelings can run hot while energy and clear thinking are low.

These are some more ‘abstract’ parts of a mold health case that play a part 100% in whether or not your client will improve. 

Get Trained!

Learn more about how to be a confident, effective mold practitioner at my live webinar, “Three Mistakes Most Mold Practitioners Make.”

This live webinar (also recorded for you) is happening Wednesday, Aug 9, 2023 at 4 PM PT, 7 PM ET.

This blog is just a little taste of the spicy sauce I have for you on this webinar! Hope you will join to learn:

  • The clinical mistakes practitioners make
  • The home knowledge most practitioners lack
  • The goldilocks detox order
  • A super simple way to set up a detox protocol

*You do not have to be a practitioner to attend. You can also be a ‘mold advocate’ of any kind!*



Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is an acupuncturist turned functional health coach and has worked with thousands of clients since 2004.

She is the founder of and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Toxic Mold Recovery: Take Back Your Home Health & Life, available in audiobook, Kindle and paperback on Amazon.



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1 comment

Amazing Content.

Tomas Delgado

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