Exposure to black mold, fungus, and other environmental toxins is a risk factor for certain occupations. What you do matters less than where you work. Anyone in any occupation can be exposed to mold and suffer serious health complications as a result. If you believe that you’ve been exposed to an environmental toxin in the workplace, you are entitled to recover workers’ compensation payments while you are recovering from the infection. In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of black mold exposure.
What makes mold exposure so dangerous?
In some individuals, black mold exposure can cause a complex condition known as chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). As your immune system responds to the biological toxin, it begins attacking healthy tissue as well. Those who suffer from this condition report:
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Chronic fatigue
- Cognitive problems (brain fog)
- Gastrointestinal problems (irritable bowel, abdominal pain)
- Hormonal problems
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Unexplained weight gain
- Unstable body temperature
This is not an exhaustive list. These are among the most commonly-reported symptoms of CIRS.
How does CIRS develop?
CIRS most commonly develops from exposure to water damaged buildings. However, the condition has numerous triggers, and exposure to spider bites, Lyme Disease, and other issues are a known trigger.
Mold, fungus, and bacteria colonize the water-damaged areas causing infection and producing cytotoxins as a product of their biological processes. When CIRS is caused as a result of a water-damaged building, it is referred to as CIRS-WDB.
It can be nearly impossible for a doctor without any context to correctly diagnose CIRS just based on symptomatology alone. With CIRS, the symptoms can look like a number of other disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, POTS, or leaky gut syndrome. Many individuals who suffer from CIRS-WDB are either misdiagnosed by their doctors or accused of some form of psychiatric or functional disorder.
Since diagnosing CIRS-WDB is complex, it provides insurance companies with legitimate doubt when claims are filed against them on this basis. For those who have been exposed to a water-damaged building at work, you can expect that the insurance company will provide alternative reasons for your condition. It isn’t like a light fixture falling on your head while you’re in your cubicle. There is plenty of doubt as to the primary cause of your condition.
Further, the research on CIRS-WDB is relatively new. Studies began in 1996 and have since been discussed by relatively few peer-reviewed journals and all tied to a single researcher. At present, there is no single test used to determine if you have CIRS. Instead, doctors focus on a constellation of symptoms, potential genetic factors, and exposure to water-damaged buildings.
Talk to a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Those who are suffering from toxic work environments may wonder why their coworkers aren’t getting sick as well. That’s because you may have a genetically predisposed sensitivity to certain environmental toxins. Schibell Law, LLC can help you recover medical expenses and lost wages related to your injury and advocate for remote work when appropriate. Call today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.