Can you cross contaminate your car when you leave your moldy home?

Can you cross contaminate your car when you leave your moldy home?  This was typed into a search engine that eventually led someone to my blog.  My answer is  yes from my own experience.  In fact the car was already most likely cross contaminated while he/she was living in the moldy home. The reason I say yes is because the mold spores and the mycotoxins produced by the mold become airborne.  They settle on your clothing and they settle on the carpet and you walk on it with your shoes or socks.  It also settles on your furniture and is picked up on your clothing as well.   You then get into your car and the spores that are now on your clothing become airborne in the car.  Those spores and mycotoxins attach themselves to the fabric in the car and go through the air conditioning system.  I got my mold/mycotoxin exposure in the work place.

I got rid of my car and everything  that had porous or soft surfaces.  I also got rid of all appliances, etc that had a fan that might have sucked in the mold/mycotoxin and would emit it again when the fan was turned on.

Depending on a person’s sensitivity I guess would depend on whether or not they would be able to be in their car once they get rid of everything else.  I tried being in my car after I had gotten rid of my things and it made me feel ill.  This is a decision everyone with mold exposure has to make and it is based on what does/does not make them feel worse.

For others who have suffered mold exposure.  What have you done with regard to cross contamination and your car?

NOTE:  I am speaking from my own experience and that of a few fellow mold sufferers.  Everyone must make their own decisions on what they should do.

6 responses to “Can you cross contaminate your car when you leave your moldy home?

  1. I would like to add my own experience here with toxic mold cross contamination in a car in addition to Kathy’s in hopes it will confirm what she is saying is fact.

    My first serious reaction to the 2 toxic mold exposures that I was receiving at my church and at my job was to end up in the ER 2 times in 2 days with anaphylactic reactions from exposures in those 2 buildings.

    At that time I was ok in my SUV and showing no signs of any kind of reaction at all while inside of it. However, 4 months later the mold spore levels in my SUV became so high that I also had a Anaphylactic reaction while driving my car due to the mold spores I had cross contaminated my car with by carrying them on my clothes and shoes from church and work.

    I was in the car on my way out of town. It was a cold rainy day and I had the heat on. About 15 minutes into the trip, I began to get lightheaded, dizzy and have very rapid breathing…..this was the way the past 2 Anaphylactic reactions began and I was out in the middle of no where by then in the car alone.

    I ended up having to pull over, use my EPIpen and then I called 911 for help. By the time the Ambulance reached me I was getting very shocky and it was a very close call.

    • Patricia

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I distinctly remember our conversation about this after you were able to recover and phone me. That was a very scary time.

  2. Wow, what an experience you have both had with this abominable chemical. Who would know that mould can do this? Apart from people who have suffered with it of course! In Australian chemically sensitive circles, I had heard of one person who had to get rid of everything they owned because of mould. As you know I’ve had to do it once because I became over-sensitive to my own fragrances. Now that I have a mould issue, I’m hoping this won’t happen to me, but because of the information I’ve had from both of you, I have a two back up plans for when I move: I’m going to put everything in storage; and I’ll move twice. Once to rent (building takes place) and then into the new place. And, yes, my car is making me ill but I’m sure it’s the fumes.

    I want to know, do you think it’s possible that for some chemically sensitive people (not ones who got this way from mould but from other toxic exposures) to only be sensitive to mould because of the other chemical exposures? That maybe – and this would not be the rule, only in a few cases – when they can be away from the pesticides, perfumes, or solvents, then the mould sensitivity can go away too?

    • …do you think it’s possible that for some chemically sensitive people (not ones who got this way from mould but from other toxic exposures) to only be sensitive to mould because of the other chemical exposures?

      Miche – It is possible. I think I talked about the barrel load theory. If a person’s barrel (load) is too high from other exposures, then everything could be a problem. It is also possible that they are sensitive to mould but when their load is down don’t have as severe reactions as when their load is high. Just a thought.

  3. Emily Cernoia Barkley

    I am experiencing a severe immune response to mold currently and my husband and I are trying to decide what to do. The mold exposure came from an apartment we were in for only a month–I realized I was getting ill and we got out quick. We moved into our new place and everything seemed ok until we turned the heat on. I am not sure if it was the ducts or just the air blowing spores that had settled on our belongings, but I got super sick again. I noticed that I was getting sick in my car (no wonder, we transported belongings from old apt to new house in the car) and had the car chem dry cleaned. It seemed to help a bit, but if I am in the car for longer than and hour, I start to get sick.

    We are now at the stage where we are deciding if we should get rid of our upolstered furniture and books. I think we will put them away in a storage unit and have the house cleaned thoroughly to kill the spores. Have any of you ever used photocatalytic oxidation air purifiers? They emit a very small amount of ozone that kills mold spores and bacteria. We are thinking of getting one that fits into the ducts of the house and cleans the air centrally.

    • Emily

      First let me say I am so sorry for your exposure and what you are going through. I have never used the photocatalytic oxidation air purifier. I don’t do well with the ozone some of these machines put out. Do you know what molds were in the apartment? I got sick after three months where I worked. Chances are if you got that sick you probably won’t be able to keep your upholstered furniture and books. The reaction could be coming from the heat duct and/or your belongings from the apartment. Please check back and let us know how things are going for you.

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