In my daily work with clients who are grappling with how best to handle living in a water-damaged building, or for those patient referrals that we get from doctors and other clinicians, I'm always really surprised that there appears to be a disconnect between the environment and the person. So well, what do I mean by this? Well, today, I want to talk about the paradox between environmental pollution and health risk, and to that end, I'm going to be talking about censorship of mould illness in Finland.
Now you might already be thinking, what on earth is he talking about? We all connect pollution with harm. But do we really? On the one hand, if we're considering carbon credits or net-zero, then the mainstream media seems to have absolutely no trouble linking the slightest change in the environment with a consequence to some person elsewhere. It's the famous butterfly effect. You know, that metaphor that brought chaos theory into the mainstream that says little, almost insignificant events can cause dramatic effects over time.
So today, I want to bring to your attention a recent paper that was just published in May 2021, and it talks about how mould related illness has become highly politicized and even downplayed in these social corporatist European countries like, for example, Finland. Now it's not news that countries like Finland have a significant welfare state socialist worldview, but papers like the one that I'm going to be talking to you about today reveal some really serious erosions to evidence-based science, really due to corporatist interventions.
Now the author of this paper, Professor Tamara Tuuminen is a really courageous scientist who has published this really groundbreaking paper that echoes many of the same problems I see here in Australia, and I've also put up a link to her YouTube here. These are going to be in the show notes so you don't need to necessarily write them down now, but I want to talk about a lot of the expert witness work that I do. And usually, there is a debate around the veracity of claims made by persons as to the truthfulness about the link between illness or disease symptoms, and well, exposure to mould and water-damaged buildings.
Now did you know that over 98% of the epidemiological studies published between 2011 and 2018 showed convincing evidence of single and multiorgan systems due to mould? This means that mould illness is much more than just a respiratory problem. It's not just the sniffles, in fact, the literature shows something called an odds ratio of multiorgan disorders of between 1.5 and 2. Now that two means that there is a 100% increase in the odds of an outcome with a given exposure, and multi related illness must therefore be considered something called a polymorbidity, which begins with a hypersensitivity caused by dysregulation of the immune system, and then a hyperactivation of selected receptors within the body. So it starts off with microbiology but manifests in your body or your physiology.
And I now want to get on to talking about the paper by Professor Tamara Tuuminen because she strikes out at various different government departments, especially the government Department of Health and Welfare and the Finnish Occupational, or the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, as two of the key institutions that show various forms of bias. And we really need to talk about bias here because these institutions tend to prefer academic and scientific papers that support their agenda, and this is an example of something called selection bias or information bias. And it really depends on whether you are selecting who or what will be considered valuable or important, and these are all types of confirmation bias.
And I'm going to put some examples up on the screen, and the first one gives you an example of you get a survey but who is going to get the survey? Depending on who gets the survey, that impacts on the quality or the types of responses you're going to get. And of course, any type of conclusions that you draw from the responses from those individuals. And of course, then confirmation bias, we've heard a lot about this, especially in the last two years with COVID, and that is essentially talking about attributing greater meaning to certain evidence that supports your existing beliefs.
Now, unfortunately, just like in Finland, in Australia there is lots of selection bias towards a narrative of denial between the known facts about water damage and the consequences of mould illness. Now I can sort of understand the individual self-serving rogue landlord, the one who tries to fly under the radar of blame, who wants you to believe that that badly maintained house really doesn't leak that badly, or only a tiny little bit when it rains. And that really, clean up is easy, just wipe it away, you're not going to have any problems. You see, the problem is to admit that there's a problem might make the landlord liable to a penalty and that could cost money or reputation.
Now, what do you do when institutions say these things and downplay the seriousness? Well, according to this paper from Finland, this type of sanctioned behaviour is becoming normalized in the insurance industry, and unfortunately, by corporate interest groups that in many cases receive funding from the insurance companies themselves. So how did it get this way? Well, easy. Special interest groups and educational bodies often position themselves as independent opinion leaders, but they demonstrate corruption by not disclosing hidden conflicts of interest. Now, these groups then underpin current medical and health practices by denying obvious connections between exposures to risky biological matter, like air polluting cell fragments, mould spores, and micro toxins, and then denying the adverse health consequences that inevitably follow on from this type of environmental exposure.
So I want to take a quick look at an example paper. Now, this again has come out from research institutions in Finland, and I'm going to zoom in on aspects of this particular per publication. But what is most shocking is that in Finland, these regulatory bodies are affiliated with university hospitals, such as the Helsinki University Hospital, and they have made the claim that mould illness should be considered as a functional disorder, meaning it's a mental health problem caused by stress and anxiety, and not a biological hazard like it really is.
And if we zoom into some of the yellow highlighted sections, I'm going to just take you through quickly what this abstract says. So it is looking for, or it is postulating by way of background, that chronic nonspecific symptoms are often linked to indoor non-industrial work environments. That is the workplace or the home generally. Now often they are connected with disability and yet, the medical nature of the disability, at least according to this office, is claimed to be unclear. And so what these scientists did is that they looked at a small group of patients and they recounted the fact that they had been experiencing a type of environmental illness for some time between 2.7 to 10.5 years. And in many cases, the triggering issue was mould exposure, indoor mould. And yet, if we zoom down to the conclusions, you can see that these scientists conclude that no medical cause was found to explain the disability. The findings support that the condition is a form of environmental intolerance and belongs to functional somatic syndromes.
Now, what is a functional somatic syndrome? Well, you need to see a psychologist. So instead of endless avoidance or rehabilitation, it's suitable to send these people and patients to the psychologist. Now I think that this is absolutely terrifying because this negates the extensive microbiology and toxicology research that exists and has been built up over the last 50, 60 plus years. In fact, any non brainwashed person can verify these facts for themselves by downloading the proof for free or for a small fee on PubMed.
And I've got an example of this from 1964. I'm going to put up this slide now, and you can see that this was published in the proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine in July, and they were doing a national survey of 150 towns throughout the United Kingdom and Wales. And they were looking at the relationship between air pollution and mortality from respiratory conditions. And they put forward a theory that these respiratory conditions arise as an allergy to the spores of certain moulds, and that the spore formation is actually encouraged by the air humidity in Great Britain, as well as the overcrowded and often damp living conditions.
Now, how shocking is this? In Finland individuals who claim to suffer from this type of environmental illness like mould are sent for somatic evaluation. That means you are sent to a psychologist or a psychiatrist who promote treatment, such as mindfulness or something called dynamic neural retraining. And I'm going to show you what they do in Finland, and this is a slide direct from the website that in the academic paper they recommend for the treatment of patients. And these essentially are feel good fringe practices that have absolutely no peer-reviewed papers on them, or none that I could find, although I certainly do agree that the brain can adapt. It is neuroplastic after all, but you cannot overcome mould by rewiring the stress response away. Immunology just does not work like that. Trying to think your way towards good health instead of fixing the problem is a disaster for your health, but of course, it doesn't become a cost to the public healthcare system, and of course, this is the fundamental reason why socialist pro-welfare-oriented governments like Finland, perhaps take this approach.
Now shame on you for suggesting something commonsensical like mould avoidance. Get rid of the mould, change your indoor air quality, put in some HEPA filters, fix that water leak, consider remediation, carry out straightforward building management like drying out that wet wall or stripping back the roof of ceiling to remove the porous and semi-porous water damaged building elements. That would be sensible, wouldn't it? You don't need to see a psychologist to do the logical sensible evidence-based solution.
So in closing, I reckon this paper is absolutely fundamentally important and I urge you to read it. I'm going to put the links up in the show notes to this Livestream and the podcast, which will be available on my social media as well as my main website. But I want to summarize some of the key points that the good Professor Tamara makes about the government and really the cist ethics of managing water damage and mould illness that apply in many places, not just in Finland.
And the first point is that there has essentially been a change from evidence-based healthcare into the promotion of really myths and beliefs, which fundamentally undermines something called the ground truth. And I talk a lot about the ground truth because it is the information that is known to be real or true and can be verified from multiple sources. The second point that the professor makes is that there are many hidden conflicts of interest that exist between government and corporatist actors that undermine the development of a truthful public health policy, or in the development of that, and the people who participate in making public healthcare policy.
Now individuals who are independent thinkers may also be suppressed and face censorship, and in the paper, the professor talks about her own trials and tribulations with censorship and the suppression of her thinking and her research. So I want to extend on her paper by saying that similar ethical problems definitely apply, not just to mould illness, not just the mould illness community, but really to the global community now as all of us are facing the COVID crisis. So the Professor's paper about Finland and mould should really be a warning that public health policies should #followthescience instead of being corrupted by government or corporatist company interventions.
And how are we going to change things? Well to achieve this, we need open and honest scientific debates that are not undermined by conflicts of interest. So what can you do? Well, I suggest that you need to speak out when you see bias and ask for proof. Don't be afraid to ask questions and expect accountability, otherwise, like the Prime Minister of Finland, she was caught out at a nightclub at 4:00 AM after coming in contact with a COVID positive staffer. In fact, her Foreign Minister just last week and her explanation was: "I didn't understand the guidelines."
Don't be like her.
There is no honour in a lie about health.
If you've enjoyed this live stream, be sure to give it a like and share it on your own social media. If you've got any questions, any comments whatsoever, reach out to me. Stay well, be safe, have a great week. Bye for now.
Tuuminen T. Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome, or Mold-related Illness, Has Become Highly Politicized and Downplayed in Finland. Altern Ther Health Med. 2021 May;27(3):59-64. PMID: 33882029.