Disclaimer: I reached out to Molekule after researching air purification units and they agreed to sponsor this post. My opinions remain my own.
There are few things as precious as the air we breathe. But what if the integrity of the air in your own home is a slow-burning burden on your body?
That's the question I started asking myself back in September. You see, I've known for a few years that I have multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) — which wasn't a surprise as I've always been sensitive to strong smells, such as perfumes, diesel, cleaning products, and such. Over the summer my doctor did some allergy testing that showed mold was an active trigger for me, and hence, this is the reason for my post today.
So here I am sharing the findings of my research with you.
10 Signs of Mold Sensitivity
Mold impacts the human body in the same way allergens do, by activating the innate immune system. The innate immune system is your evolved system of protection; and has a number of important jobs, including identifying and clearing foreign matter from your body.
That means mold symptoms often look a lot like allergy symptoms, including things like...
- Feeling stuffy
- Breathing difficulty
- Red eyes
- Cognitive deficits
Now, there are many types of mold but they all can cause reactions. The most common problematic ones in damp buildings are:
- Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold)
- Geomyces pannorum
- Sistronema brinkmannii 
If you suspect mold exposure, sensitivity or poisoning, your doctor, allergist, or naturopath can run lab tests or skin-prick tests to check your reaction to different mold species.
Dealing with Mold
A typical approach to combating mold sensitivity is multifaceted and at a minimum will include:
- Identifying and eliminating the source of the mold — looking for physical mold, rooms with moisture or poor ventilation, obvious leaks or water damage and then doing the necessary clean up and repairs.
- Cleaning up indoor air with the help of filtration.
- Taking binders to help remove mold build up in the body (if need is indicated through testing). Typically binders include activated charcoal, bentonite clay, food-grade diatomaceous earth and chlorella as well as sometimes prescription binders (like Cholestyramine or Welchol). Some binders work better on different types of mold than others, so testing and research is key.
- Over-the-counter allergy medications or nasal rinses and sprays may also be indicated to help ease symptoms.
In my case, I couldn't find the source of my mold exposure or if it was present or past exposure from other places I've lived. So I chalked it up to just living in Seattle's typically damp conditions (a.k.a. a mold spore's best friend).
This got me going on the small things I could do to improve my indoor environment; like cleaning the air I breathe 75% of the time.
Indoor Air vs. Outdoor Air
Indoor air pollutants are a real big problem in homes today, but you can make a lot of little changes that have a big impact. According to Walter Crinnion of Clean, Green, and Lean: Get Rid of the Toxins That Make You Fat, the biggest indoor air pollutants are combustion byproducts (things like fireplaces, smoking, furnaces), solvents (like perfumes, scented products, paint, glue, carpeting, cleaning products), dust and particles (pet dander, molds, pesticides and building chemicals). But because some of these toxins require more intervention than others, I want to focus on one of the easiest things you can do in your home RIGHT NOW and that's improving air quality.
Enter Molekule Air
Back in September after discovering my mold sensitivity, I did a bunch of research on indoor air filters, and reached out to the #1 company that kept coming up in my research — Molekule. Not only are their units real great to look at, but they also have the hottest science-backed technology on the market.
Founded by a family trying to address the adverse impacts of polluted air, Molekule was created with a goal of using the power of science to eliminate indoor air pollution around the world. The science behind what is now Molekule started over two decades ago by a family struggling with debilitating asthma and allergies. When scientist Dr. Yogi Goswami couldn’t find helpful remedies for his son Dilip’s symptoms he started researching possible solutions to fix dirty and unhealthy indoor air.
Over 20 years of research went into the breakthrough Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology that runs Molekule Air's purification process. PECO technology utilizes free radicals to break down pollutants in the air including mold, bacteria, viruses, allergens and VOCs.  Unlike common air purifiers that use HEPA-grade filters to capture air pollutants, Molekule Air's process not only captures but also destroys pollutants.
As Jaya Rao, Co-founder and COO of Molekule explains, "While air purifiers with HEPA filters capture dust and some other airborne pollutants, they are unable to destroy them, so these pollutants continue to live on the filter. Molekule’s PECO technology does not trap, but rather destroys pollutants that pass through the filter."
Molekule and Mold
Basically Molekule is airborne mold's worst nightmare. You see, bioaerosols (air pollutants that include bacteria, mold, viruses, and endospores) have a big impact on human health. Your typical air filter is only capable of capturing bigger bioaerosols but the job stops there.
Molekule’s purifiers have PECO technology that destroys and sterilizes bioaerosols of all sizes. That includes mold spores and the tiny, toxic fragments of mold that cause allergies in moldy homes.
How Molekule Air works
Here's how Molekule works:
- Air intake from 360 degrees at the base of the unit.
- Pre-Filter — this traps large allergens like dust and dander (these need to be replaced every 3 months).
- PECO-Filter — This is where the magic happens. A chemical reaction occurs when a nanoparticle-coated filter is activated by light breaking them down on contact. The PECO-Filter needs to be replaced every 6 months.
- Clean air is dispensed at the top of the unit after the filtration is complete.
Why I Chose Molekule
I chose Molekule Air for my home for a variety of reasons. First, their breakthrough PECO technology positions them well above the common air purifiers on the market, giving you much more bang (or clean air) for your buck. Secondly, Molekule's units look more like a piece of art than a clunky air filter you'd expect to see, which is a great perk. And finally, I tend to gravitate towards products with amazing stories of conception. The best products often come from firsthand experience and struggle, which often leads to the most dedicated research and commitment to the cause.
A few more things I adore about Molekule Air — there is an app you can download on your phone that lets you switch modes (3 modes - silent, auto and boost) as needed. It also has dark mode so you can schedule the light to turn off at night if you don't want that little bit of light at night.
Molekule makes two home purification units to choose from:
- Molekule Air $799 — Ideal for large rooms, up to 600 sq. ft. (master bedrooms, living rooms & family rooms) and includes 6-months of filters with the device purchase in the box.
- Molekule Air Mini $399 — Ideal for small spaces, up to 250 sq. ft. (studio apartments, kids’ bedrooms, and home offices) and comes with a 6-month filter.
I personally have the Molekule Air and I keep it close to my bed at night and often move it into my office during the day. The device is pretty quiet, but also has additional modes (silent and boost) you can use as needed.
Learn more or get your Molekule unit here so you can help improve the air quality in your home.
How do you cope with mold in your home? Please share in the comments!