I just had a thought: I wonder if mold avoidance in the desert does indeed reduced mold exposure, but not in the way that people think. The usual idea is that the dry desert air is free of mold spores and mold mycotoxins, so taking a vacation in the desert reduces mold exposure, and thus the symptoms of mold sensitivity/allergy/chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).
But I thought of a possible alternative (or additional) explanation: that the hot dry desert air might help kill off any chronic mold infection in the nasal and sinus cavities
— mold infections that Dr Joseph Brewer hypothesizes may exist in ME/CFS patients' noses.
Breathing hot dry desert air is known to dry out the nasal mucous membranes, and since mold is killed when there is no moisture, this may kill off these nasal infections more effectively that the antifungal nasal sprays that Dr Brewer is experimenting with as an ME/CFS treatment.
If this is true, if the hot dry desert air can improve ME/CFS or CIRS symptoms by killing off a sinus and nasal mold infection, then perhaps you would not need to go to the desert: using a domestic dehumidifier unit and an electric air heater in your room at home to create the same dry air conditions of the desert might work just as effectively. Dr Myhill says
here that once the air humidity goes below 40%, the mold in your home is killed off, and she recommends dehumidifiers as an alternative to taking a vacation in a mold-free environment like a desert.
OK, a dehumidifier in the home is not as exciting as a desert adventure, but might be more sustainable and convenient in the long term.
According to this dehumidifier capacity online calculator
, in order to get my own room, which is 35 cubic meters in size, down to a very dry 1% humidity (when the outside humidity is 80%), I would need a dehumidifier with a performance of around 25 pints per day (of water extracted from the air).
Or to get the humidity down to 25% (still pretty dry), then a dehumidifier with a performance of around 17 pints per day would suffice.
(I am not sure how accurate that online calculator is; I think it would also depend on how much fresh air from outside enters the room every hour — which will depend on whether you have an open window or ventilation).
According to this chart
, at 80% humidity and a temperature of 20ºC, the 35 cubic meters of air in my room would contain a total of around 480 ml (0.8 pints) of water vapor.