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Mold Illness – $76, 000

Why is It so Hard to Find Winning Cases Against Mold?

Mold cases that have won are very difficult to find.

The reason for this, is that it is very difficult to prove health deficiencies were caused by mold, and not reoccurring from the past.

In this case, the mold was beaten by two fireman and their families.

“This was never primarily about the money,” Nashville attorney John Norris said. “Firefighters put their lives on the line for the rest of us, and they expect and are entitled to a safe workplace.”

Read the rest of the story with Mold Affects Firefighters

Story source : Mold-Help

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold remediation services

How to Choose A Mold Inspector

When Do You Need a Mold Inspector?

If you are concerned about your health and suspect that you may have molds in your home, then it may be time to choose and pick the right mold inspector.

Three Goals When Choosing a Mold Inspector:

When choosing a professional mold inspector, look for one that has these three goals in mind:


Goal # 1

To find readily accessible and major defects in the house.


Goal # 2

To provide you, the client, with the cause and effects of such defects that will help the homeowner develop a clear understanding of what repairs are needed. These defects may be causing the growth of mold and often go unknown to the owner.

Goal # 3

The inspector should point out where the main water, electrical disconnect switch and heating system shut offs are in case of an emergency.

Qualifications Needed from a Mold Inspector:

Do not choose a mold inspector based on price alone. There are many services where you can price shop, but mold investigation and sampling should not be one of them. Expertise should be top priority. Look for the following training, experience, and qualifications when choosing a mold inspector:

Home inspections, building construction, or building forensics

Your mold problem is not in a dish or cage. It is in a building and is the result of building failure. So, mold testing should be done by someone who has knowledge of buildings, vapor barriers, roofing, HVAC systems and other related things.

Psychometrics

Psychometrics is all about humidity, temperature, dew point and air. A profound understanding of the interrelations of such factors is very important.

Biology knowledge

Because mold is a living organism and subject to the principles of biology, it is very beneficial if the mold inspector understands at least some basic biological and ecological science principles about microbiology or mycology, the study of mold.

It is best if the mold inspector you have chosen has a background in biological sciences and also in building sciences.

HVAC Knowledge

Your chosen mold inspector should be familiar with HVAC systems. It is known that 50% of mold problems are related to HVAC system malfunctions, leaks, or contamination.

Lab results interpretation and mold training

Your mold inspector should be properly trained and experienced in investigating and sampling mold, and they should know how to interpret the lab results.

Knowledge about indoor air quality issues

The mold inspector should have training and experience in general indoor air quality issues because what is sometimes perceived initially as a mold problem may not be mold at all.

Odors or illness may be the result of hydrogen sulfide gas, poor ventilation, dust mite allergens, deadly legionella bacteria or any number of other indoor air quality related issues. If such issues are the real problem, you will need someone who has some knowledge of such issues.

In addition, your inspector should have specialized training in mold inspections as well as training in other related, indoor air quality issues other than mold.

Comprehensive inspection report

Your chosen mold inspector should give you a comprehensive inspection report documenting visual findings, environmental monitoring results, interpretation of lab results, inspector’s conclusions and recommendations on how to control the mold problem.

A report from the lab alone will only result in you asking some other mold inspector for interpretation of the results the discount inspector did not understand. Some mold inspectors do not feel they need to provide those when they have charged you such a low price per sample.

Note that some states initially allowed persons to obtain a license as a mold inspector, without requiring that the inspector pass any written exams or prove in other ways that he or she has the knowledge and competence of a professional inspector. Before choosing one, make sure that they have the proper credentials needed.

How Many Inspectors Should You Contact?

Try to contact at least three inspection firms. Speak with the mold inspector. Find out what type of training and experience each inspector has. Inspectors should be willing to provide you with a sample report and prior client references.

Pay close attention to how much time the inspector spends with you over the phone. A willingness to answer your questions on the phone may indicate his or her attitude during the inspection.

All these things are necessary when choosing an inspector to check out the appearance of molds in your home.

Further Recommended Reading

Potential Signs of Mold Contamination

Check Your Home for Mold – What Am I Looking For?

Here are a few Mold signs that you may need to check your house for. It doesn’t matter if your house is brand new, or a hundred years old, you can never be too sure!

Look For :

  • Stained ceiling tiles (you may be very surprised as to what may be growing underneath) or walls.
  • Black, brown, orange, pink, or green speckled walls or around any plumbing grout or tile.
  • Musty, earthy, or urine scented odor.
  • Leaky roof or flashing installed improperly.
  • Flood or hurricane damage.
  • Leaky window or door.

Here are a few from the list of Contributing factors of mold :

Look For :

    • Leaky door or unseated windows that have broken seals.
    • Plumbing leak/inferior plumbing job.

* Lumber is one of the worst problems. That is why the United States is the most insidious in the world on record for mold problems!

For the rest of these helpful tips visit Signs of Mold

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: Mold-Help.org

Parents Not A Fan Of Mold Cleanup

Following up with yesterday’s story, I was doing some research this evening and found out that the parents of the high school in Kenton County, Kentucky, aren’t happy with the cleanup! They protest that their children are still suffering from the mold problem even with the supposed ‘clean up’. According to one mother:

“I won’t be satisfied that they’ve done the job they should do to get (the mold) out, because I think they’ve been hiding this for a long, long time.”

It was some pretty serious stuff.. They found over 15 square feet of active toxic mold growing within the school.

Pick up the rest of the story here.

Mold Survey.. Interesting

A mold survey was given to see how many people in a particular area dealt with mold related issues.. these are the results :

“In April 2005, the Mold Committee of the Tenants Association conducted a survey on the presence of mold and its effects on residents. They received a total of 184 completed surveys.

1. Do you have any visible mold in your apartment?

* Yes: 48.37% total, 42% Storke I, 63% Storke II, 47% West

2. Do you detect the odor of mold (musty smell) in your apartment?

* Yes: 39.13% total, 53 % Storke I, 54% Storke II, 19% West

3. Where in your apartment does mold tend to grow?

* Bathroom and/or kitchen: 37% total, 28% Storke I, 37% Storke II, 46% West
* Windows and/or doors: 30% total, 32% Storke I, 43% Storke II, 22% West
* Carpets and/or floors: 5% total, 8% Storke I, 9% Storke II, 1% West
* Walls and/or ceilings: 13% total, 20% Storke I, 17% Storke II, 5% West
* Closets: 5% total, 4% Storke I, 11% Storke II, 3% West

4. Has any of your personal property been damaged by mold?

* Yes: 18% total, 20% Storke I, 31% Storke II, 10% West

5. What is the estimated value of property damage?

* Greatest amount for one resident: $800, Total for Storke I: $2400, Total for Storke II: $920, Total for West: $695

6. Do you regularly use a dehumidifier in your home?

* Yes: 8.7% total, 8% Storke I, 26% Storke II, 1% West

7. What other interventions have you used to treat mold in your home?

* Bleach: 19% total
* General Household Cleaners: 30% total
* Air Filters: 5% total
* Ventilation: 19%
* Previous move within FSH because of mold: 1.63% (3 residents)

8. Do any of your family members suffer from any of the following health complaints since moving into Family Student Housing?

* Respiratory problems- wheezing, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath: 24.5% total, 34% Storke I, 37% Storke II, 10% West
* Nasal and sinus congestion: 47% total, 63% Storke I, 57% Storke II, 27% West
* Eyes burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity: 20% total, 18% Storke I, 28% Storke II, 18% West
* Dry, hacking cough: 20% total, 27% Storke I, 26% Storke II, 10% West
* Sore throat: 27% total, 33% Storke I, 31% Storke II, 20% West
* Nose and throat irritation: 30% total, 38% Storke I, 29% Storke II, 24% West
* Infection or lung disease: 4% total, 10% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 1% West
* Chronic fatigue: 16% total, 20% Storke I, 14% Storke II, 13% West
* Skin irritation: 13% total, 15% Storke I, 6% Storke II, 14% West
* Central nervous system problems (constant headaches, loss of memory, and mood changes): 5% total, 7% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 6% West
* Aches and pains: 7% total, 11% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 6% West
* Fever: 3% total, 3% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 5% West
* Headaches: 24.5% total, 27% Storke I, 40% Storke II, 15% West
* Diarrhea: 6% total, 8.5% Storke I, 3% Storke II, 5% West
* Immune suppression: 9% total, 13% Storke I, 6% Storke II, 8% West

9. Do any of these problems disappear or decrease when the affected family member(s) leave(s) home?

* Yes: 37.5% total, 45% Storke I, 51% Storke II, 24% West

 

10. Have you contact housing officials regarding the mold?

* Yes: 17% total, 23% Storke I, 29% Storke II, 8% West

11. What was the response of housing officials to your notification?

* Cleaned the mold: 4% total
* Removed/replaced carpet: .5% total
* Repairs for water intrustion: 3.2% total
* Loaned dehumidifier: 4% total
* Evaluation of some kind: 4.9%

12. Were/are you satisfied with this response?

* Yes: 6% total, 7% Storke I, 11% Storke II, 3% West
* No: 10% total, 14% Storke I, 14% Storke II, 4% West”

Source : Mold Survey

College Dorms Mold Nightmares

Picked up this story from the ‘Equinox’ of Keen State University this morning. Apparently they’re having some real trouble with mold in the college dorms! Check out the excerpt:

The nightmare continued for students in the Owl’s Nest 3 apartment as physical plant staff tried to find out what was happening.

Handling a Health Issue

The process for filing a health complaint about a residence, according to Jim Carley, associate director of Residential Life, is the same as filing a maintenance request where the Residential Life staff would be notified and they would notify the physical plant staff.

Frank Mazzola, director of the physical plant, said, “The first group to investigate it would be the housekeeping department. They would have the resources to neutralize a minor problem.”

Click here for the rest of the story!

Mold Claims

Effects of Mold Exposure

Exposure to mold can cause itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and other allergy symptoms in people with such reactions. For deadlier effects however, there is no proof.

Though, “Toxic Mold” is responsible for releasing something called mycotoxins, which has been said to cause such things as asthma, heart damage, and loss of memory.

The worst of these suspected toxic molds is stachybotrys chartarum, a variety of black mold that requires nearly constant moisture.

Although Trial Lawyers Inc. tries to prove such, medical science still strives to prove the connection between toxic mold and serious health illnesses.

Who Has a Higher Risk?

Patients with chronic respiratory diseases have a higher risk in mold touched environments. Acknowledging this, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that the following is the current state of science on “toxic” mold:

“There are very few case reports that toxic molds (those containing certain mycotoxins) inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss.

These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxic mold and these conditions has not been proven.”

Mold Panic

The mold panic was started mostly back in 1994 and 1997 when the US Centers for Disease Control illegedly found a connection between the toxic mold breed stachybotrys chartarum and health illnesses in infants found in Cleveland.

However, in the year 2000, the CDC decided against former methodology, and retracted earlier reports.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source : Trial Lawyers Inc. 2003

How does Mold Get into your Home?

What can Increase the Risk of Mold Growth?

Interestingly enough, the more people in your home, the higher your risks of mold growing there. The reason for this, is because we release a lot of moisture into the air when we breathe.

Also, things such as long hot showers, cooking with uncovered pots, drying clothes on an indoor clothesline, and use of humidifiers, contribute to placing moisture into the air.

Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and keeping many vegetables like potatoes and squash can create a mold problem too.

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

Not only does Mold need that moisture, but also food sources too. By food sources I mean materials they live on.

Food sources such as drywall, wood, insulation, cardboard and paper, as well as, invisible bio-film on hard surfaces, carpet backing, wallpaper adhesive, many fabrics, leather, and especially house dust are mold havens for such spores.

Can We Live in a Mold Free World?

Mold is ever present, we cannot expect to live in a mold free world. However, mold is not a problem most of the time, until you can see or smell it, or if you are having ill affects that are not normally present in your home.

This is when a call to action is needed. Delay in these matters will worsen the problem at hand.

Always remember, when Mold is an issue.. Deal with it promptly, do not wait.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source : About Mold

Tips to Avoid “Sick-House” Syndrome

What is Sick-House Syndrome?

Although we all know that fresh air is good for us, we tend to associate it with spending time outdoors. Since many of us spend most of our lives indoors, we should educate ourselves on the danger of what is called “sick-house” syndrome.

This occurs when our homes, offices, etc. are sealed tightly to prevent noise, pollution, or cold air from entering. Unfortunately, this also prevents harmful fumes caused by paints, cleaning products, deodorizers and wood smoke from getting out.

Even our furnishings, carpeting, and clothing can emit dangerous pollutants.

How Can We Prevent the Build up of Dangerous Pollutants?

Studies show that the air in our homes should be changed ten times per day – anything less causes build up of dangerous pollutants.

Below are some tips to help avoid “sick-house” syndrome.

    • Ventilation

First, open the windows (just a crack is sufficient) when possible, and check to make sure that all vents are unblocked.

Another problem that lack of ventilation can cause is mold and mildew. This is found to be a danger not only to your health, but it can also damage the structure of your house.

Especially in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, where humidity is likely to be high, proper ventilation is essential. The use of fans in these areas are helpful.

Also, check areas such as the attic, and underneath floors for proper air circulation. If you have a humidity problem upstairs, it probably means that the attic or roof space needs more ventilation. Be aware that some types of flooring can cause structural damage if there is not adequate ventilation beneath it.

    • Pleasant Odors

We all want our homes to smell nice, and a clean, well-ventilated house will. But unpleasant odors happen, and we must not become overzealous in using artificial scents that add more pollutants to the air.

Aerosols, in particular, are not eco-friendly and often contain nasty additives. Do not fall into the trap of trying to create a “fresh smelling” home by adding more chemicals to our already polluted air.

You can easily make your own room deodorizer by sprinkling a few drops of vanilla or essential oil on a cotton ball. Place this in a small open container to prevent the oil or alcohol from damaging your furniture.

Other natural room fresheners to use include baking soda, white vinegar, fresh or dried herbs, or even a bowl of fresh apples.

And, if you like the scent of fresh flowers, treat yourself to the real thing instead of using an artificial spray. Try to keep chemical-laced cleaners, and perfumed products to a minimum, and use natural products as much as possible.


Do You Suffer from Sick-House Syndrome?

If you or your loved ones suffer from unexplained drowsiness, headaches or a general malaise, try getting fresher air through the house. Your family and your home with breath easier and avoid the “sick-house” syndrome.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold test

Are Do-it-yourself Mold Tests Better than Professionals?

Development of Mold Symptoms

Holly Kestinis was worried about her 8 yr old son because of his recently developed head aches. After a series of consecutive complaints about his head hurting, Holly found that she too was beginning to have severe pain head aches which she had never had before.

Ask a Mold Specialist

Realizing she had to do something about the newly devoloped , Holly called the local mold inspector to have her house examined.

Within the next couple of days Tim Glisson arrived to do a routine check. After a couple of red flags were sent up, he decided to run a few tests to see if the mold found was extremely harmful.

Testing for Mold

Tim collected a few samples and then was asked to compare the Do-it-yourself tests to a professional mold inspection. Tim agreed and followed the directions. Setting out the plate in the mold affected area to wait, Tim finished his tests within a few hours and took them back to the lab. Meanwhile, the do-it-yourself test would take a full 48 hours to finish.

Compare Test Results

Two weeks later Tim was back with his results and the do-it-yourself results to compare. The do-it-yourself detected two mold breeds while the professional lab detected three.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Tests or Professional Tests?

So while the kit detected only two breeds of mold and Tim’s tests found three, both agreed that Holly’s mold was not toxic… yet. To deal with the issue at hand, Tim gave Holly the instructions to have her ducts cleaned, and replace the drywall ceiling in the bathroom. He also advised her to add a ventilation vent in the bathroom.

In this case, Professionally done mold inspections work the best by being faster, and more efficient, detecting all breeds of mold, not just two, though they both agreed none of the mold was toxic.

Further Recommended Reading

Source : Tampa Bay’s 10 News

Breathe Easier — Air Purification Solutions to Air Pollution

How Can Air Pollution be Minimized?

In today’s complicated world, we face an almost constant onslaught of pollution – from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the homes we live in, and the vehicles we drive.

There are almost as many types of air pollution as there are potential solutions. No matter what type of air purification system you’re looking for, you should know that there is not one product on the market today that can solve every problem.

The best approach to figuring out what type of air purification solution is going to be best for you, is to first understand the different types of pollution.

5 Types of Air Pollution

For example, these are the five major types of air pollution:

    • Odor Causing Pollution

Odor comes from many different places – food, animals, human bodies, cigarettes, cigars and pipe smoke, sports shoes, clothing and equipment, etc.

Although not necessarily dangerous, if you’ve ever walked into your teenage son’s room after he’s come back from a football game and taken a deep breath – you know it can be very unpleasant!

Recommended Solution: Currently, the best solutions on the market for this type of pollution are odor sponges, ozone and oxidation.

    • Particulate Causing Pollution

Particulates are those little floating things you see when the sun comes shining in through your windows, and include dust, dust mites, dust mite feces, pet dander, skin flakes (what dust mites eat), pollen, smoke particles and allergens.

Recommended Solution: Currently the best solutions on the market for this type of pollution are infiltration and negative ions.

    • Microbial Causing Pollution

Microbials are microscopic bacteria, fungi, mycotoxins created by a fungus, mildew, mold spores and viruses.

They can be as small as .001 microns. Microbials love to live in warm, damp places, or under your carpet, in your walls and in heating and air conditioning ducts.

Recommended Solution: Currently the best solutions on the market for this type of pollution are those that produce oxidation, which kills microbials.

    • Chemical Fumes and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

This type of pollution comes from chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, the chemical fumes that are constantly seeping from carpets, upholstery, furniture, draperies, household cleaning products, beauty products such as nail polish, removers, etc.

They also come from cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke, building construction, etc. Many of these chemicals have been identified as carcinogens.

Recommended Solution: Currently the best solution on the market for this type of pollution are products that produce catalytic oxidation.

    • Radon Gas Pollution

Radon is a completely odorless, tasteless and colorless gas, and is the heaviest of all known gasses. It is caused by the radioactive breakdown of uranium inside the earth.

When radon is cooled below freezing, it turns a brilliant phosphorescent shade of yellow, which turns orange-red as it gets colder. Radon is also the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Smoking exacerbates the affects of radon. Radon is found all around us, in our homes, our yards and the world around us.

Recommended Solution: The best solution to this form of pollution is to first of all test your home (a simple test is available at most hardware stores) and then to seal all cracks and openings in your home’s foundation.

If the problem merits it, you may need to have a certified contractor install a ventilation system inside your home.

With this basic understanding about pollution you are now ready to make that all important decision about which system is going to be best for you. The choice is yours!

Further Recommended Reading:

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

[Article shared Exclusively with MoldBlogger.com]

6 Easy Mold Prevention Tips

Mold Prevention

Preventing mold is the key way to avoid having to deal with mold at all.

Here are six important tips to help you prevent mold :

    • Dehumidification System

Consider air conditioning possible augmented with a dehumidification system.

These systems pull the moisture from the building thus minimizing growth by depriving mold of one of its nutrients.

    • Use Caution

Use caution when you turning your air conditioning off. In humid climates, extended periods of non-operation of HVAC equipment may allow humidity levels to become quite high in buildings.

These periods can permit mold to gain a foothold in the building and thrive.

    • Installation

Install insulation and vapor barriers to prevent condensation on cold objects such as water pipes,beams,and plumbing fixtures.

    • Avoid Standing Water

Keep sinks, showers, tubs and other wet areas free of standing water.

    • Review Applications

Demand architectural,design,and construction applications that prevent water from entering the interior.

Areas of concern include improperly pitched roofs,poorly designed balconies,win- dows,doors,improperly installed flashing, vapor barriers,and thin stucco.

    • Maintain Structure Regularly

Maintain the integrity of building envelope through regular inspections, caulking,roof flashing,and sealing of the buildings exterior.

Further Recommended Reading:

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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How To Know if Mold is “Good” or “Bad”

What Is Mold?

  • Mold is a fungus and it grows on plants and fibers.
  • Mold reproduces once it finds a specific area and then creates allergens that irritate many functions of the human body.
  • Mold digests organic matter by releasing spores.

Have you ever noticed the green or black fuzzy stuff that grows on bread or walls? That’s mold!

How do you know if its good mold or bad mold? Is there a difference? Definitely.

What Is the Difference Between Good and Bad Mold?

Not all mold is toxic or “bad,” but indoor mold growth is never good.

All mold can cause health effects to sensitive individuals if left as it naturally grows in your home.

Then, is there such a thing as “good mold?”

There are positive ways mold has been used is a likelier statement.

How has Mold Been Used Positively?

  • The antibiotic, Pennicillin, was derived from mold and has saved many lives from deadly diseases!
  • Mold has been used to age cheeses to the perfection of taste!
  • Mold has even been used to improve the texture of wine!

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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