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Nicki in Belmont, Massachusetts

I have lived in this small 10 unit apartment for 4 years. It is a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath with a HUGE living room/dining room, and a HUGE master bedroom. Basically a steal for the expensive town we live in. My mother owns a real estate company, and the landlord is one of her clients.

I first saw the mold growing on my ceiling in my bedroom. My landlord told us to clean it with bleach. We did and it never came back. I started waking up daily with these horrible headaches, and gasping for air in the night if the windows were closed. Eventually my spouse and I were waking every morning feeling hungover and soo tired we didn’t want to get up. My bedroom also smells very mildewy and my building is very humid. The ceilings are concrete as well.

We went away for a week and all of our symptoms disapeared. We are now sleeping in the living room and have been for 3 months. The landlord has inspected and can’t see the mold so she thinks there is no problem. I have now a special type of asthma that is caused by an allergen.

I have never had a breathing problem in my life till now. I called a mold inspector who says he can smell the mold but can’t test a smell and can’t report on only a smell. I was going to call the health department but my mom says if I call she won’t ever speak to me again because she will lose the landlord and a lot of money. I have a 3 year old and don’t know what to do.

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7 thoughts to “Nicki in Belmont, Massachusetts”

  1. Nicki, it sounds like you are in a difficult situation. First and foremost, the health of your family needs to be taken care of. Even with the conflict of interest I am certain that your mother would support any decision you make for the best interest of you and your family’s safety.

    As I understand it, one of the challenges that treating mold with bleach can cause is that, while it may kill the mold, it leaves a sticky residue behind. The mold can release dangerous mycotoxins which can cause trouble, whether the mold is dead or alive.

    Staying in the home as it is now is not a good option, even if that means a drastic move on your part. I will lean on those with more experience to share their recommendations.

    Nicki, hang in there and keep fighting. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  2. Nicki,
    Without realizing it, you have created an ENDOTOXIN by treating mold with bleach. Bleach only colors mold and does not erradicate the dead mold casing. An endotoxin is extremely toxic and pathogenic. You need a professional remediation company who can treat the mold. A novice should never treat mold due to the danger involved. Case in point: A recent Home Makeover episode showcased a family of 8 who lost their husband/father because he went into the basement and started to tear out walls, etc. to treat an infestation. He died in a matter of days, leaving behind a widow and 6 children all under the age of 12. This unfortunately is not an isolated incident. It happens repeatedly because people do not realize the severity of ‘toxic’ mold in their environment and do not have the professional training to remediate it properly and safely.

  3. Nicki…We have introduced technology that will actually “kill” mold and prevent it from coming back. Our systems use positive air pressure to first clean and remove all mold spores from your duct work first and then supply treated air to every room of your home. If you cannot attach a permenant unit, we have portable units that will work anywhere you can plug them in. Check out our Face Book page or our website We are here to help and solve your problem!

  4. Nicki, Our company uses an exclusive all green remediation process that will eat and consume the mold, mold spores, mycotoxins (produced by the spores),& dead mold casings.
    The allergic reactions caused by mold, which some people experience, are at least in part due to the superficial casing of mold spores. Spores are mold’s answer to “seeds,” specifically small (often single-celled) reproductive bodies that are capable of growing into mold, but also capable of living a long time waiting to take root. When mold is dying, it releases spores as a way to insure its future survival. Spores float through the air to find a new place to land and take root. Even though the original mold colony is dead, the spores can survive for decades. Furthermore, the “shell” of the spores is an allergen whether or not the spore itself is alive, dead, or in stasis.
    We use a plethora of 19 families of over 125 species of beneficial probiotic bacteria that will safely and effectively clean your environment quickly because they consume EVERYTHING. Once we locate the source of the growth and recommend the necessary protocol to rectify this and it is corrected, we remediate and you can be assured that your home, business, etc. is no longer contaminated.

  5. Nicki…No need to worry about “dead” spores or floating spores. With our technology every area in your home will be supplies with over 500 trillion H2O2 molecules that actually “incinerate” the mold spores and eliminating them from the area. They are eliminated both from the air and from your surfaces. This cutting edge technology is second to none! Safest Air You Can Breathe…Guaranteed!

  6. Bleach sprayed mold creates the same effect as bleach and ammonia combined. Very toxic. A certified mold inspector can detect mold for a price and it is well worth it if you are prepared to sue the landlord. Depending on the severity of the toxic levels in your body, you could very well get a settlement in your favor upwards of millions of dollars. There are many slumlords and we as a whole can, in time let these slumlords know they can’t get away with issues such as this. Also, I suggest calling Fair Housing and file a complaint with them due to your disability (allergies to mold). They can make the slumlord pay all moving costs or provide you with a clean, safe, sanitary environment. Know your rights.

  7. I would like to say that Mikal is right about the bleach and ammonia. My uncle’s wife died after combining these two ‘deadly’ chemicals together. It was a very tragic ending to a relatively short life.

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