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Rogann in Peoria, IL

I am 49 year-old female. I have been living in my parent’s home for 1 year.

There is obvious (to me) black mold in their finished basement, on the drywall, behind the baseboards, due to repeated episodes of water getting in the foundation, completely soaking the carpet. The color is black and has foul smell. I suspect the carpet is full of mold as well and in the air.

My father passed away 6 months ago, and I am the only sibling that can live with my mother, so moving out is not an option (under any other circumstance, I most certainly would).

My problem is, my brother has power of attorney over our mother, and insists that I am wrong about the mold. That he can “fix” the problem, but has suggested to her that she only needs the carpet cleaned. The carpet is at least 20 years old, and has been wet/dry countless times.

I personally am experiencing chronic coughing and when my grandkids spend the weekend they have constant runny nose/coughing/other symptoms.

My father passed away from lung cancer, but for several years prior to diagnosis, he had a chronic cough that was diagnosed as allergies even though he had NO history of allergies or asthma. When I mentioned it could have been a symptom of mold exposure, it was ignored.

Questions:

I called the local health department and was told the State of IL has “no mold program”, Whatever that means. I was calling to ask about available testing, laws, insurance questions, etc…

I can pay for air quality testing, as I feel that a complete assessment isn’t necessarily needed due to obvious visible signs. Can the carpet be tested as well? I am trying to get this accomplished without my mother knowing, but I’ve ruled out online test kits because I don’t know which ones are trustworthy.

Lastly, is there a medical test I can ask my doctor to perform that proves mold exposure?

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7 thoughts on “Rogann in Peoria, IL

  1. Rogann, If you see mold then the contamination could be pretty bad. Since you know of an ongoing water intrusion problem, that would need to be addressed first of all. You cannot “fix” a mold problem when you have ongoing water intrusion. While many are touting the “ERMI” as a reliable test, I have many doubts about this, because of the incidences of “false negatives” and “overly-high positives”. False negatives can occur by relying on one test to be adequate for a large living area, high positives can register also, due to spore contamination being at a higher concentration on floor level. I believe this test may be a good marker, just like a home depot may be, but as far as being more reliable than the “old fashioned” air testing…personally, I don’t think so. Any wet carpet should be removed and disposed of, as well as damaged wall coverings. Proper PPE should be worn, and areas should be contained. In areas such as you describe, which seems to be extensive contamination, professional remediation is highly recommended, due to the serious health risks involved. I highly recommend The Environmental Solution, 417-334-9998 or 239-597-7577, a remediation process that is 100% safe and effective. I do not believe basement walls should be covered at all-the concrete should be left open and be able to ‘breathe”. Yes, sadly,your father’s lung issues could have been caused by mold. Aspergillosis in the lungs and fungal colonization in the lungs can be deadly if not treated properly. Fungus in the lungs can look like emphysema and exposure to mold has been linked to cancer. Other lung symptoms would include pulmonary hemmorraging, pulmonary obstruction disease, asthma, hypersensitivity pnuemonititis. Bronchial areas can become severely “burned’ by the mycotoxins-leading to scar tissue and reduced lung capactity. Recently, 14 babies died in one military base housing area in which the homes are contaminted with mold; see the video link below–keep the kids OUT of there! Children’s lungs tend to be more suseptible to pulmonary hemorraghing (bleeding in the lungs)No one should be living in the home until such time as it has been inspected, assessed, tested, and remediated. Remember if you leave to leave items there, as many times items from a contaminated home can continue to make you sick, due to mycotoxins on the items.

  2. Sorry, Rogann, forgot to answer
    IgG ELSA method test indicates live fungal antibodies in the blood, indicating exposure to said mold. This particular metod also shows LEVELS in the blood. Problem is, not too many places do this anymore. Specialty Labs, now owned by Quest, still does my testing but some of the molds are no longer available. Dr. Croft in Wisconsin does a skin test to test for mycotoxins, and a urine sample test that indicates mycotoxins also.

  3. Thanks for reply. I guess my strategy
    will be: Get the air tested (proof that there “really” is a mold problem.
    Also, I would like more information on how to contact Specialty Lab or Dr. Croft, to possibly get a personal test done.
    Then, I will decide if I need to move and what to do if my brother starts to fix it himself (ripping out drywall, carpet, etc.) And then, if he tries to sell the house, I know that mold has to be disclosed. Thank you again

  4. I also forgot to mention…YES, I completely understand, this can’t be “fixed” easily, and not before really FIXING the water problem. I’ve been a homeowner,and I have worked in the home-remodeling industry. I’m fully aware of the process…but, I’m a woman, and my brother is “in charge”. I can have my say, move out, and notify anyone I can, if my brother proceeds with tearing it out himself at some point. (or steam cleaning the carpet). this is a LARGE area, at least 40′ x 25′
    For now, I stay in my room, keep the door shut and have a large air purifier running 24/7. I’m calling to have air tested first thing, Mon. thanks again

  5. Hi Rogann,
    I also live in Peoria, Il and going through the same issue with my apt complex and the landlord. The city code enforcement agency inspectors only check the structure of the building for mold, which means basically that they cannot do anything. I just recently went to OSF and my doctor informed me that I have high amounts of mold in my bloodstream. I gave the results to the property manager and owner and even signed a consent form allowing them access to just my lab results for 3 days and they failed to call. They are refusing testing on my apt because he said that he wants to speak to my doctor first and I told them that they already had their chance and blew it. The state of illinois offers no programs and help on mold issues. If I find any information and resources about this from the city, I will let you know on here so that you can be informed. Best of luck to you.

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