Black Mold Can Become a Serious Financial Risk
Black mold is a fungus that has been known to cause mycotoxicosis in animals and men. The medical term refers to poisoning by fungal toxins. The scientific name for the fungus is Stachybotrys Chartarum.
First encounter with the bad effects of the mold
The first indication that black mold is detrimental to human health was the case of a family in Chicago whose members had been, for five years, suffering from feverishness, chronic coughs and colds, diarrhea and headaches. On the instigation of their physician, the air at their home was tested for the possible presence of chemical pollutants or allergenic pollen which could be causing such physical manifestations. What the scientists found was that the air in the family’s house was filled with black mold spores. Those are the reproductive cells of this organism. The environment in the house was continuously moist and those conditions are favorable for the proliferation of fungi and molds. The house turned out to have numerous colonies of black mold
Measures were taken to eradicate the mold from places in the house where they were found. After that, the pathological manifestations stopped.
In Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1990’s, sixteen out of 45 infants who were suffering from pulmonary hemorrhage died. It was later found out that all the homes of the infants involved had colonies of black mold. The infants all suffered from the same symptoms which were not unlike those described by the family in Chicago some years back. For many health experts that was indeed proof that the black mold was not only capable of producing physical illness but also death by internal hemorrhage. At that time, however, some doctors doubted that the connection that was implied between the black mold and pulmonary hemorrhage was valid. In the following years up to today, the relation has been established by the many cases reported from all over the country
Sick Building Syndrome
It has become standard procedure to test for the presence of the organism in establishments where employees are constantly experiencing the common symptoms of black mold poisoning. It has come to a point that even residents of rented houses and apartments are aware of the dangers posed by black mold in their rented homes. There have been numerous cases filed in court against home and building owners for the lack of proper measures to control black mold in the houses and buildings that they rent out. In most instances the plaintiffs win. To make matters worse for the building owners, insurance companies in the US are modifying their mold coverage to protect their interests. In many instances, insurance companies have stopped mold coverage altogether. The building owner cannot pass his liabilities over to insurance companies anymore.
Although tenants of molded buildings have every right to file charges for ‘health endangerment’, it may take some years for the case to be settled. In the meantime, the conditions in which they have to live may have caused irreparable damage to their physical constitution. The wisest way to go will be to have a mold expert inspect the house or apartment you are planning to rent before committing yourself. In that way, you can avoid the (1) hassle of having to look for other lodgings in the middle of your contract or the (2) danger of continuing to reside in the infested place while you wait for the decision of the court to force the hand of the owner to clean up his building.
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