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Toxic Intruder: Black Mold Panic Has Families Fleeing Their Homes
ABCNEWS.com ^ | 11/29/02

Posted on 11/29/2002 1:20:38 PM PST by Jean S

— Believe it or not, families around the country are fleeing their homes — or having them destroyed — because of an insidious intruder they say is making them sick.

The invader? Black mold. Its technical name is Stachybotrys chartarumstachy for short — and it's got a lot of people panicked.

In Oregon, the O'Hara family asked their local fire department to burn their $450,000 home to the ground after black mold was found inside. "It's basically just a house that poisoned my family," Mark O'Hara said.

In Hawaii, a $95 million Hilton Hotel tower has been closed since July because black mold was found in some of the rooms.

In a July 2001 story Time magazine said toxic mold is spreading "like some sort of biblical plague." The New York Daily News called it "killer mold."

Whatever you call it, across the country, black mold is causing people to abandon buildings, close schools and leave beautiful homes sitting vacant.

In Seabrook, Texas, the Hammond family lived in tents in their backyard for almost nine months, waiting for their insurance company to settle their claim and clean up black mold they say they discovered in their home.

Beverly and Mike Hammond say a bathroom leak caused the black mold to grow. The Hammonds lived for months with a "potty tent" that served as an outhouse. "As soon as I saw the mold, then we, you know, hightailed it for the tent," Beverly Hammond said.

They say the mold made them sick, causing fatigue and joint pain, and will only go in their house with a respirator.

Texas Dream House Turned 'Toxic Tara'

Melinda Ballard's mansion near Austin, Texas is considered by many to be the "ground zero" of the current mold hysteria. Like Diane Fortner, Ballard once thought of her estate as a dream home. Ballard now refers to it as "Toxic Tara."

Ballard says it all began with a leaky roof and some burst pipes. She claims her insurance company lied to her, delaying her request to have the wet materials in her home replaced. That's when she says the black mold began to grow under the kitchen floorboards and spread to other areas. Finally, she and her family left.

"On April 23rd, 1999, we walked out of that home with nothing more than the clothes on our backs," Ballard said.

Ballard is suing her insurance company because of the black mold. She invited 20/20 to look around her home, but insisted we wear protective suits and respirators.

Ballard's case made news last year when a jury ordered her insurance company to pay her a staggering $32 million for acting in bad faith. The judgment is now being appealed.

In addition to making her house unlivable, Ballard claims, the mold also caused serious health problems.

She said her son, Reese, was gasping to get air into his lungs, coughing up blood and suffering terrible headaches. She said her husband, Ron, had similar symptoms, including what she calls early Alzheimer's.

Ballard said, "I know men forget their anniversaries and they forget things like that, but they don't forget what kind of car they've driven. They don't forget where they live. … He did."

Some scientists say memory loss and internal bleeding could be linked to mold.

"You can see mucosal bleeding, like bleeding from the nose and the ears, you can see hair loss … and there are some individuals that feel that indeed cognitive dysfunction or the inability to think, is also the result of the inhalation of fungal spores," said David Straus, a microbiologist at Texas Tech.

That's certainly frightening, but it's also controversial.

Straus acknowledged that there is no conclusive proof that these serious illnesses are caused by black mold. However, Straus said, "The data are coming."

Straus even claims his one visit to "Toxic Tara" as a consultant resulted in permanent hearing loss.

"I can't prove that the hearing loss occurred because of my exposure to mold in Melinda's house," but Straus added, "that's exactly the day that it began."

Turning Mold into Gold?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are very few case reports of mold in the home causing internal bleeding or memory loss, and no link has been established. Most scientists say the only proven effects from mold are allergic reactions and possible respiratory problems — including asthma. Some say mold fear is being whipped up by lawyers and mold cleanup companies eager to turn mold into gold.

University of Texas Medical Center immunologist, Dr. Gailen Marshall said some of his patients have been told to leave their homes and that black mold can kill them. But Marshall insists there's no cause for alarm.

"I think it's being blown horrendously out of proportion … All the stories that are out there are based primarily on testimonials and conjecture, not on hard scientific evidence," Marshall said.

The stories of mold panic are so widespread — they're even being spoofed on kids' cartoon shows. The parodies of mold fear ring all too true to Gordon Stewart of the Insurance Information Institute.

"There is no such thing as killer mold," Stewart said. He said mold — including black mold — has been around for centuries, and that people have only become hysterical about mold in the past few years.

Two years ago, there were only 1,000 mold-related insurance claims in Texas. That number soared to 14,000 last year. And now insurers, nationwide, are raising rates or dropping mold coverage altogether.

"There isn't more mold now than there was two years ago. There is more mold fear than there was two years ago, and there may be in some cases, more mold greed," Stewart said.

Marshall said he does believe most of his patients complaining of mold-related illnesses really are sick. "The question is what is the relationship between the presence of mold and their illnesses? … There's really no evidence that the very presence of mold, which is really everywhere in our environment, will by itself create bleeding, will by itself create memory loss or deficit, et cetera," Marshall said.

He believes what may be making some of them sick is not the mold — but the panic that's been created. Marshall insists the greatest danger isn't from the mold but from the panic that's been created.

He said, "There is clear evidence that the chronic anxiety that may result from something like this itself has a negative health consequence."

While there's no evidence toxic mold in the home is deadly — there is increasing debate about how dangerous it might be — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding a study of mold's health effects.

In the meantime — many families aren't taking any chances.

What To Do

If you see mold in your home, everyone agrees you should get rid of it. But experts say in most cases there is no need to have expensive mold remediation done. They advise homeowners to stop the water intrusion and to simply clean up the mold with a little bleach. If it has spread, experts advise homeowners to replace moldy building materials like Sheetrock. It's also important to note that not all black-colored mold is Stachybotrys chartarum.

For more information on what you should do if you think you have mold in your home, visit the following Web sites:

  ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: The EPA Web site includes "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home," which provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/moldresources.html

   CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: The CDC Web site has information on air pollution and respiratory health, including this question and answer page on Stachybotrys chartarum. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/mold/stachy.htm.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: mold
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1 posted on 11/29/2002 1:20:38 PM PST by Jean S
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To: JeanS
This will be traced back to some government regulation mandating insulation requirements.
2 posted on 11/29/2002 1:27:37 PM PST by boomop1
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To: JeanS
"You can see mucosal bleeding, like bleeding from the nose and the ears, you can see hair loss, and there are some individuals that feel cognitive dysfunction or the inability to think..."

Now I know what happened to James "Dung Beetle" Carville!

3 posted on 11/29/2002 1:32:17 PM PST by quark
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To: JeanS
This just happens to be my field. A typically poorly--researched article.

If you see mold in your home, everyone agrees you should get rid of it. But experts say in most cases there is no need to have expensive mold remediation done. They advise homeowners to stop the water intrusion and to simply clean up the mold with a little bleach.

True, but misleadingly incomplete. The time to prevent mold problems is before the mold growth occurs. That means any moisture intrusion event should be treated with the same sense of urgency as a fire. Modern structures seldom dry out by themselves. Professional, expert, aggressive restorative drying is required. Just stopping additional intrusion is not at all adequate.

Biocides such as bleach are not effective at eliminating mold problems.

If it has spread, experts advise homeowners to replace moldy building materials like Sheetrock.

Improperly performed removal of moldy materials can make the problem MUCH worse.

It's also important to note that not all black-colored mold is Stachybotrys chartarum.

True. And there are a great many toxigenic molds. Stachybotrys is only one of them, and not necessarily the most potentially hazardous.

4 posted on 11/29/2002 1:32:48 PM PST by Restorer
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To: boomop1
That and air-tight energy efficient buildings. Mold has been a big problem in the schools here. Funny how buildings with windows that open do not seem to have a mold problem
5 posted on 11/29/2002 1:33:42 PM PST by liberateUS
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To: boomop1
This will be traced back to some government regulation mandating insulation requirements.

Bingo!

Most of the changes made to buildings since the 70's have made them much more likely to develop serious mold problems. A colleague of mine refers to them as "self-composting buildings." And, unfortunately, he has a point.

6 posted on 11/29/2002 1:34:31 PM PST by Restorer
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To: JeanS
While there's no evidence toxic mold in the home is deadly — there is increasing debate about how dangerous it might be — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding a study of mold's health effects.

I am not an expert on mold but the phrase *toxic* mold was invented by lawyers and passed on to the media. I've heard the horror stories here in Sacramento about sick people. The majority of these homes are ready for demolition anyway and are unkept and filthy, usually rentals. Could the fault be in the housekeeping, I don't know....

7 posted on 11/29/2002 1:34:42 PM PST by jdontom
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To: liberateUS
Air tight bttt
8 posted on 11/29/2002 1:35:37 PM PST by lodwick
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To: JeanS
So we're supposed to believe that this mold causes

Did I miss anything? Halitosis? Embarrassing rectal itch? Heartbreak of psoriasis? Webbed toes?

This reminds me of Gulf War Syndrome, which is apparently what caused anyone who ever set foot in the Persian Gulf during the early years of the 1990's to develop any affliction whatsoever.

9 posted on 11/29/2002 1:39:53 PM PST by IronJack
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To: boomop1
I wonder how many of these homes are the super air tight Models. Here on the North West Coast of Calif we have always had a problem with mildew on north facing inside walls due to the cool climate and high humidity. We have controlled it running by a dehumdifier 2 or 3 days a week.
10 posted on 11/29/2002 1:43:48 PM PST by tubebender
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To: JeanS
There's an interesting show on the Home & Garden channel called "Liquid Design." It features homes built around exotic water features such as man-made waterfalls, rooftop pools and indoor/outdoor pools. I find it fascinating to see wacky rich people and their architects play chicken with nature. They're fooling with the single greatest threat to human habitation: WATER.

Once uncontrolled water arrives in your home a host of destructive problem will develop, and black algae is only one of them.
11 posted on 11/29/2002 1:44:16 PM PST by SBprone
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To: IronJack
you missed another symtom of black mold syndrome...the inability to think clearly.
12 posted on 11/29/2002 1:46:58 PM PST by contessa machiaveli
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To: Restorer
I know a family who found mold on the walls behind their furniture. They lived in a townhome. Upon further investigation, they found that a pipe had leaked in the attic, but the leak never came thru the ceiling, so they had no way of knowing there was a problem. The rafters in the entire attic were so full of mold they looked like they were covered with moss. The people who own the apartment complex told them they had to move out. Somehow the DEP has gotten involved & now they can't even get their bikes and stuff out of the attic. The DEP people said it is the worst case they have ever seen. My questions - is all their furniture ruined? Will laundering their clothes get rid of this mold? They don't have any health problems at this point, but are they safe now that they are out of the place?
13 posted on 11/29/2002 1:59:57 PM PST by looney tune
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To: looney tune
My questions - is all their furniture ruined? Will laundering their clothes get rid of this mold? They don't have any health problems at this point, but are they safe now that they are out of the place?

It sounds like another case of somebody over-reacting, probably out of fear of liability. But it does sound like they're well off out of there.

Thorough laundering or dry cleaning should eliminate mold, unless it is already visibly growing on the items. Then it should be discarded, usually stained anyway. When laundering, use chlorine bleach if items can stand up to it. If not, use Clorox 2 or another oxygen bleach. I'd probably run them thru two cycles, adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the second wash cycle rather than detergent.

I'm not a doctor, but I assume they should not have health problems now that they're out. Anyway, very few doctors are familiar with the health problems associated with mold exposures.

Thorough cleaning of furniture should be effective. Vacuuming should be done with a HEPA vacuum. Probably the easiest way to remove mold spores from most items is to blow them off with a leaf blower (air-washing) outside well away from a building.

If you want to e-mail me, I'll be glad to send you a list of resources. BTW, why does some other group have the right to confiscate their personal property without compensation?

14 posted on 11/29/2002 2:18:48 PM PST by Restorer
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To: JeanS
Some say mold fear is being whipped up by lawyers and mold cleanup companies eager to turn mold into gold.

BINGO! Like lead paint in the seventies and asbestos in the eighties, mold is the cash crop of this decade. Government and industries are whipping this up into the "Mold Rush".

On the large scale, they will condemn buildings rendering them worthless thus lowering property values and then the high rollers will scoop up the lots for pennies on a dollar. Shark investors are on the prowl for properties and they will steal it by selling the idea of "THE KILLER MOLD".

On the smaller scale, mold that can easily and relatively inexpensively removed, will require "LICENSED PROFESSIONALS" to meet strict building and health codes. In other words, home owners and especially rental property owners, will not be permitted to "do it themselves". They will have to hire "THE PROFESSIONALS" and THEY ARE EXPENSIVE!

If you want in on the action, shell out some cash, sign up for the classes and get that certificate. It's a happening thing! - AND A TOTAL CROCK OF $#!+.

Hey, I forgot to mention the lawyers but that's a whole nother story.

15 posted on 11/29/2002 2:26:06 PM PST by slimer
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: boomop1; JeanS
People spend less time researching the largest investment in their lives than they would buying a refrigerator or microwave.

Being a home designer/builder, this kind of crap is one of my pet peeves.

I'll be there isn't one FReeper on this thread who has a clue what kind of HVAC sysem he/she has in the house. Metal ducts? Rigid fiberglass? Round flexible ducts? What is the total/sensible ratio of your AC unit? Where your air-handler is located, can you clean out the evaporator coils? How many air-changes per hour do you get in each room of the house?

Don't know about any of this? Then you deserve what you get.

17 posted on 11/29/2002 2:32:55 PM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
This problem is about to snow ball it has already had a big impact here in NC, the tyvek insulation installation technique has retained the moisture causing mold,(some say).
18 posted on 11/29/2002 2:39:23 PM PST by boomop1
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To: Restorer
Improperly performed removal of moldy materials can make the problem MUCH worse.

So when we ripped out moldy flooring, wood and drywall and tossed it in the trash we were doing something wrong?

My husband took out the moldy stuff, replaced it with non-moldy stuff and now my house doesn't stink. My oldest son is allergic to mold (we had only lived in the house 1 week before we discovered the problem) and he's been fine.

19 posted on 11/29/2002 2:52:38 PM PST by Dianna
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To: Restorer
Even here in mild climate San Diego the air tight house is mandated. Kind of silly when you consider most people here leave doors or windows open almost all year. I have always eliminated black mold with a bleach spray. I guess this is just another lawyer get rich quick scheme.
20 posted on 11/29/2002 2:54:40 PM PST by willyone
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To: IronJack
I bet if it caused substantial increase in penis size and eliminated the need for Viagra no one would say a thing about the other alleged problems. Bring on the mold.
21 posted on 11/29/2002 2:57:00 PM PST by willyone
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To: snopercod
Not too long ago while living in Northern CA my daughter made friends with a girl who's family lived on a hill overlooking their 14 acre horse stables, arena, and 20 miles of trail for riding. It was a 40 or 50 year old house, and it smelled of damp mold. It was a nauseating, disgusting smell and it stayed on you after you left the house.

Clean they were not, reminding me of Ma and Pa Kettle and my daughter would not stay overnight, even if I would have let her do so. I liked the family, but that mold aeroma was too much for me. The girl spent a lot of time at our house and the smell was always around her like Pigpen. She had a immune system problem, (so they said). She would get an open sore and it would grow to epic proportions eating the skin around the open sore and getting bigger and bigger and deeper. Finally cortisone injections seemed to stop it.

She does not have this condition any more, but she left home at 17 and moved far away from the "Smell". I tell you, the smell was awfull.

Was this black mold?
22 posted on 11/29/2002 3:01:25 PM PST by wingnuts'nbolts
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To: Dianna
If it worked for you, I'm glad. Others who have tried similar approaches have mostly succeeded in spreading the microscopic spores into other areas.

The most important thing at this point is to make sure you have determined and corrrected the source of the moisture intrusion that caused the mold growth.

The best single source of info is from the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/mold_remediation.html
23 posted on 11/29/2002 3:03:19 PM PST by Restorer
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To: slimer; All
Like lead paint in the seventies and asbestos in the eighties, mold is the cash crop of this decade.

Curious to know if homeowner's premiums around the country have gone significantly up w/in the last year. Talking to my Mom in California, hers nearly tripled, and she's been claimfree. She was told that her company has been getting a lot of claims for mold damage.

Or, like you said slimer, could all be just a racket.

24 posted on 11/29/2002 3:03:29 PM PST by kstewskis
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To: Restorer
Can you say Tyvek. Sell your stock now!
25 posted on 11/29/2002 3:05:35 PM PST by orfisher
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To: JeanS
Sorry guys and gals but this new "black mold plague" is a humongous piece of happy horsewaste fiction created by the corrupt lawyer industry. This is pure Junk Science but is of course a gold mine for these vermin.
26 posted on 11/29/2002 3:08:09 PM PST by friendly
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To: slimer
That sleazeball attorneys and contractors have a financial incentive to blow this out of proportion is not surprising.

It should not be overlooked, however, that insurance companies, property owners, realtors, builders, and lots of other groups have an exactly equal and opposite financial incentive to downplay the problem and/or to denigrate those who advocate further research.

As others have pointed out, the big problems have arisen because buildings in the last 25 years, for a host of reasons, have created an indoor ecology that has never existed before. It would not be beyond the realm of reason to expect previously rare organisms to thrive in such environments and create previously rare health effects as a result.
27 posted on 11/29/2002 3:08:21 PM PST by Restorer
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To: snopercod
Good points.

My dad tried to build and sell well-built homes and couldn't compete with the guys who could slam them up and sell for 5% less. People would look at all the features he would point out, agree that it made the house better, then ask if he could match the 5% less of the guy down the block.

If all you care about is what's on the surface, you're likely to get a building that is mostly surface.
28 posted on 11/29/2002 3:11:36 PM PST by Restorer
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To: JeanS
This is nothing more than a follow-up to the "Lead-Based Paint" scam, which was preceded by the "Radon Gas" scam.

God, how I hate lawyers.

29 posted on 11/29/2002 3:13:19 PM PST by DCPatriot
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To: kstewskis
Curious to know if homeowner's premiums around the country have gone significantly up w/in the last year. Talking to my Mom in California, hers nearly tripled, and she's been claimfree. She was told that her company has been getting a lot of claims for mold damage.

Last year, the insurance industry as a whole spent 1.2 billion on mold claims. State Farm alone lost $4 billion in the same period.

Increasing rates and losses by insurers have little to do with mold. Mostly it's because they've lost their shirts in the stock market, like everybody else.

But mold makes a great excuse to raise rates and demand exclusions from the state insurance departments.

BTW, I don't remember seeing premium rates going down when they were making a killing in the market during the 90s.

30 posted on 11/29/2002 3:16:02 PM PST by Restorer
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To: Restorer
Melinda Ballard sounds like the same person who turned her "nightmare" into a "cottage industry" to teach people how to sue their insurance companies.

There have been several scams in Houston where people have bought two-story houses; flood the top floor with hoses or break pipes and collect big bucks.

I think it's the newest rip-off for lawyers. We have insurance companies who are choosing to no longer write home-owner's.

31 posted on 11/29/2002 3:17:45 PM PST by lonestar
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To: willyone
Even here in mild climate San Diego the air tight house is mandated.

Excellent point. The biggest problems arise because structures are not designed around their climate.

Go to www.buildingscience.com for a lot of really great information about this topic.

32 posted on 11/29/2002 3:18:14 PM PST by Restorer
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To: jdontom
I am not an expert on mold but the phrase *toxic* mold was invented by lawyers and passed on to the media.

I don't know about that, but many of mold's mycotoxins and endotoxins are toxic.

33 posted on 11/29/2002 3:23:25 PM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: lonestar
That rip-off artists take advantage of a problem does not mean the problem does not exist.

People stage auto accidents all the time to defraud insurers. That doesn't mean real auto accidents don't also happen.

Some insurers routinely deny what they know are legitimate claims. This is just as much insurance fraud as the situations you describe. Both should be prosecuted to the max.

Ms. Ballard can be located at http://www.policyholdersofamerica.com/index2.html if you're interested in her story, rather than somebody else's version.
34 posted on 11/29/2002 3:23:31 PM PST by Restorer
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To: Restorer
Most of the changes made to buildings since the 70's have made them much more likely to develop serious mold problems. A colleague of mine refers to them as "self-composting buildings." And, unfortunately, he has a point.

I've also read that the more tightly constructed, well-insulated modern houses have also contributed to the increasing prevalence of asthma. Any thoughts?

35 posted on 11/29/2002 3:24:41 PM PST by independentmind
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To: lonestar
Just curious.

Do you think people who have legitimate claims denied by their insurer should NOT sue the company that violates a legal contract? If so, why do you believe this?
36 posted on 11/29/2002 3:26:03 PM PST by Restorer
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To: friendly
This is pure Junk Science but is of course a gold mine for these vermin.


I can tell you that in N. Litchfield Beach, south of Myrtle Beach a few miles, a complete complex that was built 3 years ago sits in litigation over mold. The sheetrock got wet while under construction. People moved in, some got sick. Legal costs are over 1 Million bucks now. It isnt resolved yet.
37 posted on 11/29/2002 3:28:05 PM PST by doosee
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To: independentmind
I've also read that the more tightly constructed, well-insulated modern houses have also contributed to the increasing prevalence of asthma. Any thoughts?

It seems pretty clear that the increase in asthma and the increase in the number of these buildings occurred during the same time period. Evidence of a direct causal link is not yet available.

38 posted on 11/29/2002 3:28:07 PM PST by Restorer
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To: friendly
This is pure Junk Science but is of course a gold mine for these vermin.

I'll simply disagree with you as you probably don't have a clue about this. Of course, if you can kindly direct me to your info or sites that demostrate that mold endotoxins and mycotoxins are harmless to humans, then I'll read and possibly reconsider.

39 posted on 11/29/2002 3:30:05 PM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: JeanS
This whole business is part of the lawyer's full employment act. The homeowners are being fleeced to pay for this non-existant problem. I'm paying four times what I paid in Missouri. This is the same old mold that has been around for decades. Mass hysteria and lawyers getting rich.
40 posted on 11/29/2002 3:31:07 PM PST by RichardW
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To: Restorer
Much of the problem is that building techniques have changed considerably from years ago. For one, lumber yards kept their stock indoors. Now they are stored outdoors. Houses are now built (framed and enclosed) within a week, locking moisture inside. Making a home airtight (Tyvek) and superinsulation donesn't allow outside air to circulate. All this in the name of enegy efficiency.
41 posted on 11/29/2002 3:34:53 PM PST by orfisher
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To: kstewskis
There was a huge sttlement in Texas that scared the bejesus out of the insurance industry. Artificial stucco (EIFIS) is looked at very very carefully by insurers. Many are writing mold exclusions.

The hazards are real, both to humans and to insurance companies.

42 posted on 11/29/2002 3:36:57 PM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: JeanS
Bump
43 posted on 11/29/2002 3:38:54 PM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: orfisher
Absolutely.

These changes in building techniques have created new ecological niches. It's not surprising that these new environments lead to proliferation of previously rare species, like Stachybotrys, for example.

But it's a lot easier to just blame attorneys than to recognize that we have foolishly created a tens to hundreds of billions of dollars problem for ourselves over the last 25 years.

44 posted on 11/29/2002 3:39:40 PM PST by Restorer
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To: RichardW
This whole business is part of the lawyer's full employment act. The homeowners are being fleeced to pay for this non-existant problem. I'm paying four times what I paid in Missouri. This is the same old mold that has been around for decades. Mass hysteria and lawyers getting rich.

Absolutely true. Look at the posts and see the mass hysteria (and lawyers?) spouting the idiotic delusions born of media Junk Science. And this is a sophisticated website, usually. Imagine the effect of all this on a group of complete morons (think typical California jury).

45 posted on 11/29/2002 3:40:36 PM PST by friendly
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To: friendly; DCPatriot
"Sorry guys and gals but this new "black mold plague" is a humongous piece of happy horsewaste fiction created by the corrupt lawyer industry. This is pure Junk Science but is of course a gold mine for these vermin."

Sorry, but wrong. Acute sensitivity to molds is why I moved out of Louisiana. Not everyone is affected, but there are those of us who have an acute sensitivity. Certainly, poor house design and construction can give rise to situations where sensitive individuals can have problems. In my case, it was just the climate (hot and humid virtually year-round) and not a tort situation--but the health problems certainly were real enough.

46 posted on 11/29/2002 3:42:24 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: orfisher
Can you say Tyvek. Sell your stock now!

Its OK. The only Tyvek investment I have is in my walls...

Oh wait!!!

47 posted on 11/29/2002 3:43:30 PM PST by meyer
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To: Restorer
Last year, the insurance industry as a whole spent 1.2 billion on mold claims. State Farm alone lost $4 billion in the same period.

That explains it. She is w/ State Farm.

But mold makes a great excuse to raise rates and demand exclusions from the state insurance departments.

Thought so. Hold on to our pocketbooks. Thanks for the info :)

48 posted on 11/29/2002 3:44:01 PM PST by kstewskis
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To: Eagle Eye
Artificial stucco (EIFIS) is looked at very very carefully by insurers.

As well it should be!

These systems were developed in Europe for application over masonry. They were brought here and applied over exterior gypsum board or oriented strand board sheathed wood frame construction. The results have been disastrous, in many cases.

Go to http://www.co.new-hanover.nc.us/INS/EIFS/EIFS002.HTM for one county in NC that had huge problems.

49 posted on 11/29/2002 3:45:15 PM PST by Restorer
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To: independentmind
I've also read that the more tightly constructed, well-insulated modern houses have also contributed to the increasing prevalence of asthma. Any thoughts?

I think that's just one of many theories. I've also heard that with today's working parents/latchkey kids, there's nobody really cleaning the home any more and that is contributing to the apparent increase in asthma cases as well. My asthma only occurs when I'm around cats for extended periods of time - and even then, if the ventilation and filtration is adequate, it doesn't bother me.

50 posted on 11/29/2002 3:46:04 PM PST by meyer
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