Blog Archives

Renters have little recourse but to record problems with mold

By Monica Laliberte, http://www.wral.com

The spots, the smell and the struggle with mold and mildew are a common complaint to 5 On Your Side. When it’s your house, you know you have to take care of it.

But what about renters? Those who are stuck in a lease still have some recourse.

Rent or own, mold is everywhere. It just needs moisture to grow. Some people have severe reactions to it. Others are totally unaffected. Everyone knows that wherever mold and mildew are growing, the problem should be cleaned up and fixed!

April Turpin and Alex Garner lived in a rental home in Coats for two and a half years. They found the first signs of a problem on a bathroom floorboard, and they contacted their landlord.

“We said, ‘Hey, there’s this board in the bathroom we’re kind of concerned about,'” Garner said. “And he said, ‘Oh no, it’s not a problem. If it’s an eyesore, paint over it.'”

But the mold bled through the paint, and other problems arose. Read more

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Georgia peanut farmers having difficult year with white mold disease

By Tatyana Phelps, http://www.albanyherald.com/

 

peanutmoldWhite mold disease has always been a problem for Georgia peanut farmers, according to University of Georgia plant pathologist Tim Brenneman. The disease has been even more of a nuisance due to the hot and humid weather conditions this growing season.

Brenneman insists that, through proper use of the correct fungicides, white mold can be contained.

“It’s probably our No. 1 cause of loss due to disease in the state, and this year appears to be one of the worst years we’ve had in a while,” Brenneman said. “The weather has been very favorable (for the disease) this year, and the variety we grow is Georgia 06G, developed by Dr. (Bill) Branch. It’s a very good variety. It’s extremely high yielding, which is one of the reasons our growers really like to grow it. (However), it is also really susceptible to this disease.”

Brenneman recommends farmers spray at night, when the plants’ leaves are folded, in order to prevent white mold damage. Read more

Pittsburgh hospital suspends organ transplants after mold infections, deaths

By Holly Yan and Ben Brumfield, CN

UPMCHospitalA Pittsburgh hospital has temporarily stopped organ transplants after three transplant patients contracted a fungal infection and died.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center voluntarily suspended transplants at UMC Presbyterian “until we have completed our investigation and are satisfied that we’ve done all we can do to address the situation,” UPMC Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Steven D. Shapiro said.

Shapiro said Monday that the suspension could last two or three days. He said the medical center is reaching out to all its patients with scheduled organ transplants and “will do everything we can to make sure patients receive life-saving transplants if they are critically ill.”

Officials have struggled to find the source of the mold that infected patients at UPMC.

The fungus isn’t some kind of killer mold. It’s a household kind — ordinary indoor mold.

It doesn’t threaten the general population, or patients and staff with normal immune systems at the hospital. But UPMC said it believes the mold may have contributed to the deaths of organ transplant patients.

One transplant patient died Thursday at UPMC Montefiore, the medical center said.

Two other patients died in October and in June at UPMC Presbyterian, CNN affiliate WTAE-TV reported.

And UPMC said another patient became deathly ill with the same kind of mold infection. Read more

VA Employee sickened by mold says Federal Workers’ Comp Insurance won’t cover her medical needs

By Adam Walser, http://www.abcactionnews.com/

vaempEarlier this month, we told you about mold inside the St. Petersburg VA Regional Benefits Office, which employees claim is making them sick.

Now we’re hearing from a woman who says she has suffered chronic problems as a result of her exposure there, and claims she can’t get the medical care she needs.

“My first symptom was just absolute bone-numbing fatigue, then lungs, sinuses, terrible infections,” said Aileen Mullin.

She was granted workers’ comp in 2012 after doctors determined that mold inside the St. Petersburg benefits office where she works made her sick. 

As the I-Team first reported, multiple reports show mold has been detected in the building for several years.

Constant leaks from a skylight and the roof have been blamed for the problem. 

“January 2012 was when I was taken out in an ambulance,” said Mullin.

Since suffering her first life-threatening asthma attack, Mullin has depended on nebulizers, inhalers and prescription drugs to breathe.

Qualifying for workers’  comp has created additional issues, since her regular employee health insurance coverage no longer applies to any respiratory-related claims.

“They reversed the charges from my doctors and the doctors in turn have billed me, creating an enormous financial debt,” she said. Read more

Judge slams NYCHA officials for not showing up to hearing addressing cleanup of toxic mold in public housing

By Greg B. Smith, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

nychaA judge overseeing NYCHA’s flailing efforts to clean up its toxic mold problem ripped into agency officials for being no-shows at a hearing Friday.

A lone NYCHA lawyer showed up, but none of the top brass appeared in Manhattan Federal Court to answer why they’ve failed to live up to a 2013 promise to abate mold in decrepit apartments.

“Why wouldn’t some policy-making, decision-making official of NYCHA be here?” fumed Judge William Pauley. “I can’t believe they have more important things to do.”

In December 2013, NYCHA signed a consent decree, promising to “effectively remediate” mold infestation deemed “simple” within seven days and mold deemed “complex” within 15 days.

Months later, tenants who sued say in one-third of these so-called “remediations,” the mold returns. Lawyers for the tenants also say NYCHA is now interpreting the decree to give themselves more time to fix things. Read more

How did housing inspectors repeatedly miss mold that disabled tenants say existed for years?

By Barnett Wright, http://www.al.com/

MoldceilingFor years, federal, state and local housing officials conducted inspections at a housing development for disabled and elderly residents in Tarrant. Repeatedly their reports made no mention of mold – even though one former resident says he had experienced problems with mold there since 2005.

But now – after media reports of dissension between two housing boards responsible for safety issues at the development — mold has been found in more than two dozen units in the Spring Gardens apartments.

A series of inspections – some annually — had turned up no traces of mold. Read more

Brain Fog, Weight Gain, Fatigue — the Sneaky Symptoms of Household Mold

By Yahoo Health Editors, https://www.yahoo.com

moldsymptomsWhen you hear the word mold, chances are you think of the fuzzy stuff growing on the leftovers in your fridge, or the shower scum that develops on your bathroom tile when you’ve slacked on cleaning. But the truth is, some mold isn’t just an icky sign of neglect — it can be toxic, even deadly.

Dave Asprey — the former Silicon Valley entrepreneur behind “The Bulletproof Executive” blog and Bulletproof Radio podcast — has released a new documentary calledMoldy, which explores the hidden health dangers associated with mold toxicity. (A screening of the film is available for free now until June 14, and can then be purchased through the documentary’s website as a DVD or digital download).

The documentary is personal to Asprey who suffered from mold toxicity. He says it’s a problem that potentially impacts hundreds of millions of people — even if they don’t know that’s what is making them sick.  Read more

Firefighters test positive for toxic mold exposure

By John Dzenitis, http://www.wpbf.com/

firefightersmoldTwo firefighters have tested positive for toxic mold exposure, and the firefighters’ union believes old, run-down fire stations are to blame.

The two firefighters worked at Station No. 7 in Vero Beach and Station No. 10 in Fellsmere. In recent years, O’Connor said the firefighters have been complaining about leaky roofs at their stations, as well as mold and dead rats in the ceiling.

“We became very concerned when a lot of guys were complaining about watery eyes, upper respiratory infections, runny noses,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor claims the county has largely ignored firefighters’ complaints, and not enough money has been allocated to fixing up fire stations with serious health concerns. Read more

Is toxic mold the real hidden culprit in haunted houses?

By David Sommerstein, http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/

moldghostsA team of researchers at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., are the North Country’s answer to the “Ghost Hunters.”

They have a hunch that the reason some people see ghosts is not necessarily because a place is haunted. It may be because a haunted house has a lot of mold, and breathing it alters people’s states of mind.

Shane Rogers, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Clarkson, is into paranormal activity and ghosts in general. As a scientist, he studies some icky things, like manure and mold. He put his interest together and developed a hypothesis. Maybe people who see ghosts are actually just breathing in toxic mold? “There are reports of people who have been exposed to mold who have reported things like anxiety and depression.”

Rogers also knows many alleged haunted houses are old and dilapidated and more likely to be infested with mold. He said, “If you’re in a place where you’re exposed to mold, and you’re feeling a little anxious, and you see something strange or you feel something strange, if you’re in an old house that’s a little scarier, you might be more likely to ascribe it to a haunting, whereas in a newer house, perhaps not.” Read more

Teachers, Students Say Jordan Elementary Mold Made Them Ill

By Liz Collin, http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/

jordan elementaryHospitalized children, and their parents, say it’s because of what they’re breathing at school.

Halle Wassenberg, 7, spent months seeing different doctors.

“It made me feel yucky,” she told WCCO. “It didn’t feel good at all.”

She’s one of three students in the same classroom to leave Jordan Elementary School this year. Two teachers have also left. They all blame mold for making them sick. The school maintains the building is safe.

But a WCCO Investigation found mold concerns months ago were kept from parents. Read more