Toxic Mold Frequently Asked Questions
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Toxic mold contamination is a serious issue that may cause a variety of physical, emotional and financial hardships for many. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand what toxic mold is, as well as how it may effect you and your family.
What is toxic mold?
Toxic mold is a name given the four types of mold which are known to seriously harm humans. They are Aspirgillus, Stachybotrys, Penicillium, and Fusarium. Stachybotrys is the most toxic and is referred to as "black mold." Aspergillus is the most common, and Fusarium is sometimes interchanged with other less harmful mold types.
How is it spread?
Mold grows in colonies, which are usually visible to the naked eye. The individual spores that make up the colonies are microscopic. It is the spores that enter the body to infect humans. Spores are released into the air when the colony is agitated. They travel through air alone or via ventilation systems, especially fiberglass coated duct work. Toxic mold spores are either inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin when touched.
What are the symptoms of contamination?
There are a wide variety of symptoms caused by toxic mold contamination. The most common, and least serious, are allergy-like. These include sneezing, headaches, rashes, and fatigue. More moderate symptoms are flu-like, but also include nose bleeds, fever, asthma, urinary tract and ear infections, diarrhea, nail fungus, and vomiting. Mold causes severe illnesses such as emphysema, pulmonary edema, pneumonia, brain, liver, and kidney damage, and even death.
Those most at risk are the elderly, immune suppressed, infants and small children.
What should I do if I am infected?
Seek medical attention immediately, and have a professional eradicate the mold colony.
How do I identify it?
You shouldn't attempt to try. If you rent, contact the property owner. If you own the home, get a professional to test and remove the mold right away—no matter what mold type it may be.
How do I know if I have a claim?
Contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in mold cases. The consultations are usually free. The attorney can tell you whether you have a claim and give you advice as to how to proceed.
I have symptoms only when I'm at work, what should I do?
Seek medical attention immediately. Then consult a personal injury attorney who specializes in toxic mold.
Who is responsible?
Contractors and subcontractors can often be responsible for mold proliferation and exposure, and this includes roofers, framers, and general contractors. Architects and structural engineers can also play a part, as they have failed to include mold prevention in their buildings design. Material manufacturers and suppliers and also be responsible, including window and siding manufacturers. Previous homeowners who have failed to provide you with information about a known problem such as mold can also be responsible.
What can I claim for?
You may claim for medical expenses. This includes medical testings that are needed and then the treatments for a toxic mold related illness. The severity of the illness and medical expenses that stem from this usually indicate how much the amount of the claim should be.
You can also claim for clean-up and structural fixes. This can be comprised of the expenses needed to fix the framing elements of the home or building due to mold, which can be wall repair, windows, molding, floors, and ceiling tiles. This can get expensive if they need to be replaced or removed, which often happens because mold can weaken structural elements and is close to impossible for the clean up to help. Cleanup costs can be high because often times professional assistance is needed, as well as an inspector to make sure the mold traces have been erased.