Toxic mold syndrome is the term used to define illnesses arising from exposure to spores of certain molds. These specific molds produce a poison called a mycotoxin (“myco” refers to fungus) which can cause serious health problems. The spores are released into the air and can be inhaled. Some symptoms of mycotoxin exposure include fever, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, lung congestion and shortness of breath, nausea, fever with accompanying aches, and burning or watery eyes. People who already suffer from weakened immune systems may be more sensitive than others to these bad effects. Anyone with allergies or chronic respiratory disease may find their symptoms worsened by exposure to these molds.
Mold can be found everywhere, but most forms are not toxic. Everyone has seen mildew, in bathrooms and laundry rooms, for instance. Most molds are harmless but unfortunately several molds that produce mycotoxins can be found in buildings where moisture is present. Water leaks, flooding, and poor humidity control can all create environments in which dangerous molds flourish. Removing such molds is vital to clearing up the problem but can be difficult. If walls or ceilings are heavily contaminated, the entire structure must be removed. All traces of mold must be destroyed and repairs made to assure that leaks or humidity will be controlled before the structures can be rebuilt.
Because dangerous molds are found in buildings, toxic mold syndrome has also been called “Sick Building Syndrome”. Buildings infested with molds such as Stachybotrys, Penicillim, Paecilomyces, Aspergillus, and Fusarium can cause serious health problems.
In order to prove a case of toxic mold, it is necessary to show that illness and disability have arisen from exposure to such molds. Sometimes the molds can be found in the lung tissue. Once it is shown that disability has occurred and mold is the cause, it will be necessary to show that mold exposure exists and that a defendant was negligent in preventing or removing the conditions causing the mold.
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