Toxic mold

by krystalline 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • krystalline

    Hi guys. Just wanted to know if anyone out there has dealt with toxic mold infestation. Our landlord refused to fix a leak we had for 8 months and because of that mold grew all throughout our apartment and got in the air vents. I ended up with walking pneumonia twice in one month and my husband has been pretty sick also. We finally figured out what was going on and why we were getting so sick around March 1. We have had to move twice. The first new place we moved to (also owned by the landlord from hell) became contaminated because we moved our clothes over without realizing that they were contaminated also. It is in EVERYTHING we own. We have had to literally move again with nothing. We have thrown away most of our furniture and put the rest in storage to be tested for the lawsuit we are going to file. We have taken a few clothes with us and after washing them about 10 times they seem to be clean. But it is in the seats and carpet in our car. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this? Do you guys have any advice or know a good way of getting rid of this stuff? I work for an immunology lab and we research mycology of a different kind but my boss said that she had been to a conference in TX where this was a real hot topic. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!


  • onacruse

    Hi krystalline, and welcome to the forum!

    I recently worked on a 48-house development, and a couple of the houses were built over particularly wet and poorly-drained soil. The wood substructure developed toxic mold. The legally-mandated remediation required removal and disposal of all the insulation, a bleaching agent sprayed on all exposed surfaces, a sealing agent applied after that, a certification from a licensed specialist that the mold had been eliminated, and semi-annual inspections for the next 2 years to confirm that there was no recurrence.

    Nothing to fool around with.


  • krystalline

    This stuff is HORRIBLE!! I have never dealt with anything this crazy! I am a microbiologist and am working on a master's degree in public health. I told my husband this is a good exercise in the methods of contagion. I continue to be amazed at how hard it is to get rid of.

    Thanks for the input. We have been washing everything we bring in with bleach. So far the only thing that has worked on is our electronic equipment (Thank God). I guess because it has no form of cellulose or purely organic materials. We are to the point now that we are just not bringing anything else out of storage. It really sucks because both my husband and I are avid readers and we had a huge library. I guess we are going to have to start over in our collecting.


  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Your credentials FAR outweigh mine, but I'm guessing that the mold you got hit with is Aspergillus niger, which if memory serves is the one that has been found to be causing similar problems for people all around the country.

    One thing you may want to try is a strong solution of Boric Acid (available in any pharmacy) and Borax (available in any supermarket). Boron is toxic to fungi. I recall reading some time back about how the folks who do architectural restorations insert plug containing borax into beams that are at risk for rot - if the beam gets damp, th borax disolves, penetrates and protects the adjacent wood.

    I think I'd rather spray the upholstery and carpets of my car with borax rather than bleach so there would be something left of 'em.

    Maybe including borax in your clothes washing would be helpful,too.

    I hope you will be able to document your claims against your former landlord and win your case.

    Here's a link to some frightening information:

  • krystalline

    OMG are you serious? I have isolated three different genera from the air in the apartment. One was Aspergillus niger!!! The one I had been hearing so much buzz about was Stachybotrus and we didn't have that. I was beginning to think it was just something we specifically were allergic to because what I isolated was Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria with the common nuisance of Rhizopus (it's freakin' getting around that one). My education focused on bacteria and viruses. I didn't learn much about fungi. I work in a mycology lab but what we work with is competely different from this. That is really great to know. I didn't know which one was causing the real problem but I will start testing my things for that specifically and see what we turn up. Thanks again!

  • cellomould

    Hey Krystalline,

    Does your family have problems with sinusitis as well?

    I was doing some research on sinusitis, and found out that mold is possibly a key factor.

    I used to live in apartment that grew lots of bathroom mold, and I have had problems with sinusitis ever since. I am not sure that the mold caused it, but it is possible.

    Good luck in feeling better


  • SheilaM

    Tonight on Forensic Files they had the story of a family who started becoming very ill, theri child was getting asthma and neurological damage. The Father became so ill that he had to resign from his firm. He now is so damaged he can't even remember his son's name.

    The mold was caused from a water leak damage that they wanted to fix but the insurance company told them they had to wait until the investigation was done.

    Their home was an antebellum mansion which had to be abandoned because of the infestation. The mold in the house is deadly. They sued the insurance company for $6million dollars for the loss of their home which stood on 7 acres or so. The jury awarded them $32 million but of course is on appeal. The Father is damaged so bad he has to use his palm pilot to remind him of day to day routine. His son is impaired due to the mold.

    Just thought I would post this for anyone that might have problem.

  • Scully

    I have a friend who works in the mold-busting business. I'll see if he can shed some light on this for you.

    Love, Scully

  • krystalline

    Thanks for the input and help guys. Yes my family does have problems with sinusitis. But the good news is that even though it had been chronic when we were in the old house, we have been out of there for a month and have not had any more problems with that. Thank goodness!

  • Valis

    It is so bad in Texas many homeowners have lost their homes and insurance policies because it has overwhelmed buildings and forced at least one big insurance company to stop issuing home policies here....Below is a story of black mold and how it really destroys lives and homes..


    District Overbeer

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