Toxic Mold: Legal FAQ
What Are Toxic Torts?
Toxic torts are injuries caused by toxic materials or substances frequently linked to cancers, organ damage and birth defects. Toxic materials or substances may be released into the air or water by factories or dumped into the ground in landfills. Some common materials that are often the subject of toxic tort litigation include:
- Toxic Molds
- Defective Drugs
- Hazardous or Toxic Waste
Can Stachybotris Cause Disease?
Stachybotrys is thought to be responsible for a potentially fatal condition called acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage. This has only occurred in infants and individuals with impaired immune systems. However, the spores can also cause problems for asthma sufferers, as well as allergies and certain kinds of lung diseases. Stachybotrys is also thought to be at least partially responsible for causing adverse health effects such as headaches, lung infections, fevers, abdominal pains, diarrhea and skin rashes.
What Can Be Done To Lower Mold Exposure?
- Individuals who are prone to the effects of mold should stay away from problem areashumid, wet conditions.
- Indoor humidity levels should be kept below 40%.
- Air conditioning and/or a dehumidifier should be used during humid months.
- Adequate ventilation should be maintained.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
- Bathrooms should be cleaned with anti mold products.
- Moist indoor areas (bathrooms, basements, etc.) should not be carpeted.
- Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.
What Are Molds?
Molds are microscopic fungi that need plant and animal matter in order to grow. It is estimated that there are greater than 100,000 different species of fungi that exist across the world. These thinly spun threaded organisms produce spores that then allow them to spread themselves to different locations. Spores can be spread in the air, through water, or even among insects.
Are Molds Bad For Humans?
Toxic molds can be dangerous and even fatal for susceptible individuals. However, the majority of molds pose little or no health risks to humans. Household molds exist in colors such as red, green, bluegreen, brown and black. In fact, there are only two types of household molds that are toxic Stachybotrys and Memnoniella.
What Makes Stachybotrys Toxic?
Stachybotrys mold spores produce a poisonous substance called mycotoxin. Specifically, these are known as trichothecenes. When these spores are inhaled and ingested by a human, they can cause many unpleasant, and even very serious, symptoms and conditions.
How Do I Know If I Have A Mold Problem?
The presence of large mold manifestation can usually be seen or smelled. Smaller infestations may require professional cleaning or testing in order to detect.
Where Are Molds Found?
Molds are found in virtually every ecological niche and are found outside in nature and in homes and buildings. They are most prevalent in areas that have moist or wet climates. They are often found indoors in humid spaces such as basements or showers. Some authorities believe as many as 50 percent of all homes may have some level of Stachybotrys infestation.
What Does Household Toxic Mold Grow On?
Toxic mold is often found in damp, moist, or wet places in or around a house or building. Stachybotrys typically grows in damp environments on materials that are high in cellulose and low in nitrogen content. Examples include wallpaper, cardboard, ceiling tile, cellulose insulation, and wood. If the black mold is growing on materials that do not contain cellulose, it is probably not Stachybotrys.
What Is Toxic Mold Litigation?
A related practice area is toxic mold litigation, where the exposure is to toxic molds rather than toxic substances, energy, products or devices. Molds are microscopic fungi that need plant and animal matter in order to grow. Molds are found in almost every environment outdoors and in homes and buildings. Household molds exist in colors such as red, green, bluegreen, brown and black. Most molds pose little or no health risks to people, but exposure to some molds (including two household varieties) can cause severe health complications and even death for infants and sensitive individuals. A few examples of toxic molds include:
- Memnoniella (toxic household mold)
- Stachybotrys (toxic household mold)
If you have been exposed to toxic molds, consult with an attorney that specializes in toxic mold litigation.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.