Mold in the News: Issue 73

Mold in the News: Issue 73
At Got Mold? our goal is to keep our followers aware of mould related news stories. Each day, we scour the internet looking for relevant information. Here are 10 stories we thought may interest you!
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Sandy, Toxic Mold, and (at last) a theory potentially explaining ‘Sick Building Syndrome’: As many still struggle to address the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, another facet of this epic battle is underway, though many remain unaware of it. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many of the people of New Orleans found themselves faced with unusual health symptoms, respiratory problems being the most common and obvious among these. They coined a name for such airways issues – Katrina Cough. According to Wikipedia, “Katrina cough is a putative respiratory illness thought to be linked to exposure to mold and dust”. And a new ‘illness’ has emerged in New York, Fox NY (and I never thought I’d cite Fox News) headlining “Far Rockaway Cough”, mold thought to play a role in it as well. But beyond coughing there are other symptoms that mold can cause, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) even having an advisory site for storm victims.
House Dem asks EPA to test for mold, toxins from Sandy: A House Democrat is pushing federal officials to test for mold and environmental toxins in areas hit by Superstorm Sandy. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “conduct or oversee comprehensive testing” to ensure that homes are “safe to inhabit” after massive floods. “Given New York’s recent history with environmental hazards caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center, we know all too well the danger presented by indoor contamination,” Nadler wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Mold, Cold Pose Significant Health Risks In Rockaways: Nearly a month after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of New York City, residents in some hard-hit areas like the Rockaways are still living without power — but that’s not all. Even worse is the creeping health risk of mold growth that followed in the wake of last month’s flooding.

Sandy Cough Plagues Homeowners Cleaning Up: Patrick Zoda has been working nonstop for a month, trying to save his Staten Island home after it was badly damaged by Sandy. As he works, the debris cloud filling his house has also been filling his lungs. “I feel totally drained, tired,” Zoda told NBC 4 New York. “Every morning I wake up coughing.” Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chairman of Emergency Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, says he has seen a greater number of patients with respiratory issues in recent weeks, mostly in people with pre-existing conditions. The combination of flu season and Sandy cleanup — which has brought unhygienic conditions, dirty water and mold into homes — is a perfect storm for sickness, he says.

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Mold in flooded houses poses health hazard: The first floor of Steve Gennusa’s Island Park home was filled with 4 feet of water during superstorm Sandy. Now that the water has receded, it’s covered in another unwelcome intruder: mold. “It’s on the kitchen cabinets, the wood floor, the TV cabinet,” he said. The carpet in his garage, still partially filled with floodwater, is also covered in dark green fungus. That, plus the sewage that came up from his tub and toilet, has made the house uninhabitable. Gennusa said he spent one night there, but the next morning, he felt nauseated, dizzy and even blacked out at one point. Now he enters the house wearing a mask. Molds, which thrive in moist places, are found everywhere in nature but, when concentrated inside a building, can be a health hazard. Their airborne spores — alive or dead — can cause breathing problems, rashes or an asthma attack.
Test again shows no mold problems at Terrace Manor Elementary: The third independent test conducted at Terrace Manor Elementary School has again showed the school has no mold issues or health hazards, according to results released Monday.
5 students withdrawn from Terrace Manor Wednesday after mold concerns: Parents are still riled up over the fact their students at Terrace Manor Elementary are getting sick. They say something has to be the cause. Their question now: If it’s not mold, what is it? “We have an issue here, and all we want to find out is what is the problem?” one concerned parent said.
Estes Park school board directs superintendent to retain expert on mold: The old elementary school is in a state of growing decay — a moldy oldy. It may not be falling down yet, but internally it is in bad shape, made worse after the summer monsoon, the school board heard at its meeting Monday.
Toxic mold forces Union Gap to close library, demolish building:The Union Gap Library will close on Friday, December 14, to make way for the construction of new municipal buildings in the City of Union Gap. Recent findings of toxic mold in City office buildings have forced Union Gap to take this drastic action. The City of Union Gap has chosen not to continue their longstanding contract with Yakima Valley Libraries. “This is a sad occasion for our customers and our staff,” said Kim Hixson, Director of Yakima Valley Libraries. “The Library has been a fixture in Union Gap for over sixty years. But circumstances have forced the City to move ahead with the demolition. Our agreement with the City is that we complete our portion of this process by December 31.”
Courthouse mold cleaned up: Small amounts of mold discovered earlier this fall in the historic Queen Anne’s County Courthouse have been cleaned up without incident. Clerk of the Circuit Court Scott MacGlashan said what appeared to be mold was observed around some of the air ducts in the building, prompting officials to bring in experts to assess the situation. “The court became concerned and felt strongly that this needed to be taken care of,” MacGlashan said. There were no reports of anyone being adversely affected, he said.