Mold in the News: Issue 75

Mold in the News: Issue 75
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 15 stories we thought may interest you!
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New Regulations Implemented for Mold Remediation in Kentucky: Some new regulations for mold remediation companies are being implemented in Kentucky. The changes, which were announced by Attorney General Jack Conway Friday morning in Frankfort, are part of a law designed to improve consumer protection in the state. A written mold assessment and remediation plan must now be given to a customer before entering into a contract. That plan will now have to state how the source of moisture causing the mold will be remedied or managed.
Sandy volunteers facing same risks as 9/11 first responders: Volunteers and workers cleaning up the devastated regions flooded by Hurricane Sandy are facing dangerous mold and asbestos contamination, which could cause illness and litigation if they do not properly protect themselves. Similar to the post-9/11 cleanup, unprotected workers may be subjecting themselves to crippling illnesses that could result in future lawsuits against those organizing the cleanup. Greg Floyd, president of the Teamsters Local 237, said his nightmare had come true: mold is spreading rapidly through the homes and damaged buildings devastated by Hurricane Sandy, he told the Huffington Post. A month and a half after the storm struck New York City, the fungus has spread so rapidly that Floyd has held back thousands of public employees from helping in the cleanup process. His workers don’t have the training and protective equipment necessary to battle the fast-growing mold, which can cause severe respiratory health complications. Floyd fears that his organization will suffer the consequences of a legal battle if he sends untrained workers to battle the mold.
Professor Warns Flooded Residents about Dangers of Mold: It has been over a month since Superstorm Sandy hit, and many residents are in a hurry to rebuild their flood-damaged homes. But, one mold expert is warning them to be careful. Jack Caravanos with the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College has been working with relief agencies to educate homeowners about the dangers of mold. He has held several seminars for homeowners, saying it is better to be safe and wait. “Many people want to quickly restore their homes and go back to normalcy,” said Caravanos, “but we need to make sure these homes are bone dry. They have to be completely dried-out before we put new materials there, otherwise the mold will just come back.”
Sickened by spores: Mold can drastically impact lives of those with sensitivities: Artist Lowell Reiland once had a New York City SoHo flat and a thriving sculpture business, with his work shown in galleries and private collections. In 1986, he was recognized for his work by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Then, in the early 1980s, the healthy Cornell University graduate began to feel “foggy” when he would spend time in certain buildings. He became extremely fatigued and, as the symptoms worsened, he had to sleep for long stretches of time even during the day. He went to more than two dozen internists, neurologists, psychiatrists, holistic healers — a Rolodex of health professionals over the next 20 years who all told him they could find nothing wrong.
After the flood, the menace of mold: As the Hurricane Sandy disaster fades from the headlines, residents are still trying to figure out what to do. With mold growing on their walls, possessions and furnishings, are their homes safe to enter? Do they need expert help to clean up and start over? Can they even salvage their properties? The situation is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the science is much more distinct. After years of debate, it’s accepted that mold — the common name for a range of multi-cellular fungi — can be extremely unhealthy.
Health Unit offers advice for flood victims dealing with mould: Officials with the Thunder Bay and District Health Unit are offering advice to city residents still dealing with mould in their homes following the May 28 flood. Barbara Hartman, a flood victim who spoke with and Thunder Bay Television earlier this week, has black mould throughout the basement of the home she rents.
Mold, mildew could delay heart patient’s homecoming: Andrew Hamrick is not a carpenter, but the volunteer fireman has been busy with his hands. His motivation is the face of his four-year-old son, Austin. “When you see him, and his smile, and his eyes, and everything… it makes you want to go and get this done for him,” Hamrick said. Austin was born with an undeveloped left side of the heart. Seven surgeries and a heart transplant later, he’s ready to come home.
Life-threatening asthma and allergy attacks linked to exposures to mold after floods and storms: Serious respiratory problems, including severe asthma and allergy attacks that can be life-threatening, have been associated with exposures to mold after floods and storms. These increased exposures often occur as cleanup workers and occupants disturb mold-contaminated building materials, use chemicals such as bleach without the right kind of protection or use fans to dry out materials, which increases the amount of mold released into the air. That’s the bad news. The good news is that exposures to mold can be greatly reduced if workers wear the right dust masks or respirators while handling mold-contaminated building materials and take other precautions, such as wearing goggles and gloves and minimizing disturbance of mold.
Montevallo Elementary absences climb this week in wake of mold worries: Montevallo Elementary absences have doubled since last week after parents concerned about mold and other health issues in the building kept their kids away en masse starting Monday, but school officials say the number is not entirely due to alarm about the situation. Absences at the school totaled 112 on Monday, 106 on Tuesday and 112 this morning, according to information provided by Shelby County School District public relations supervisor Cindy Warner. The figures compare to last week’s absences that totaled 70 on Nov. 26 and dropped to 48 on Nov. 28 before reaching 59 last Friday.
Mold, asbestos cleanup underway in storm-damaged Queens school: It turns out parents who were concerned, and complained about potential mold at a storm-damaged Queens school had a good reason to be worried. This is a problem some parents say they saw coming. “We have seen the mold grow in our own homes, so we knew that the school would be in a similar position as our homes were,” said parent Irene Doherty.
Olive Branch Elementary reveals mold growth, parents concerned: DeSoto County Schools had a panel of outside experts that came in and tested several environmental concerns that were brought before the school board Monday. A group of parents from the school’s Parent Teacher Organization said they had received complaints about students being sick and asked for an investigation into the building’s condition. The district said results revealed an area of mold growth in the dishwashing room, but common hallways and one classroom tested negative for any problems including elevated moisture levels that could lead to mold growth. Earlier this week Action News 5 showed you pictures parents had taken of dusty vents, bugs in light fixtures, and stained carpets that I asked superintendent Milton Kuykendall about today.
Parents concerned Rockaway school that flooded in Sandy may not be safe: Going back to school could be a health hazard for children at one storm-battered Rockaway school. Worried parents of students at Public School/Middle School 114, in Belle Harbor, hired an expert to test mold levels and air quality on Thursday at the school. The school’s auditorium was deluged by five feet of water and sewage during Superstorm Sandy. “I’m really torn about sending my sons back to PS/MS 114,” said Parent Teacher Association President Irene Dougherty. “I just want to make sure it’s 100% safe.” Only about 250 of the school’s 800 students have returned, she said. It reopened on Nov. 27.
Mum desperate after spotting mould on children’s teddy bears: The damp in a mother’s flat is so bad it caused mould to grow on her children’s teddy bears. Kelly Loxam, of Theobold Street, Borehamwood, has been living with “hazardous and filthy” mould on the walls of her flat for the last eight years. Miss Loxam said the last straw was when she was clearing out her daughter’s room and noticed the bed-frame and sentimental teddy bears were covered in spools of mould. Her housing association, Affinity Sutton, cleaned the walls in January – but the 29-year-old said it returned thick and fast just six-weeks-later.
Mold a pesky irritant for DN: Megan Lambson suspected her apartment had a mold problem when she moved in. The unit at Hidden Creek Apartments in Crescent City sported a fresh coat of paint, but Lambson saw a line of bleach on the carpet in the master bedroom and smelled a musty odor. “The carpet itself was bleached,” Lambson said. “The HUD inspector said, ‘I definitely smell something, keep an eye out for it.’” Problems with mold in subsidized housing were aired at a Nov. 19 meeting of the City Council, which also acts as the Crescent City Housing Authority Board. Del Norte’s moist climate makes it especially susceptible to mold in any building, a county environmental health official said. In fact, tenants could not move into one recently built apartment building right away because of mold.
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Group Helps Rockaway Residents With Mold Problems: It’s a dirty job not many would volunteer for, but people’s health depends on “mucking out” the mold in their hurricane-flooded homes. “I first called my doctor and my allergist to make sure I’d be OK,” said volunteer Ed Zipf. “I think when you know there’s water and there’s a lot of saturation, you know there’s going to be dealing with mold. You just go and deal with it. I know there’s a health hazard, but you make sure you protect yourself.” Brijamohn Lila, a resident whose basement was gutted, worked every day removing debris and mold until he got sick. Many residents are so overwhelmed, they welcomed the extra hands from World Cares Center.