(954)718-9100

 

REPORTS EMAILED MINUTES AFTER THE INSPECTION.

AABC Inspection Services
7071 W Commercial Blvd
2-F
Tamarac Fl 33319

Office: 954-718-9100
Fax: 954-720-9881  

 

PROVIDING HOME INSPECTIONS AND COMMERCIAL INSPECTIONS IN FORT LAUDERDALE, MIAMI, PARKLAND, WESTON, MIRIMAR, AND BOCA RATON AREAS SINCE 1993.  WE WILL GO ANY WHERE FROM FLORIDA CITY TO JUPITER.  ( JUST NOT IN THE SAME DAY )

Toxic mold invades house, sickens family
03/09/2002
By JANE ZHANG

Ivins — Tiffany McDonald, 21, knew there must be something enigmatic about her house near 200 East in Ivins.

Two years ago, her grandmother, Mary Brennan, who was described as an energetic hiker, unexpectedly died of breast cancer at age 64, three years after she moved into the $60,000 house. Then, during her pregnancy, McDonald spent 10 days in the hospital because of “a weird smell” in the house.

And only nine months after her daughter, Lainee, was born, the baby was bleeding internally, beginning a series of ailments from asthma to diarrhea to bacterial infection.

“Seriously, I would rather leave everything than feeling the way we felt,” said McDonald, who moved to her parents’ house in St. George about seven weeks ago. The best way, she said, “probably is just forcing yourself out, bankrupt and start over.”

The condemnation of her house was blamed on toxic mold, which had invaded the bathroom, closet and bedroom. The fungus, which has 200 species, is routinely found in the United States, such as stachybotrys, chaetomium and penicillium, display black, gray, brown and other colors with a musty smell. Spreading through spores, mold can cause health problems to adults and pets if they inhale it, swallow it or touch moldy surfaces. But it’s especially hazardous to small children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

In 2000, Newsweek magazine reported that mold accounted for 6 to 7 percent of all chronic sinusitis cases. A report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last year confirmed that certain types of mold can lead to asthma, allergies, infectious diseases and such toxic effects as aflatoxin-induced liver cancer.

In recent years, mold has triggered thousands of lawsuits, prompting the first mold bill in the nation last year, which required California home sellers to disclose mold problems. Even Erin Brockovich, made famous by the movie with her name, fought against landlords and insurers for the mold contamination in her house. In 2001, a Texas court awarded $32.1 million to victims exposed to extensive mold damage in their homes.

Phillip Fry, a certified mold inspector and manager of Mold Inspector in Hurricane, said mold exists in the southwestern desert area because of the wide use of swampcoolers, which are susceptible to leaking while traveling from the roof down into the house. Mold, which grows in dark, moist and warm environments, can suck nutrition and water from various building materials, such as cardboard, wallpaper and wooden substances.

Even though it’s hard to establish a direct link between mold and breast cancer, They said the family was convinced that high levels of mold have caused the sickness in their daughter and granddaughter. After McDonald and her child moved away from the house, she said, the symptoms began to go away. Lainee has also become more energetic and healthier.

There have been reports that a family in Oregon burned its mold-contaminated house. As for his house, he said, there’s not much he can do.

“Talk to the bank, mostly. Lose it,” he said. “What can I do? I don’t have any money to fix it. It won’t appraised for what it’s worth it.”