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I hope someone here can help me. I just stumbled across this forum and need help. I don't know where else to get advice. I currently live in a 1200 sq ft apartment with my husband, 3 year old, and 11 month old. We found some mold in our pantry and laundry room and asked for a licensed mold inspector to come out. Air analysis revealed Penicillium/Aspergills, which I'm not too concerned about but also 320 spores/m3 of STACHYBOTRYS. From everything I've read, there is no 'safe' level of that nasty stuff and we should be evacuating our apartment, etc. Anyone have any advice? Is this as dangerous as the internet makes it out to be? There has been previous water damage to the apartment that we were told was all taken care of before we moved in. We just need someone to tell us what to do, especially in light of the fact that we have two small kids...Thanks!

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You need some big yellow latex gloves, a bucket, sponge, brush, and your favorite household cleaner. It's mold, clean it up.

Honestly, I'd be more concerned about my child in the apartment for extended duration with cleaning product fumes than the mold concentrations your testing revealed. Flip a coin. One of you take the kids for a walk while the other stays home and cleans the pantry.

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I second the Raymond opinion.

There's also the question of obtaining health advice from home inspectors. We can help you figure out the water problems that allowed the mold to grow; health advice, not so much. There are a lot of home inspectors that feel compelled to act as physicians; avoid them. Also avoid internet mold fear mongering; no credible medical professional engages in internet mold blather.

Talk to your pediatrician, not us.

But, thank you for stopping by. Come back and tell us what your doctor said.

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Check this out: Black Mold then check your mold report for stachybotrys chartarum. That particular species produces mycotoxins. You don't want to share your apartment with it. Ask the landlord to have it remediated immediately if it's present then test again to make sure it's gone.

Any other visible mold growth should also be removed, regardless of species but the stachybotrys chartarum should be priority number one.

Marc

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Don't test for mold!

You need to find out that the moisture that caused this has stopped. Get the best home inspector you can find to see if he can tell what caused this moisture and whether the source has been fixed. He should also ascertain that this area is now dry.

Stop testing for mold. You say there are no safe levels of stachybotrys. There are also no unsafe levels of stachybotrys. Home inspectors have to stop recommend mold testing. There are no reliable means to do this that provide any meaningful information to anyone.

Stop the moisture. Cleanup the mold. If the mold is on drywall you might have to cut it out and throw it away. Do not hire anyone to test for mold.

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That's bad sourcing. I love Wikipedia, but this particular article is not one of it's high points.

It provides opinions referenced with "unreliable medical source", and contradicts itself a couple times.

Not saying mold is good, but this is not a credible link for saying it's bad.

I'm still waiting for a peer reviewed study of these issues that supports any of the stuff the mold people spout as gospel. Haven't found one. Anywhere.

When it appears, I'm happy to jump to the other side of the argument. Until then, do what Raymond said.

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I hope someone here can help me. I just stumbled across this forum and need help. I don't know where else to get advice. I currently live in a 1200 sq ft apartment with my husband, 3 year old, and 11 month old. We found some mold in our pantry and laundry room and asked for a licensed mold inspector to come out. Air analysis revealed Penicillium/Aspergills, which I'm not too concerned about but also 320 spores/m3 of STACHYBOTRYS. From everything I've read, there is no 'safe' level of that nasty stuff and we should be evacuating our apartment, etc.

From everything I've read, that's not true. And I'll bet that I've read a whole lot more than you have.

Is this as dangerous as the internet makes it out to be?

Absolutely not.

There has been previous water damage to the apartment that we were told was all taken care of before we moved in. We just need someone to tell us what to do, especially in light of the fact that we have two small kids...Thanks!

1. Make sure that the water problem that allowed the mold to grow has been completely eliminated.

2. Thoroughly clean the mold. If you're uncomfortable doing that, hire someone else to do it.

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Check this out: Black Mold then check your mold report for stachybotrys chartarum. That particular species produces mycotoxins. You don't want to share your apartment with it. Ask the landlord to have it remediated immediately if it's present then test again to make sure it's gone.

Any other visible mold growth should also be removed, regardless of species but the stachybotrys chartarum should be priority number one.

The only useful sentence in that Wikipedia page is this:

"Subsequent and extensive reanalysis of the cases by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have failed to find any link between the deaths and the mold exposure.[6]"

The only reason why anyone thinks that Stachy is a "bad" mold is because of the speculation of the CCD researchers who proposed that there might be a link between it and those infant deaths. Subsequent investigation revealed that there was no link. In a world of thinking people, no one would give a damn about Stachy anymore. But we don't live in a world of thinking people. We live in a world informed by functioning morons who work in the media and by rapacious mold testers who can profit from fear.

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Check this out: Black Mold then check your mold report for stachybotrys chartarum. That particular species produces mycotoxins. You don't want to share your apartment with it. Ask the landlord to have it remediated immediately if it's present then test again to make sure it's gone.

Any other visible mold growth should also be removed, regardless of species but the stachybotrys chartarum should be priority number one.

The only useful sentence in that Wikipedia page is this:

"Subsequent and extensive reanalysis of the cases by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have failed to find any link between the deaths and the mold exposure.[6]"

The only reason why anyone thinks that Stachy is a "bad" mold is because of the speculation of the CCD researchers who proposed that there might be a link between it and those infant deaths. Subsequent investigation revealed that there was no link. In a world of thinking people, no one would give a damn about Stachy anymore. But we don't live in a world of thinking people. We live in a world informed by functioning morons who work in the media and by rapacious mold testers who can profit from fear.

Why are you insulting morons?

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Jeez,

How many times must this be repeated here. Penicillium, Aspirgillis and Stachybotrys are ubiquitous in the air we breath, in the air we've breathed our entire life, and will be in the air we breath until the day we are planted.

The first mistake the O.P. made was hiring a "licensed mold inspector" because there is no such thing. Home inspectors that do mold inspections are banking on the fact that you have bought into the media pablum that there is such a thing as "toxic" mold. They are no more qualified to give you an opinion about mold than they are to analyze a brain scan.

They come in, take samples, send them off to the lab and then they tell you you've got to be worried and stick a bunch of meaningless numbers under your nose and go back home and snicker about how gullible you were to pay them so much money for something that you already know - that the air is full of all sorts of spore.

Clean the stuff up and stop being such a Chicken Little - unless you've already got a compromised immune system or are already hyper sensitive to dust and mold spore that stuff in the bath will have no effect on you.

The next time you want to throw $300 bucks down the toilet, shoot me a PM and I'll send you my address so you can send it here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Jeez,

How many times must this be repeated here. Penicillium, Aspirgillis and Stachybotrys are ubiquitous in the air we breath, in the air we've breathed our entire life, and will be in the air we breath until the day we are planted.

The first mistake the O.P. made was hiring a "licensed mold inspector" because there is no such thing. Home inspectors that do mold inspections are banking on the fact that you have bought into the media pablum that there is such a thing as "toxic" mold. They are no more qualified to give you an opinion about mold than they are to analyze a brain scan.

They come in, take samples, send them off to the lab and then they tell you you've got to be worried and stick a bunch of meaningless numbers under your nose and go back home and snicker about how gullible you were to pay them so much money for something that you already know - that the air is full of all sorts of spore.

Clean the stuff up and stop being such a Chicken Little - unless you've already got a compromised immune system or are already hyper sensitive to dust and mold spore that stuff in the bath will have no effect on you.

The next time you want to throw $300 bucks down the toilet, shoot me a PM and I'll send you my address so you can send it here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I gave Wikipedia some credibility. Now I'm unsure if that was wise.

High mold spore count CAN make people sick sometimes. Kinda difficult to know where to draw the line sometimes. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Marc

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I think one could probably go into the home of any of these "mold inspectors" and take tape lift samples off their clothing and the interior of the home, and then take samples of the air and swabs of every one of their children's and their spouse's nostrils and still come away with the same kinds of spore counts that they are always reporting to folks as "toxic mold."

I'm so sick of hearing about this urban myth. It's been a full fifteen years. If I had a time machine, I'd travel back to 1998 Texas and kick that moron, Ms. Ballard, square in the ass for not bothering to call a plumber when she should have 'cuz it was her bullsh*t that set this whole hoax off.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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"High mold spore count CAN make people sick sometimes. Kinda difficult to know where to draw the line sometimes. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Marc"

Could you clarify? Are you saying testing for mold is erring on the side of caution? I hope not.

What if high mold counts especially of stachybotrys can sometimes make people healthier. I can't prove this but that doesn't mean it is not true. Is there any study that says this is not the case?

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The spouse and I once suffered badly from allergies. I went through 6 courses of antibiotics in one year. We had two dogs in the house but suspected the badly aged carpet in two rooms. I finally tore them both out. The allergies got worse for a few weeks then tapered out over a few months until it nearly disappeared. That was years ago and the dogs still live in the house. Is it scientific that the carpet caused our allergies? No. Do I blame the carpet? Absolutely.

Sometimes we have to just use common sense.

I once knew a professor that was brilliant but when it rained, he had to be told to 'get out of the rain.'

Marc

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Hmmm! I wonder if most of you here would agree to sleep in a room night after night where mold is growing on walls???

Some will get sick and others will get immune to it. If that's the case for most of you fellow inspectors, then good for you. As far as I'm concerned, I know what it is to be sick from it and I don't take chances with my health nor the health of my clients families.

Yes there are procedures to undertake to get rid of mold and more importantly, get rid of the source but to make it sound like mold is no big deal is irresponsible to say the least.

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Hmmm! I wonder if most of you here would agree to sleep in a room night after night where mold is growing on walls???

Not sure I understand the question; since you and I and everyone else reading this are already doing just that.

Don't believe me? Hire one of the mold scammers to come in and take tape lift samples off your bedroom walls. Betcha he gets a hit.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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There is nothing more convenient for an adult than to blame an illness on something that no one can prove. There are too many variables for an adult to pinpoint their illness on mold when no medical professional can do so without extensive study.

And some here would recommend mold testing after an inspection?

I would only trust a child who does not have the experience to misdiagnose what pain they feel if I were to blame mold as to the cause of their illness. That is, if a child felt sick and said so with out adult prompting and then mold was removed from their environment and they felt better, would I believe that mold was the definitive cause of their illness.

I would not trust the same objectiveness from an adult.

A home inspector should not recommend mold testing!

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Hmmm! I wonder if most of you here would agree to sleep in a room night after night where mold is growing on walls???

I think you misunderstand our (mine, at least) position on mold. I would not sleep in a moldy room.

I think mold is bad; we know it causes allergenic reactions, sometimes minor and sometimes severe.

If there is a lot of mold in a house, there are fundamental water problems that need to be corrected. It could be any number of things, but it's always about water. Once the water problem is corrected, the mold is easy to clean up, and if the important (water) repair work was performed satisfactorily, the mold will not return.

I object to the outsized freakshow that accompanies the "discovery" of mold, and the ridiculous cost and disruptions the mold scammers perpetrate on ignorant people. There is no credible evidence to show any of the ridiculous things that are claimed to be true. If one day there is scientific proof, I will turn to the other side of the argument.

Until then, I know that mold testing is ridiculous, it provides no useful information (emphasis on useful), and the morons pushing this crap need to be revealed for the charlatans they are.

What's needed are competent tradespeople to be able to identify and correct building science issues. It might be complicated and expensive to fix, but that's what needs fixing. What's not needed is the continuing emphasis on expensive cleanup and remediation efforts without addressing what caused the problem in the first place.

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I got to thinking.....

How many times do we say what I wrote, i.e., "fix the water problem, etc., etc..."?

Tell me about it,

16 years ago it was, "There's some fungal discoloration on the underside of your roof in the attic. You have to fix your attic ventilation so that it will dry out the attic sufficiently enough to prevent fungal growth. Fix the yadda yadda to restore proper ventilation and treat the fungal growth with Cuprinol or some other kind of fungicide." The client would yawn, walk away and probably never do a thing about it.

Now, thanks to the media hype and horse's ass with teeth types like Ms. Ballard, todays it's....

"Oh my gawwwwwd!!! There's some kind of fungi on the underside of the roof. You've got MOLD!!! If you don't hire my buddy's abatement company right now to get rid of the MOLD(!!!) the house will need to be bulldozed into the ground, your kids will develop all sorts of side effects and you'll have to go on welfare for the next twenty years!! By the way it's all the fault of whoever inspected the attic last. Here's my bill. What, how's the attic ventilation? I dunno, why do you ask? What, you want credible references to back up my mold claims? What are those? Are you smoking crack or something?"

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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. . . High mold spore count CAN make people sick sometimes. Kinda difficult to know where to draw the line sometimes. I'd rather err on the side of caution. . .

There's abundant evidence that people can have allergic reactions to mold.

There's abundant evidence that people who have problems with their immune system can be infected by mold.

There's abundant evidence that people can have toxic reactions after ingesting mold.

There's no evidence (that I can find) to back up the assertion that breathing mold, spores, or VOCs from mold in a residential setting can cause any toxic reactions in healthy people. If you know of such evidence, please direct me to it.

Find the worst moldy house that you can, pay my standard fee, and I'll be happy to live in it for a month and walk out as healthy as I walked in.

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. . . High mold spore count CAN make people sick sometimes. Kinda difficult to know where to draw the line sometimes. I'd rather err on the side of caution. . .

There's abundant evidence that people can have allergic reactions to mold.

There's abundant evidence that people who have problems with their immune system can be infected by mold.

There's abundant evidence that people can have toxic reactions after ingesting mold.

There's no evidence (that I can find) to back up the assertion that breathing mold, spores, or VOCs from mold in a residential setting can cause any toxic reactions in healthy people. If you know of such evidence, please direct me to it.

Find the worst moldy house that you can, pay my standard fee, and I'll be happy to live in it for a month and walk out as healthy as I walked in.

I don't buy the argument that exposure to elevated mold spore does not affect the health of a person who is initially healthy.

Marc

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