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Mold Rush: California Mom Helps Fuel an Obsession


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By Daniel Heimpel

Originally published on July 23, 2008 in the LA Weekly; reprinted with permission.

Ed McMahon is among those caught in paranoia over fungus' supposed perils

The old trailer where she forced her daughter to sleep in the bad days takes up most of the driveway. Her home sits at the end of the cul-de-sac of upper-middle-class homes in San Diego’s North County. Odors from two overweight dogs have permeated the house, sinking into the dark-brown rug, and rising from tracks of dirt along the floor. It’s a scene of disorder: The living room couches are much too large, the cabinets are crammed with bric-a-brac and papers brought from the old house after the leak. After the world changed.

It is here, in a small room behind drawn wooden shutters, that Sharon Kramer maintains her national, sometimes global crusade against mold. She sits at a desk piled with articles she is working on, journals on indoor air quality and scientific reports. And there is dust everywhere, as if nobody has been in the room in a very long time. “I just don’t understand why this guy is being such a hard-ass,â€

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