Tips On How To Improve Indoor Air Quality &
Reduce Indoor Air, Water, & Biological Pollut
ants
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Mold and Indoor Air Pollution FAQ's

[June 7, 2002]
           Q.
I'm a currently renting an apartment in an old house that was converted about 25 years ago into 4 units.  I moved in on December 1, 2001 and in early January came down with a sinus infection.  I usually get one maybe two sinus infections per year because I suffer from seasonal sinusitus. I was treated for the infection three separate times, first with amoxocilin, then with two of the newer antibiotics, Tequin, and then Avelox (each treatment was for 14 days and there were 2-4 weeks between each treatment).  On each occasion the infection cleared up some (only completely with Tequin) then quickly returned in a matter of days after finishing the full course of the drugs. On the last visit to my ENT specialist he wanted to treat me again, however I declined because I've heard that know using too many antibiotics can be detrimental to one's immune system, so I'm holding off for now. Each day I wake up with a headache and I feel nauseous for perhaps 30-45 minutes, and I'm sluggish and am always tired.  This week the nauseous feelings have gone on for an hour or two after leaving the house in the mornings.  It seems also, as if I can never get enough sleep. Anyway, about 3 weeks ago I saw something on television regarding molds in the home and it set off an alarm.  I remembered that when I first moved in the place in December, the landlord mentioned that there had been a tenant in the basement but a flood occurred in September 2001 and the tenant moved out.  Since he owns the home and makes repairs himself, the basement has remained vacant because he hasn't had the time to complete the repairs to make it livable (he also has a full time job).  I have no way of accessing the basement without the landlord's permission to prove that molds are possibly present.  However I have noticed that there is damp wood at the back of the house, and it seems to have remained damp/wet for some time.  Isn't damp wood a possible sign of mold?  I don't see any mold with my own eyes, but is it also possible that mold is growing behind those pieces of wood?  My doctor said I must have the house inspected to determine if molds do exist so he'll know how to treat me. I'm trying to come up with a way to approach the landlord to suggest that mold is in the house and recommend he look into it...I am not the owner of the property and cannot prove it. I live on the first floor of the house, which is completely elevated off of the ground (I must take stairs from the front porch and back porch to get to the first floor).  The house has no duct-work and has radiated heat. There is an old window air conditioning unit that I've used a few times in the past few weeks--the unit is on the back of the house where the damp wood is. I'm tired of being physically tired on a daily basis, feeling sickly and getting no relief.
        
A. Serious, repetitive sinus problems are great evidence that you are living in a mold infested place. The happening of the recent flood and the continually damp wood are two physical signs to you that there is probably a major health risk to you from big-time mold infestation. Your being sluggish, always tired, etc. is possible evidence that you are being attacked by the deadly toxic mold Stachybotrys. You or one of our Certified Mold Inspectors should immediately test the air of the various rooms of your apartment to determine if there are elevated levels of dangerous molds in your breathing air inside the apartment. Follow the mold testing suggestions provided at: Mold Testing. After you have taken the air mold tests, move out immediately to a safer place to live. The mold air tests can be used by an attorney to pursue any legal claims you may have against the landlord for injuring your health. Don't worry about trying to persuade your landlord to take care of the mold infestation problem. Most landlords won't spend the often considerable funds necessary to do comprehensive testing and mold remediation. Although landlords owe a duty to provide a healthy apartment to their tenants, in the real world, they usually don't care until a tenant or former tenant's attorney sues the landlord.

[April 22, 2002]
         Q.
I believe I am suffering from a mold related problem. I was living in an apartment in which the air quality became so bad I could no longer breathe, had chronic sinusitis, terrible lung congestion and, toward the end (before moving out) was experiencing wooziness and short-term memory problems. On the other hand, I have never been able to find visible traces of mold. I did do a mold test, and colonies of penicillium and aspergillus were found. At the time I had thought that only 'stachybotrys' was dangerous. Anyway, I moved into a new apartment, taking my furniture with me. Within a week the new place developed a sickly sweet smell (similar to the smell present in the old apartment) and I am no longer able to live in it. Again, I do not see visible traces of mold, but all who enter the apartment note a sweetish smell (some say it smells like a perfumey air-freshener). If I spend any time at all in the apartment I begin to get sick; sinus, lung congestion, dry mouth and throat and (scariest of all) wooziness and mental fuzziness. Do you have any idea what I may be suffering from? Can mold spores from my furniture, entering a clean apartment (with new, clean, carpeting) create problems despite the absence of any significant moisture in so short a time?  What might be causing the sickly sweet smell? And most important: What should I do? (I am staying at a friends house and -- frighteningly --before understanding the depths of the problem brought some clothes from my apartment into their house. Are they now at risk?
        
A. Taking your mold-contaminated personal possessions to the second apartment may have cross-contaminated the second apartment. You can also have transported mold spores on your body and clothing to your friends' house. You need to disinfect all of your personal possessions in the precise ways explained in our book Do it yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Remediation, & Testing Guide, available online on the home page of Mold Inspector. After disinfecting your personal possessions you can mold test them to make sure that they are free of mold-contamination. Another possibility is that the second apartment is also mold-contaminated unrelated to your moving your possessions to it. Because more than half of the apartments and homes in the U.S.A. have a serious mold problem, it is very possible that you moved from one mold hell to another.  You should have your body tested for mold to find out if you have molds growing in your body.

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Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, and mold killer, for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com. You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.


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Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English, mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, mold killer,
and a mold-killing ozone generator for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com. You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.


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