On December 22, 2010, the Sunswept Apartments apartment complex, which is located in North County, Saint Louis, MO, was closed down because of mold damages. Sixteen families that lived in Sunswept were ordered to get out of their apartments. Saint Louis problem property officer Robert Rinck said "The apartments had pervasive mold damages because of water leaks." Some of the people were sick because of the mold; they had minor colds.
Mold is a fungus that grows in multicellular filaments. According to the EPA, mold grows on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. People are at risk anytime, because mold is floating in the air and so small you cannot see them until they build up like a colony. Mold needs certain things in order to form: water, food, suitable air quality and temperature. Mold forms in places such as food, walls, or any place where it’s moist, hot, and humid.
According to Princeton University and Biosign Laboratory Corporation, mold produces toxins such as mycotoxins. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, some symptoms of mold are wheezing, stuffy or runny noses, itchy watery eyes, and rash or hives.
According to Nicholas P. Money, a Ph.D. in mycology and author of Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores, “Mold initiates infections mainly in people with damaged immune systems. Some scientists believe that spores of mold cause other illnesses such as bleeding lungs in infants.”
One step that EPA is taking in educating the public is creating a guide for homeowners to follow in case they come across mold.
Other people that are giving tips to prevent mold poisoning include scientists that are part of groups like National Center for Environmental Health and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety.
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