In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a globally recognized authority on disease control and health based in Atlanta, molds unto themselves are not toxic. Some, however, including Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold), can produce mycotoxins that can prove adverse and even dangerous to human health.
That said, there are very few reports, according to the CDC, that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage of memory loss. The case reports, says the CDC are rare and "a causal link between the presence of toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven."
However as common as mold is (according to the CDC, "there is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces"), the fact remains that mold has become a 4-letter word for most and especially those with health conditions that cause them to be sensitive to mold.
And mold as the basis for litigation is spreading through the court system, as plaintiffs sue landlords, contractors, vendors, real estate agents and others who are accused of being responsible for the growth, or conditions fostering the growth, of mold spores in homes, public buildings and work environments.
Even insurance companies are affected.
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Melinda Ballard and her husband Ron Allison alleged they had to flee their home in 1999 after the spread of toxic black mold made the structure uninhabitable.
The award was later reduced in late 2002 by the Third District Court of Appeals, which ruled that a Farmer's affiliate violated the state Deceptive Trade Practices Act, but did not commit fraud.
And while the CDC holds that household mold is common, the risk for toxic black mold and resulting toxic mold exposure ensures that no one can afford to take chances with their heath, or their liability.