Mold is caused by water intrusion from the roof, in your windows
or through the walls of your house.
Wendy Clark lived in a building at the Vinings Apartment Complex
in Clearwater. She says she moved in march of this year, and from
day one she felt something was wrong.
"The place would have a really bad odor," Wendy says. After
just one month, she moved out because she was constantly getting
Wendy says, "I've had several eye infections, breathing problems
and anxiety because of this."
In June of this year, we went in with our cameras and mold was
all over her apartment. She had it in her sink, under the cabinets,
under the air conditioning unit, in her clothes and in her shoes.
Wendy says she told management at the Vinings about the mold
problem immediately, but she says they were slow to respond.
Wendy decided to pay for her apartment to be tested for mold. She
hired Innovative Environmental solutions.
And in their report, the total spore count topped more than
117,000 per cubic meter. That is considered "abundant." They also
found an aspergillus count of 112,000, a cladosporium count of
more than 3,000 and stachybotrys of 114 count.
It's important for you to understand some common types of mold.
Aspergillus is a common mold linked to allergies and other diseases.
And then there is cladosporium, which is easily made airborne and
can cause respiratory infections, asthma and hay fever. But
stachybotrys is the most toxic and dangerous of them all. This mold
has the ability to produce what is called mycotoxins.
Dr. Richard Lipsey, a mold toxicologist says it can kill you. He
says while cases of fatalities involving mold are rare, there is no
ignoring the symptoms of people exposed to dangerous levels of
"You will have upper respiratory, headaches, nausea and pains,
like burning eyes, nose and throat, " according to Dr. Lipsey.
Wendy's doctor referred her to a respiratory allergist because of
her exposure to high levels of mold.
But her attorney says he's also concerned about how widespread
the mold problem might be at her apartment complex.
"What I'm afraid of in this case of the Vinings, is it appears
there's a possibility it had infected other units."
He says he does not know how many might be involved. Mr. Berman's
fears are not far fetched. Dr. Lipsey says mold can and will spread
We asked management at the Vinings about Wendy's case and if they
were having mold problems with other tenants.
They sent Tampa Bay's 10 News a fax saying, "moisture is an issue
for every Florida resident. It's why we encourage our residents to
control the humidity in their apartments."
The fax goes on to say, "ensuring the health and safety of our
residents and employees is our highest priority".