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Monday, 31 July 2006

Monday Morning Mold (Mycology) - July 31, 2006

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Monday Morning Mold (Mycology) - July 31, 2006
Mold (Mycology) in the Media
July 31, 2006
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Mold (Mycology) Stories - from Cynthia Anne Coulter (Mulvihill) of Hyde Mulvihill, APC
-- Removing Plastic Sheeting in Crawlspace May Add to Mold Problems (Washington Post, United States - Jul 29, 2006)
-- Mold forces police station to seek temporary home (Contra Costa Times, CA - Jul 28, 2006)
-- Store at Hard Rock casino develops mold problem (United Press International - Jul 25, 2006)
-- Some attorneys back off black mold lawsuit (WMC-TV, TN - Jul 25, 2006)
-- Couple still blame school for mold - Florence man claims health problems, property damage (Packet Online, NJ - Jul 27, 2006)
-- Mold Education: EPA Publication "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"
-- Mold Education: Stachybotrys spp. used to remediate hydrocarbon-contaminated soil (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, January 2006, p. 28-36, Vol. 72, No. 1)
-- Mold Education: Detection of airborne Stachybotrys chartarum macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins in the indoor environment (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 2005, p. 7376-7388, Vol. 71, No. 11)
-- Mold & Medicine: UCB, Inc. Submits New Drug Application To FDA For Xyzal(R) (Medical News Today, UK - Jul 28, 2006)
-- Mold Professionals: Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill (Mold Litigation Consulting)
-- For Fun: $6000 in Legal Lectures by the Best Legal Minds in the Country (for Free)

 

Good Morning,

This week's photo is of Stachybotrys spp.by Dennis Kunkel, and can be purchased from Dennis Kunkel.com.

Just the mention of Stachybotrys spp. (usally what people mean when they refer to "black mold") scares folks, especially since Stachybotrys spp. can create satratoxins, a biological weapon. However, did you know that a recent study on Stachybotrys spp. found that it can remediate soils contaminated with hydrocarbons? See Mold Education, below.

Hot tips on mold? Please e- mail them to Cynthia A. Coulter Mulvihill at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Removing Plastic Sheeting in Crawlspace May Add to Mold Problems (Washington Post, United States - Jul 29, 2006)
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Q: DEAR BARRY: A plumber has confirmed that we have mold in the crawlspace under our house, which is two years old. According to a plumber, the mold was caused by the heavy black plastic that has been placed on the wet soil beneath the building. He suggested removing the plastic, drying out the dirt and running a fan to circulate the air. There are six vents in the foundation and all are open. There is also a sump pump to remove excess ground water. Do you agree with the plumber's evaluation? If not, what do you recommend? -- Delpha

A: DEAR DELPHA: Plumbers are experts in water supply, gas supply and waste-water systems, not issues that involve mold or ground-water drainage. Covering wet soil beneath a building is an accepted method for reducing air moisture and condensation that could lead to mold or fungus infection. If moisture is causing mold, removing the plastic could make the condition worse by increasing humidity beneath the building.

Click here for Removing Plastic Sheeting in Crawlspace May Add to Mold Problems (Washington Post, United States - Jul 29, 2006)


Mold forces police station to seek temporary home (Contra Costa Times, CA - Jul 28, 2006)
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The discovery of mold in the 57-year-old Richmond police station has the department looking for a new home. A July 21 report by the San Francisco-based Amherst company confirmed elevated levels of mold in the building. The report recommended immediate relocation to avoid exposing the department's 200 employees to worsening conditions during the next rainy season.

Roof and window casement leaks are responsible for the mold in the three-story, concrete-and-masonry building. The basement is frequently flooded with as many as 12 inches of ground water during the rainy season, according to the report.

Click here for Mold forces police station to seek temporary home (Contra Costa Times, CA - Jul 28, 2006)


Store at Hard Rock casino develops mold problem (United Press International - Jul 25, 2006)
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HOLLYWOOD, July 25 (UPI) -- Employees at a store in a Florida casino resort found there was a reason they kept getting sick -- a severe mold problem. The Body Shop at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Resort in Hollywood was closed July 5 to get rid of the mold, the Miami Herald reported.

"We have all suffered from a combination of headaches, skin rashes, sore throats, respiratory infections, body aches, nausea and eye irritation," said Nance D'Agostino, the store's assistant manager.

Click here for Store at Hard Rock casino develops mold problem (United Press International - Jul 25, 2006)


Some attorneys back off black mold lawsuit (WMC-TV, TN - Jul 25, 2006)
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Almost five years after the discovery and cleanup of black mold at East High School, attorneys behind a class action lawsuit want off the case. This week, 15 Memphis City School parents and students got a letter from attorneys asking the courts to be cut from the case. Parents claim they're being dropped cold with just three months to regroup. Zorina Bowen says she doesn't know where to turn after attorneys mailed her this letter saying they want off the case.

"It's been a mess ever since we started this thing back in 2001," she said. The former PTA president says black mold discovered at East High School gave her daughter, Jessica, asthma. "When I'd walk up the stairs to class, I would notice I'd get short of breath and I stayed out a lot during my seventh and eighth grade year," said the former East High School student.

Click here for Some attorneys back off black mold lawsuit (WMC-TV, TN - Jul 25, 2006)


Couple still blame school for mold - Florence man claims health problems, property damage (Packet Online, NJ - Jul 27, 2006)
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FLORENCE — As toxic mold continues to spread through Jen and Bart Shrader's Tall Timber Lane house, the homeowners maintain that construction on the township's new high school is to blame for their mounting medical and property troubles.

Last week, the state Superior Court extended the end date for the Shraders' civil suit against the township Board of Education — which will ultimately go before Judge Marc Baldwin — to Dec. 29.

The Shraders claim runoff and improper drainage from the new water retention/detention basin on the high school site off Cedar Lane are to blame for their serious mold problem, and they are seeking unspecified monetary damages from the board for inverse condemnation, property damage and emotional distress.

"The house has been there since 1983, and it was fine until they started digging the hole for the basin," Mr. Shrader says.

Photo: Penicillium spp.

Click here for Couple still blame school for mold - Florence man claims health problems, property damage (Packet Online, NJ - Jul 27, 2006)


Mold Education: EPA Publication "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"
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Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

Click here for Mold Education: EPA Publication "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"


Mold Education: Stachybotrys spp. used to remediate hydrocarbon-contaminated soil (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, January 2006, p. 28-36, Vol. 72, No. 1)
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Nine fungal strains isolated from an aged and heavily contaminated soil were identified and screened to assess their degradative potential. Among them, Allescheriella sp. strain DABAC 1, Stachybotrys sp. strain DABAC 3, and Phlebia sp. strain DABAC 9 were selected for remediation trials on the basis of Poly R-478 decolorization associated with lignin- modifying enzyme (LME) production. These autochthonous fungi were tested for the abilities to grow under nonsterile conditions and to degrade various aromatic hydrocarbons in the same contaminated soil. After 30 days, fungal colonization was clearly visible and was confirmed by ergosterol determination. In spite of subalkaline pH conditions and the presence of heavy metals, the autochthonous fungi produced laccase and Mn and lignin peroxidases. No LME activities were detected in control microcosms. All of the isolates led to a marked removal of naphthalene, dichloroaniline isomers, o-hydroxybiphenyl, and 1,1'-binaphthalene.

Stachybotrys sp. strain DABAC 3 was the most effective isolate due to its ability to partially deplete the predominant contaminants 9,10- anthracenedione and 7H-benz[DE]anthracen-7-one. A release of chloride ions was observed in soil treated with either Allescheriella sp. strain DABAC 1 or Stachybotrys sp. strain DABAC 3, suggesting the occurrence of oxidative dehalogenation. The autochthonous fungi led to a significant decrease in soil toxicity, as assessed by both the Lepidium sativum L. germination test and the Collembola mortality test.

Photo: Stachybotrys spp.

Click here for Mold Education: Stachybotrys spp. used to remediate hydrocarbon-contaminated soil (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, January 2006, p. 28-36, Vol. 72, No. 1)


Mold Education: Detection of airborne Stachybotrys chartarum macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins in the indoor environment (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 2005, p. 7376-7388, Vol. 71, No. 11)
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The existence of airborne mycotoxins in mold- contaminated buildings has long been hypothesized to be a potential occupant health risk. However, little work has been done to demonstrate the presence of these compounds in such environments. The presence of airborne macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins in indoor environments with known Stachybotrys chartarum contamination was therefore investigated.

In seven buildings, air was collected using a high- volume liquid impaction bioaerosol sampler (SpinCon PAS 450-10) under static or disturbed conditions. An additional building was sampled using an Andersen GPS-1 PUF sampler modified to separate and collect particulates smaller than conidia. Four control buildings (i.e., no detectable S. chartarum growth or history of water damage) and outdoor air were also tested. Samples were analyzed using a macrocyclic trichothecene-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ELISA specificity was tested using phosphate-buffered saline extracts of the fungal genera Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Memnoniella, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Trichoderma, five Stachybotrys strains, and the indoor air allergens Can f 1, Der p 1, and Fel d 1. For test buildings, the results showed that detectable toxin concentrations increased with the sampling time and short periods of air disturbance. Trichothecene values ranged from <10 to >1,300 pg/m3 of sampled air. The control environments demonstrated statistically significantly (P < 0.001) lower levels of airborne trichothecenes. ELISA specificity experiments demonstrated a high specificity for the trichothecene-producing strain of S. chartarum. Our data indicate that airborne macrocyclic trichothecenes can exist in Stachybotrys-contaminated buildings, and this should be taken into consideration in future indoor air quality investigations.

Photo: Stachybotrys spp.

Click here for Mold Education: Detection of airborne Stachybotrys chartarum macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins in the indoor environment (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 2005, p. 7376-7388, Vol. 71, No. 11)


Mold & Medicine: UCB, Inc. Submits New Drug Application To FDA For Xyzal(R) (Medical News Today, UK - Jul 28, 2006)
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UCB, Inc. announced today the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval of Xyzal(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride), a new prescription antihistamine for treatment of allergy symptoms.

If approved, Xyzal(R) will offer U.S. physicians who treat allergy patients a new option to control their allergy symptoms. Xyzal(R) is already available in many countries around the world. UCB requested as part of the FDA application, the following indications: Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, and Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria.

Click here for Mold & Medicine: UCB, Inc. Submits New Drug Application To FDA For Xyzal(R) (Medical News Today, UK - Jul 28, 2006)


Mold Professionals: Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill (Mold Litigation Consulting)
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Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill is a California licensed attorney, admitted to practice in California state and federal courts. She has been the editor and publisher of Monday Morning Mold (Mycology) since 2002.

Ms. Mulvihill provides consulting services to Plaintiffs and Claimants - or potential Plaintiffs and Claimants; Defendants and potential defendants; attorneys; contractors; subcontractors; expert witnesses, remediators, etc. Ms. Mulvihill consults only. Her initial 15-minute consultation is free.

Ms. Mulvihill's confidential services include, depending on who she is retained by, and when:

  • Analysis of property damage and personal injuries
  • Conducting a property inspection
  • Reviewing medical records
  • Determination of the potential for a causal link between mycological issues and personal injuries
  • Research of what needs to be done to prove -- or disprove -- property damage, personal injuries, and their causal links
  • Determination what entity or entities might have caused property damage
  • Reviewing insurance policies to determine if insurance coverage is available for the claims
  • Determination what kind of expert or experts need to be retained to prove or disprove a case
  • Preparation of expert witnesses for depositions
  • Preparation of written discovery
  • Preparation of attorneys for questioning of expert witnesses
Ms. Mulvihill's work is, in general, protected by the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges.

 

Click here for Mold Professionals: Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill (Mold Litigation Consulting)


For Fun: $6000 in Legal Lectures by the Best Legal Minds in the Country (for Free)
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Last week, I got an e-mail from a major legal publication company letting me know that for $60 a lecture, I could listen NPR'S Justice Talking, hosted by Margot Adler. Well, you don't need to pay for them -- all you need is a computer (or iPod) enabled to play the digital files (I use RealPlayer, but there are several options).

These are fantastic programs -- and there are actually more than 100 of them. A few of my personal favorites are:

Attorney-Client Confidentiality: Are There Special Rules for Defending Terrorism Suspects?;
Hurricane Katrina’s Blow to the Justice System;
The Stop-Loss Program: Necessary Orders or a Back-Door Draft?; and
Limiting Lawsuits.

For Fun: $6000 in Legal Lectures by the Best Legal Minds in the Country (for Free)


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