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Mold Update
Tuesday, 05 September 2006

Monday Morning Mold (Mycology) - September 4, 2006

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Monday Morning Mold (Mycology) - September 4, 2006
Mold (Mycology) in the Media
September 4, 2006
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Mold (Mycology) Stories - from Cynthia Anne Coulter (Mulvihill) of Hyde Mulvihill, APC
-- How helping might hurt - OSHA'S Waiver of Personal Protection Requirements (Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2006)
-- Mold: Can It Make You Sick? (KTVU.com, CA - Sep 2, 2006)
-- Katrina's Other Legacy: Mold (Free Market News Network, FL - Aug 31, 2006)
-- EcoWellness: Mold a mushrooming problem? (Monsters and Critics.com, UK - Aug 30, 2006)
-- Mould no threat to people of New Orleans (New Scientist, UK - Sep 1, 2006)
-- 10 Tips to Construct a Mold-Free Building (BuildingOnline, CA - Aug 30, 2006)
-- Mold Education: Fungal Genome Initiative (FGI)
-- Mold Education: Microfungal Contamination of Damp Buildings--Examples of Risk Constructions and Risk Materials
-- Mold & Insurance: Court says mold wasn't covered - Policy ruling is win for State Farm (Houston Chronicle, United States - Aug 31, 2006)
-- Mold & Insurance: Case Brief - Richard Fiess And Stephanie Fiess, Appellants, V. State Farm Lloyds, Appellee (No. 04-1104).
-- Mold Publications: Evacuees writing the book on mold (Billings Gazette, USA - Aug 29, 2006)
-- Mold Professionals: Cynthia Coulter Mulvihill (Mold Litigation Consulting)

 

Good Morning,

Happy Labor Day!

Ever wonder just how misleading headlines can be? Read the article New Scientist article Mould no threat to people of New Orleans below.

This week's lead photo (and several in the newsletter itself) of Aspergillus versicolor is by Dennis Kunkel, and is available for purchase at www.denniskun kel.com. (IMHO, Mr. Kunkel is the Ansel Adams of microphotography.)

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


How helping might hurt - OSHA'S Waiver of Personal Protection Requirements (Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2006)
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H ugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, has been closely involved with the cleanup of hazardous wastes at sites like Love Canal and the World Trade Center. A year ago, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, he was widely quoted describing the wreckage as a "toxic gumbo." In the Twin Cities last week to visit the State Fair, he contacted the Star Tribune to discuss its coverage of the Katrina anniversary. Commentary editor Eric Ringham spoke with him by phone.

Q You said your eye was caught by a photo in the Star Tribune?

A Yes. On the front page on Sunday there was a picture of a volunteer worker in the contaminated areas of one of the homes in the Gulf Coast, I believe in New Orleans. And I've seen similar pictures. The person who was trying to be helpful was wearing a dust mask. The pores in those masks are so large that they will allow mold, asbestos and toxic air contaminants, all things that are prevalent in that area, through the pores and into the lungs.

Click here for How helping might hurt - OSHA'S Waiver of Personal Protection Requirements (Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2006)


Mold: Can It Make You Sick? (KTVU.com, CA - Sep 2, 2006)
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The Meniketti's of Livermore seem like a typical suburban family. Mom and dad and the boys go to their mailbox every day, but they're actually living in a nearby hotel. They say they can't go in their house -- that something inside was nearly killing them.

Donelle Meniketti says, "All of us had been sick, we didn't know exactly what was going on, I didn't have any feeling in these six fingers, I was having a lot of trouble with dizziness."

Photo: Cladosporium spp.

Click here for Mold: Can It Make You Sick? (KTVU.com, CA - Sep 2, 2006)


Katrina's Other Legacy: Mold (Free Market News Network, FL - Aug 31, 2006)
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As the one-year anniversary of the destruction of hurricanes Katrina and Rita passes by, and the reconstruction of New Orleans trudges on, at least one factor remains unsolved. As Whitley Strieber at his Unknown Country website notes, little attention has been paid to an ongoing problem from all the watersoaked structures and turf: Mold.

If this is not addressed in the process of rebuilding, the entire set of renovations "will have to be torn down again," since to leave them would only be creating a longer-term health hazard. He cites health professionals who have found the mold problem in the city both "overwhelming and neglected."

Photo: Aspergillus flavus

Click here for Katrina's Other Legacy: Mold (Free Market News Network, FL - Aug 31, 2006)


EcoWellness: Mold a mushrooming problem? (Monsters and Critics.com, UK - Aug 30, 2006)
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WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- As people displaced by Hurricane Katrina begin to trickle back to their old homes, many are developing vague upper respiratory symptoms -- tightness of the chest and coughing -- that some have coined 'Katrina cough.'

The exact cause is still unknown, but doctors and environmental health specialists believe the vast amounts of dust and mold infiltrating the hurricane- affected areas are to blame. Buildings still damp from high floodwaters have quickly become hotbeds for bacteria and mold.

Photo: Aspergillus flavus

Click here for EcoWellness: Mold a mushrooming problem? (Monsters and Critics.com, UK - Aug 30, 2006)


Mould no threat to people of New Orleans (New Scientist, UK - Sep 1, 2006)
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The buildings of New Orleans were left covered with mould after the floods caused by hurricane Katrina, but it seems the spores pose little threat to the city's remaining inhabitants. High levels of airborne fungal spores were reported in the flood zone soon after the hurricane. One species of particular concern to health officials was Stachybotrys, which is blamed for a wide range of health problems, particularly in people with asthma.

But last week the International Congress on Aerobiology in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, heard that few airborne spores reached the unflooded areas of the city. While total airborne spore counts are now about 50 per cent higher than in 2003 and 2004, Stachybotrys spores are "present and detectable, but not abundant", says Estelle Levetin at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

Photo: Stachybotrys chartarum

Click here for Mould no threat to people of New Orleans (New Scientist, UK - Sep 1, 2006)


10 Tips to Construct a Mold-Free Building (BuildingOnline, CA - Aug 30, 2006)
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ATLANTA -- Dubbed "the new asbestos" by many, mold is an increasing problem in many new construction buildings, ruining the indoor air quality and costing thousands of dollars to remediate, according to GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI). GEI, a non-profit organization that establishes indoor air standards for indoor products, environments and buildings, advises builders and contractors to take 10 precautions to avoid mold contamination of their properties.

"All it takes is a little rain and mold can grow all over an exposed structure," said Carl Smith, CEO/executive director of GEI. "Safer building may cost a little more time and money in the short term, but can save many more headaches in the future."

Click here for 10 Tips to Construct a Mold-Free Building (BuildingOnline, CA - Aug 30, 2006)


Mold Education: Fungal Genome Initiative (FGI)
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The Fungal Genome Initiative (FGI) produces and analyzes sequence data from fungal organisms that are important to medicine, agriculture and industry. Over 25 fungi have been sequenced or are being sequenced, including human and plant pathogens as well as fungi that serve as basic models for molecular and cellular biology.

The FGI is a partnership between the Broad Institute and the wider fungal research community, with the selection of target genomes being governed by a steering committee of fungal scientists. Organisms are selected for sequencing as part of a cohesive strategy that considers not only the value of data from each organism given their role in basic research, health, agriculture, and industry, but also their value in comparative genomics.

Photo: Aspergillus fumigatus (which has been sequenced)

Click here for Mold Education: Fungal Genome Initiative (FGI)


Mold Education: Microfungal Contamination of Damp Buildings--Examples of Risk Constructions and Risk Materials
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Abstract

To elucidate problems with microfungal infestation in indoor environments, a multidisciplinary collaborative pilot study, supported by a grant from the Danish Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, was performed on 72 mold-infected building materials from 23 buildings. Water leakage through roofs, rising damp, and defective plumbing installations were the main reasons for water damage with subsequent infestation of molds. From a score system assessing the bioavailability of the building materials, products most vulnerable to mold attacks were water damaged, aged organic materials containing cellulose, such as wooden materials, jute, wallpaper, and cardboard.

The microfungal genera most frequently encountered were Penicillium (68%), Aspergillus (56%), Chaetomium (22%), Ulocladium, (21%), Stachybotrys (19%) and Cladosporium (15%). Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus versicolor, and Stachybotrys chartarum were the most frequently occurring species. Under field conditions, several trichothecenes were detected in each of three commonly used building materials, heavily contaminated with S. chartarum. Under experimental conditions, four out of five isolates of S. chartarum produced satratoxin H and G when growing on new and old, very humid gypsum boards. A. versicolor produced the carcinogenic mycotoxin sterigmatocystin and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin under the same conditions.

Photo: Ulocladium spp.

Click here for Mold Education: Microfungal Contamination of Damp Buildings--Examples of Risk Constructions and Risk Materials


Mold & Insurance: Court says mold wasn't covered - Policy ruling is win for State Farm (Houston Chronicle, United States - Aug 31, 2006)
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AUSTIN — Standard insurance policies used by homeowners to recover billions of dollars in mold losses actually didn't cover mold, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court, in a 7-2 decision, sided with State Farm, which argued that its policy excluded mold coverage.

The ruling came in a case involving a Deer Park family who discovered mold after their home was damaged in 2001 by Tropical Storm Allison.

Click here for Mold & Insurance: Court says mold wasn't covered - Policy ruling is win for State Farm (Houston Chronicle, United States - Aug 31, 2006)


Mold & Insurance: Case Brief - Richard Fiess And Stephanie Fiess, Appellants, V. State Farm Lloyds, Appellee (No. 04-1104).
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Asked by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to clarify whether a homeowners insurance policy that contains language excluding mold provides coverage for mold contamination caused by water damage that is otherwise covered by the policy, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled "no."

Texas Supreme Justice Brister delivered the opinion of the Court, in Richard Fiess And Stephanie Fiess, Appellants, V. State Farm Lloyds, Appellee (No. 04- 1104). Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice Hecht, Justice Wainwright, Justice Green, Justice Johnson, and Justice Willett joined. Justice Medina filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice O'Neill joined.

Click here for Mold & Insurance: Case Brief - Richard Fiess And Stephanie Fiess, Appellants, V. State Farm Lloyds, Appellee (No. 04-1104).


Mold Publications: Evacuees writing the book on mold (Billings Gazette, USA - Aug 29, 2006)
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Unlike many people whose lives were changed by Hurricane Katrina, Kurt and Lee Ann Billings weren't devastated by high winds, raging flood waters or collapsing buildings. Their enemy was much smaller and more insidious, and it wasn't until weeks after Katrina that they even knew what they were dealing with. In September, the couple will tell about their experiences in their book, "Mold: The War Within."

The Billingses, who were evacuated to Billings from Lake Charles, La., soon after Katrina, said they and their two children suffered from illnesses caused by mold that flourished in the wake of Katrina, as well as by chemicals of all kinds that were released into the environment as a result of hurricane damage.

Click here for Mold Publications: Evacuees writing the book on mold (Billings Gazette, USA - Aug 29, 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)


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