Leighton Associates


Health Consequences of Mold

Once a mold colony is established, it generates mold spores that float through the air, land on other surfaces and form new colonies. Spores can be dispersed fairly quickly in a variety of ways including normal air currents, HVAC systems, humidity control appliances (e.g. humidifiers), and improper cleaning of mold affected areas. By the time the fungi becomes visible to the naked eye, millions of reproductive spores can be spread throughout your home or office.

These dangerous microorganisms remain airborne and are consequently inhaled as we breathe. In this way, spores introduce toxins into your body, causing adverse health effects such as those listed below:

allergic reactions, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, rashes, headache, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cold and flu symptoms, asthma attacks, nose bleeds, immune system suppression, loss of concentration, anxiety, depression, inability to reason normally

In the most extreme cases, mold can cause neurological problems, brain damage, internal hemorrhaging and death.

Legal Consequences of Mold

Numerous law suits relating to indoor air quality have resulted in multi-million dollar judgements against building owners, contractors and insurance companies. These cases are rising in both frequency and amount. A few representative examples follow:

  • $40 million was awarded in a Florida case when it was discovered that Aspergillus was growing in the Polk County courthouse due to construction defects.

  • $18.5 million was awarded in California when a jury decided an insurance company was negligent because it refused to pay for mold remediation.

  • $14 million was awarded in Martin County, Florida when it was determined construction defects resulted in sick building syndrome.

  • $32 million was awarded in Texas because an insurance company failed to inform its insured that their home contained Stachybotrys chartarum, following an investigation for water damage.


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