Mold at Home and at Work
January 18, 2016 | Environmental Litigation
Mold does not solely exist in the fridge on that forgotten piece of cheese sitting near the back. Mold can be rampant in lower bathroom cabinets, in the basement, or beneath the carpet right under your feet. While the sound alone of mold is unappetizing, it can be much more harmful than most people think. Mold releases spores into the air to reproduce, and these noxious spores can cause sneezing, itching or irritated eyes, nasal congestion, a persistent cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, asthma, and even pneumonia, which can lead to death. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that studies suggest a strong link between mold exposure as a child and the development of asthma. Mold is so detrimental to health that the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidelines for indoor mold – WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould.
Remove Mold Before it Spreads too Far
Mold thrives in warm, dark, damp environments like bathrooms, under sinks, beneath carpets, near windows, in the basement, and on walls. However, mold is incredibly resilient and grows even in cold, dry environments, as well. It spreads by releasing spores into the air, which is what causes respiratory illnesses. You can remove mold from your home by taking specific safety precautions. However, if the mold makes up 10 square feet or more and you intend to remove it by yourself without hiring a professional cleaner, the CDC recommends following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. If the mold problem is contained to a smaller area, follow these steps:
- Use bleach or soapy water combined with heavy scrubbing;
- NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner because the resulting fumes could potentially be deadly;
- Let in fresh air by opening doors and windows; and
- Use rubber gloves and eye protection.
Employers have an obligation to create safe, comfortable work environments for their employees. Likewise contractors, designers, and architects are expected to construct with materials and build homes that resist the growth of mold. If you or a member of your family have fallen from unsafe levels of mold exposure, you may be able to file a claim against one of or multiple parties listed below:
- If your workplace has mold, your employer should have taken care of it before you grew sick;
- Designers, suppliers, and manufacturers are obligated to use specific materials for building that are resistant to mold. If they are deemed unsafe, they may be held negligent;
- Contractors must build to code in order to protect against mold. If they fail to do this, they may be held liable; and
- In rare cases, an architect may be held liable if they design a home that negligently welcomes mold growth instead of repels it.
If you or a family member became ill due to mold at home or at the workplace, contact a New York mold attorney today at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Call 212-397-1000 to talk about what we can start working on today in order to give you the compensation you and your family deserve.