"Woman says mold from flood making her ill"


**Woman says mold from flood making her ill **

**10/23/2007, 11:33 am **
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STEPHANIE SZUDA, stephanies@mywebtimes.com, 815-431-4087

Valinda Munson’s kitchen sink faucet was covered with a plastic bag, which had a yellow slip of paper attached reading, “biohazard chlorinated.” “This is the only water we can drink,” said Munson, holding a gallon of water a friend prepared for her.

Munson said the aftermath of late August flooding is filling her Ottawa home at 725 Christie St. with something just as damaging as water – mold.

She said can’t drink the city water because the chlorine would have a bad effect on the mold spores she said have developed in her lungs.

“It’s left so much bacteria and mold,” she said. “I’m full of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t full of cancer. But that’s OK, as long as my kids are OK.”

According to Professional Home Inspection, of Peru, initial observations Wednesday showed moderate- to heavy- amounts of mold growth on all visible walls of basement area, as well as stress cracks in the foundation, likely due to oversaturated soil causing excessive lateral pressure.

**PHI owner Jim Zborowski said the mold is a result of the flooding because of the amount and intensity of the growth. **

“It would have been more mature had it been long term,” he said. **The company’s work order for the cleaning – a $6,599 out- of-pocket expense for Munson – stipulates separating the basement from the rest of the home with plastic and operating an air scrubber for 24 hours before and after the cleaning. **

All **PHI personnel entering the basement are to be dressed in full biohazard suits, complete with full-face respirator units with appropriate filters. Exposed surfaces will be sanitized using a nontoxic biocide approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Basement cracks will be filled with hydraulic cement, workers will recaulk as needed and correct grading and downspout inspection. **

The upstairs of the home will be dry fogged with a nontoxic biocide, and post-treatment air tests will be done to allow comparisons of spore counts from pre-treatment tests.
Munson said she was exposed to mold earlier in life, which makes her more susceptible. She provided The Times with copies of information on mold-related health conditions complete with notations about recent medical services performed on her and her children.
Among the notes are indications Munson has had two EKGs since the flood and has trouble breathing. She said her blood pressure has been affected and her lungs, sinus, eyes and stomach feel like they are burning or on fire.

Her 17-year-old son is asthmatic and her daughter is imuno-compromised and has Down syndrome, pulmonary lung disease and hyperthyroid, which make them more susceptible to the negative effects of mold in the home.

In September, Munson attended a City Council meeting to ask for help with a $30,000 flood repair bill. She said a surge of water rushed down the street, slamming into her home causing cracks and breaking windows. The cause, she said, was a long-standing failure of the sanitary sewer system to drain properly exacerbated by heavy rains that night.

She threatened legal action against the city in September and did so again Monday. She believes the mold exposure to her and the family members who helped her clean are a direct result of the August flooding.

“I don’t care what it costs. I’ll sell my car,” Munson said. “The insurance will not pay a dime. The city won’t help. The city can’t keep doing this to people. We pay taxes. We have a right to be safe.” Zborowski said Munson has contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help.


If I am reading this right…

An ASHI Inspector found Mold in this home thru a Visual Inspection and Quoted / Performed Repairs for $6599.



Does the Coupon Apply?

She probably doesn’t have flood insurance. That is why the insurance company won’t do anything. There probably wasn’t enough people effected to call in FEMA.

She could have both flood insurance for only $233 a year that would have covered 100k for home and 60k for contents. But I guess personnel responsibility is to much to expect in this day and age.

So what’s your beef!

An ASHI Inspector owns more than one business??

So do several other ASHI, NACHI, & that other org inspectors.


You cannnot see the conlict of interest here??? Even ASHI has this as part of their SOP

You guys are going to hate me for saying this, but isnt this a good reason for mold remediation licensing. IF that was a protocol that was highlighted above it makes me wonder what that guy is doing and how he is doing it. There are no specifics listed.

I don’t know, maybe its just me, but if my a$$ was sick, with lung fungus and my kids were sick with God knows what and a depressed immune system, I would have moved the hell out of the house, called the bank and said "here it is, come take it, and let the bank repo the damn thing and pitched a tent in the town square. I agree with Greg, there has to be some personal responsibility here. If the guy told her she had mold it doesn’t matter if he is ASHI, NACHI or NASCAR, she should have moved or done something about it instead of becoming yet another “victim”. Im sorry but I smell more than mold here, I smell goat!


We live in the land of opportunity. Everyone is looking for a way to make a quick buck of someone else. Until we stop it, it will just get worse.

He wasn’t doing a home inspection.

He was doing a mold investigation and mold remediation. Neither are part of an SOP Home Inspection. They are part of his OTHER business.

When you take your car to the mechanic to find out what’s wrong with it, do you then take it to another mechanic to fix it?

When your AC breaks and you call an AC guy to tell you what is wrong with it, do you then call another AC guy to fix it?

When your refrigerator breaks and you call a refrigerator guy (well, ya get the idea, don’t you?

So if a home inspector also owns a computer repair business, he can’t repair the computer after he diagnoses what’s wrong with it.

Ya see how ridiculous that is.

NOW, if it’s part of the home inspection and he’s fixing it, that is a bit of a different story (for all three major orgs now!)

Like some of y’all, I’d be moving my *** (and my kids) out until it was fixed.

He sees visual mold growth. He provides a quote. What were the mold counts, via swab or air sample? What investigative protocols were used?

I am more upset at how the price and disgnosis was reached, than the fact that an inspector is also remediating.

Our own SOP allows this, as the mold investigation and remediation is outside of our SOP.

More articles are being published these days stating that there is no verifiable correlation between mold exposures and the illnesses purportedly coming from it. The Mayo clinic, I believe, was the latest to complete a 3 year study.

That is not to say that mold is not a bad thing, or that in some concentrations and cases, cannot be life threatening. My point is that this lady was told not to drink tap water, as it is chlorinated, and that it may affect the mold in her lungs!

THIS is the perturbing part of the story to me.

I don’t understand why your all upset with the remediation guy??? He saw visible mold, no need to test, that’s wasting money. He provided her an estimate she approved it, by all counts he did an excellent job & followed the IICRC S520 for professional mold remediation. What’s the problem? Doug

He told her not to drink the water, as it was chlorinated, and it may affect the mold in her lungs.

This sounds like a fun thread…

My concerns:
No testing to

“…Her 17-year-old son is asthmatic and her daughter is imuno-compromised and has … pulmonary lung disease…”

These are the illnesses which really put people at risk from exposures to high mold spore concentrations and risk of fungal infection. Fungal infections are routinely fought off successfully by healthy people, but they can be fatal for those with immune difficiencies, depending on the degree.

I’d be out of there with my children.

What does one believe to be a high mold concentration? For instance, if a swab sample was taken, in a 3"x3" square, and 4000 CFUs of aspergillius were discovered, would this be bad?

4000 CFUs

Hi Joe, There is no threshold limits set by the Gov. (Canada or USA) therefore the concentrations of indoor mould spores affect everyone differently. You & I may not be bothered yet others can become very sick. I work in the remediation/abatement of mould and asbestos & have seen customers become affected before my eyes. Not faking or trying to sue someone. Legitimately ill. Doug

The reason I ask is that one person will say 4000, while another may say 4,000,000.

After a time, it becomes almost (sadly) laughable. The zeal by some to make money has morphed into hysteria by many. I say this because of the recent studies that have been performed where, after a number of years, more data comes to light stating the unpopular opinion that there is no evidence between the ourtageous claims of illness by some, and the true illnesses experienced by others.

I feel bad for those who are genuinely affected, and I fear that the good will someday be swept out with the bad.

Leadng pulmonologists and allergists will state that reactions to mold can range from hives to allergies, and in csome cases trigger asthma. They will also affirm that severely immunocomprimised individuals are at risk of deat at prolonged exposures at extremely high rates.

So long as the uncertainty exists, there will be a market for predatory practices by some who seek to capatilize on fear. This hurts the legitimate mold inspector or investigator who is providing an honest service.

Like I said, I have never heard of warning anyone from drinking tap water, because the chlorination will affect mold in one’s lungs…:shock:

You nailed it. Couldn’t of said it better myself. Doug

You are correct