"Toxic mold" produces shortness of breath, rashes, and hair loss. "Black mold" is linked to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, and cancer. Consumers are now aware. Consumers are educated. Consumers want answers and action.
The EPA has issued "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home" with comprehensive information in English and Spanish and offers cleanup guidelines, prevention measures, and control tips. Mold Help is a great consumer site that covers it all.
Secondary to health consequences are the ramifications of mold as it relates to real estate. A Michigan bill would have imposed civil liability on landlords who neglected to disclose health hazards on leased premises:
"A person who knowingly rents, leases, or sells improved real property that contains lead-based paint, toxic mold, or asbestos without disclosing its presence is liable in a civil action for damages and costs and fees...The court shall award 3 times the amount of damages sustained by the plaintiff as well as costs and fees..."
States from one end of the country to the other are gearing for action. Virginia mandates that landlords disclose the presence of mold as part of a move-in inspection. California defeated a similar initiative last year, and proposed Utah, and Washington legislation would require new environmental disclosures to tenants.
HUD recently issued a Mold Disclosure that prospective purchasers are required to sign before purchasing HUD homes. Banks and state real estate associations have amended agreements of sale to include mold disclosures. Stay tuned. This issue is getting hotter every month!