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Toxic Mold and Premises Liability In Campus Dorms

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Court Reporting students in Tuscaloosa recently informed a local news station that the health conditions in off-campus apartments are “deplorable.” Several new residents mentioned that bathrooms were “unusable” and bedrooms were “un-liveable.”

Although the residents did their best to clean the dirty, moldy apartments to the best of their ability, the amount of dirt and mold was overwhelming.

Toxic mold could be dangerous to the residents’ health. Mold-removal isn’t a task that any new resident, or his or her family, should attempt. The results can be health and life-threatening.

Although the residents attempted to contact the local Alabama Department of Public Health, they were told that the department doesn’t investigate such matters.

After reporting about the conditions to the property maintenance inspector’s office in Tuscaloosa, the residents were told there is a “procedure” it must follow to inspect the property. State law provides 14 days for the property owners to repair the property. If the owner fails to make the necessary repairs, residents may then contact the city inspection department.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), even a short-term exposure to toxic mold can cause chronic fatigue, non-thyroidal illness syndrome, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), aspergillosis, lung growths, and other illnesses. Mold, mycotoxins, and fungal exposures are implicated in a vast number of diseases.

Toxic Mold Syndrome (TMS) is often used to describe the range of illnesses that may occur after exposure to mold spores. Molds generate a poison (mycotoxin) that are released in the air. Molds and mycotoxins may harm humans and animals. Some of the symptoms of TMS include fever, lung congestion, shortness of breath, fever, aches, burning/itchy/watery eyes, and dizziness. Young and older people may be most vulnerable to the harmful effects of mycotoxins.

Leaky plumbing, poor humidity control, and flooding may cause mycotoxin-producing molds to flourish. Mold removal is essential to the prevention of TMS, but doing so may be difficult. Ceilings and walls may be heavily contaminated. In some cases, it may be necessary to destroy the building to remove all traces of toxic mold.