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Airtight homes eyed as mold issues grow

Allison B. Cohen. Los Angeles Times

Some say energy- efficient construction, popular since the '70s, is the culprit. Others say homeowner habits cause the problem

October 3, 2004 - Memories of the oil embargo three decades ago that produced long lines at gas stations have been short-lived for Southern Californians who still love to drive gas-guzzling cars. But those days did spur energy conservation changes in residential construction that remain today.

Since the 1970s, homes have been built increasingly airtight to save on gas and electricity. Some observers, however, believe the practice has increased problems with indoor air quality and resulted in higher incidences of household mold. But not everyone links the increase in mold concerns to building practices. Also on the list of potential culprits are certain building materials and the habits of homeowners themselves

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National toxic mold specialist sees Midlanders

By Shanna Sissom, Midland Reporter-Telegram

July 2, 2002 - Midland Texas - One of a handful of doctors in the nation on the cutting edge of understanding health problems linked to toxic mold reports is seeing a number of Midland-area residents suffering from mold-related ailments.

"I have seen a number of patients from there and various other Texas communities," Dr. Michael Gray of Benson, Arizona, said Monday in a telephone interview.

Gray said he expects the mold problem to get much worse before it gets any better.

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Family claims mold forced them to move

By J.R. Gonzales Caller-Times

Lawsuit seeks $28 million from insurance company, which declines to comment

June 14, 2002 - It was a move that was supposed to bring a family together.

In the late 1990s, Spring Gehring and her daughter moved into the home that she lived in when she came to Corpus Christi almost a decade earlier. A single parent attending classes at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, she wanted her daughter to be closer to the girl's grandmother.

"I wanted to be home with my daughter," said Gehring, 24.

Now, she and her 3-year-old daughter, Kaela Thomas, live away from Gehring's mother in a southside apartment, heavily in debt.

Gehring said mold in the house forced them to leave. And in a lawsuit filed last year in state district court, Gehring, her mother, Jana Flores-Jon, and Thomas are seeking $7 million in actual damages and $21 million in punitive damages from the company that provided them homeowners insurance.

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Mould Works at Home

Do it Yourself Mold Testing from the University of Oregon


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