Mold can be found almost anywhere moisture and oxygen exist, including inside homes, apartments, office buildings, and schools. Although not every mold is dangerous, there are several types of molds that can cause severe illnesses and allergies. Short- and long-term exposure to toxic molds like stachybotrys chartarum, aspergillus, and sporothrix can cause severe symptoms and, in some cases, life-threatening illnesses or diseases.
One of the most common types of mold-related illnesses is toxic mold syndrome (TMS) or as it’s also referred to as “sick home syndrome.” TMS is caused by an inflammatory response to toxins produced by mold. Although some victims may experience initial allergy-like symptoms upon exposure, the more serious symptoms of TMS usually come with prolonged exposure to dangerous mold.
TMS symptoms are often very hard to diagnose because a) they often mimic flu-like symptoms and b) there isn’t always a clear explanation for the symptoms. A chronic inflammatory response (CIRS) in the body can be linked to a number of conditions and diseases, making it even harder to blame mold spores for an individual’s symptoms.
Short term exposure to dangerous mold spores may produce an allergic reaction and produce symptoms like:
- Sinus irritation
- Itchy or runny eyes
- Itchy or runny nose
- Skin irritation or rash
- Nose bleeds
- Headaches or migraines
After prolonged exposure to dangerous mold spores, individuals may develop more serious symptoms like:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Memory loss
- Stomach issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive thirst
- Urination problems
- Joint pain
- Sensitivity to food
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Irritability or depression
- Hand and feet numbness
- Muscle cramps
- Other types of symptoms
As mentioned above, TMS is also commonly referred to as sick home syndrome. What’s the difference between sick home syndrome and TMS? Although sick home syndrome and TMS can be one and the same, the symptoms of sick home syndrome are usually only felt when spending time inside a particular building or residence. If you’ve noticed a change in the way you feel when spending time inside a particular building, then you may be suffering from sick home syndrome.
For example, you seem to always get a headache when you go to work, and you’ve noticed your co-workers complain of the same issue. Or maybe your spouse complains of suffering from allergies as soon as he or she arrives home from work? You may also notice your symptoms “disappear” when you leave work, or your spouse is symptom-free while at work.
Although sick home syndrome can be caused by other factors and conditions, one of the most common causes of this syndrome is toxic mold like black mold. Toxic mold is commonly found in carpeting, drywall, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, windowsills, and anywhere where water (moisture) and oxygen are found.
Toxic mold can enter the body via inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or passed in utero. Toxic mold can “grow” by producing tiny cells called spores. These tiny spores waft through the air and reproduce. Left untouched, these cells will continue to produce and multiply, especially where excess moisture is found. If an individual is present where dangerous mold exists, these spores can enter the body.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common toxic molds found indoors are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium. Toxic mold has been linked to the early development of asthma in young children and can be particularly harmful to individuals with weakened immune systems.
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMS or any other type of mold-related illness, act fast to learn what your legal rights are. If your illness was caused by the careless actions of another person or entity, you may be able to get compensation for illness-related damages like doctor visits, hospital stays, medicine, lost income from time off work, emotional anguish, shortened life expectancy, physical pain, and other types of damages.
You must act quickly due to California’s state limits, which allow only so much time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault person. Our firm has handled premises liability cases involving landlords, property managers, real estate developers, previous homeowners, contractors, and subcontractors.
The longer you wait to file a claim, the more likely it is the state will deny you the chance to collect compensation. Don’t put your ability to get financial help and peace of mind at risk – get in touch with our Los Angeles legal team at Adamson Ahdoot LLP, today by submitting a contact form.