My family was exposed to toxic mold in our home in Johnston, Iowa. Toxic mold can happen anywhere. My name is Cheryl Wisecup, but you don’t need my name to understand this issue. I am writing to you on behalf of millions of Americans who have been harmed by exposure to toxic mold.
Toxic mold causes serious health problems. We need your help to get laws passed in order to ensure that the American people can get appropriate medical care and the correct information regarding the handling and remediation of toxic mold. We need laws and regulations in regard to people who test and remediate mold in order to stop the fraud and deceit that has been occurring throughout the country.
Toxic mold can happen to anyone. My family’s experience is a good example of what has been happening to families throughout the country. We had toxic mold in our home. We lost our home, our health, all of our personal belongings and our financial security. What if your family lost everything—your home, your health, your personal property, your family mementos, your financial security, and your children’s sense of safety?
For 50 years, the tobacco industry denied the truth about the health effects of tobacco. How long will the insurance industry and other stakeholders be allowed to deny the truth about the health effects of toxic mold? We need to expose the truth now and educate the public about the proper way to handle mold problems in our homes, schools and businesses. If your family was exposed to toxic mold, wouldn’t you want laws in place to protect your loved ones? This is all we are asking. We need your leadership and action on this very important issue.
The following information will give you a good place to start in understanding the issues that need to be addressed. These ten items are a very small sample of the thousands of documents available on this topic. I thought these items would be most helpful in your efforts to create new laws and regulations about mold-related issues. You might also review the mold legislation that was proposed by Representative John Conyers.
Toxic mold is a very serious health threat, and we need to do enact laws to help protect all Americans. I hope this information is helpful as you work to develop laws and regulations about mold-related issues.
1. The following paper has an insightful discussion of whether mold contamination in homes can be regulated. “Can Mold Contamination of Homes be Regulated–Lessons Learned from Radon and Lead Policies”? The answer is yes.
2. The State of California issued mold remediation guidelines. This is one of the most up-to-date reports available. It contains references to several important articles about the health effects of toxic mold. The U.S. Navy also has mold remediation guidelines.
3. The State of Nevada recently passed legislation designating September 2009 as toxic mold awareness month, and the State of Arkansas passed legislation regarding standards and qualifications for mold investigators. You could use this information as a starting point for one part of your legislation, but you would want to get input from experts.
4. The U.S. Surgeon General just announced the federal government’s new Healthy Home Initiative which discusses mold and mold toxins, along with lead paint and radon, and other issues that can affect the indoor environment in homes.
5. The Center for School Mold Help has a lot of valuable information about mold in schools and also has an excellent article discussing how certain stakeholders are trying to hide the truth about the health effects of toxic mold.
6. There are many books available on this subject including these two books:
Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control” This book was published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists in 1999
“Molds and Mycotoxins–Papers from an International Symposium” This book was edited by Kaye Kilburn, M.D., and was published by Heldref Publications in 2004.
7. James Craner, M.D., has published several good articles and reports on this topic, including “A Critique of the ACOEM Statement on Mold.” Another leading expert is Jack Thrasher, Ph.D., who is a toxicologist.
8. The following links are from military textbooks. The first one is Chapter 34 on Trichothecene Mycotoxins, and the second one is Chapter 4 on Toxins (which includes information about mycotoxins). If the U.S. military can admit that mycotoxins are dangerous, then why are the insurance companies allowed to deny that mycotoxins cause health problems.
9. The University of Connecticut published a handbook in 2004 titled “Guidance for Clinicians on the Recognition and Management of Health Effects Related to Mold Exposure and Moisture Indoors.”
10. Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D., is one of the leading doctors in the country who are helping people who have been harmed by exposure to toxic mold. This is the link for Dr. Shoemaker’s website: