by James Teitelbaum
One thing is for sure: if you live in a humid climate, or if you have ever had water damage to your home, you’re going to want to watch this film.
If I told you that the horrible black mold that rots people’s homes in humid climates was bad for a human being’s health, would you believe me?
I suspect that most people would.
This seems like a no-brainer, right?
After all, this black mold is a living organism, and might just as easily eat away at a human’s health as it eats away at concrete and thrives within old carpeting. Common sense dictates that this nasty, stinky, vile, living thing just couldn’t possibly be anything other than harmful if it should find its way to the interior of a human being.
Unfortunately, several groups of people who have a vested financial interest in proving otherwise – insurance companies, politicians, construction contractors, and even some doctors – have done their very best to claim that people whose lives have been devastated by the black mold are unworthy of compensation or treatment. Even worse, some of these same powerful forces won’t even acknowledge that black mold is a serious problem. It seems obvious that breathing in black mold spores can have negative health effects, and it seems absurd that even the CDC (Center for Disease Control) denies the existence of some fairly blatant symptoms of mold exposure.
Once again, greed trumps humanity, dollars trump suffering, the guy with the worst lawyer is wrong, and the little guy loses. This is the thesis of “Black Mold Exposure,” a documentary by Michael Williams.
As overly dramatic music rather heavy-handedly sets the tone, we learn some interesting facts: no standardized safe levels for mold exposure have been established; Hurricane Katrina, for all the misery it caused, helped to raise awareness to the dangers of mold exposure; no set of symptoms for people suffering from black mold exposure agreed upon; many symptoms can be due to other problems (hence skepticism); and genetic susceptibility can be a factor.
Personally, I was sold on Williams‘ perspective (as outlined in the first few paragraphs above) by thirty minutes into the show, but he targets the skeptics by spending another hour hammering the point home via interviews with people on both sides of the argument. The documentary includes a lot of interview footage with an Asian girl named Karen and her boyfriend (whose name happens to be Michael Williams). They were both essentially healthy people until they moved into a poorly constructed apartment building in Saratoga Springs, Florida. Water damage to the newly-constructed apartments gave the black mold a foothold, and after only a few years, the entire complex had to be razed due to the mold infestation (over 1000 water damage complaints were filed in four years among the 264 apartments). Just as the mold rotted away the homes, it also seems to have rotted away the tenants. Karen now has extreme health problems, all attributable directly to the black mold exposure. Michael isn’t much better off.
These people have had their lives severely and radically impacted by their misfortune, and it is unthinkable that so few people are taking this problem more seriously. For those with allergies, imagine your worst attack ever, and now imagine living like that all the time, and you might start to commiserate with some of the people in this film. One thing is for sure: if you live in a humid climate, or if you have ever had water damage to your home, you’re going to want to watch this one. These lil’ black beasties will scare the willies out of you.
For more information – blackmoldexposuremovie.com
Political Action Committee – NAA – files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana