Wood Products Experts On Household Mold Part 2

In Mold, Housing and Wood, wood products experts at the Western Wood Products Association write:

Why is there concern about mold in homes?

Mold growth in homes has not necessarily increased in recent years, but new court cases involving mold, sensationalistic media coverage and publication of questionable scientific research have increased public awareness of the issue.

Much of the recent concern about mold was aroused after several articles on the subject appeared in scientific journals. One of the most widely publicized articles was written by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (CDC, 1994, 1997). They reported that in 1993, there were 10 cases of acute ideopathic pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis (AIPH) in infants, some of whom died, that was thought to be linked to the mold Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra).

This article caused great concern and spurred reactions across the country. However, upon closer examination of the study and its data and conclusions, a CDC expert panel and an outside expert panel both refuted the initial findings. Both panels determined there was no reliable scientific evidence that Stachybotrys caused the health problems in these infants (CDC, 2000a).

While the initial report of the CDC research was widely publicized, the revised findings received little coverage. As a result, there continues to be the misperception that there is scientific proof Stachybotrys chartarum causes serious health problems in infants. In fact, the CDC notes: “At present there is no test that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) and particular health symptoms.”(CDC, 2000b)