In Mold Claims: Recognizing What Is Real and Dealing With the Current Excessive Fears and Claims, pollution expert witness Ronald E. Gots, MD, Ph.D.writes:
RISK DECISION PROCESS
As noted in the introduction, true health risks are generally minimal in most mold contamination situations. Exceptions may rarely exist, i.e., if contamination is extensive,
if occupants are highly allergic, if residents are immunocompromised (generally limited to patients on chemotherapy for cancer and organ transplant treatment). However, although health is the driver for most testing and remediation; we must recognize that perceived health risks are the real driver. Because of the extensive publicity people are genuinely worried about mold. That, plus legal representation, now common, are key determinants of your actions. This is particularly true in high-risk jurisdictions like California, Florida and Texas, although no area is immune. These factors have led to the need for prompt action and decisions. Some of those must be guided by the level of distress of involved parties. This presents the claims handler a new challenge: psychological assessment and early clinical assessment of the client or occupants. This, in turn, must be considered before denying coverage or permitting the claimant to move. One approach we have used in homeowners matters is requiring a physical examination of residents who complain of symptoms. After all, the IAQ people are not qualified to connect symptoms to cause. If the occupant believes that his/her health has been compromised, then what could be more reasonable and supportable than medical confirmation? One caution: use standard, mainstream physicians, not those who are making a current career in mold hype or fear (a minute fraction, by the way, of the medical community).