A Reprint from Tierra Grande What do these things have in common: wine, penicillin, cheese, beer and mushrooms? Stumped? Here's a big hint: it's also the latest health scare, costing Texas consumers millions of dollars in higher insurance premiums and needless home "health" testing, and it's being used as a get-rich-quick scheme by some personal injury lawyers. Right. It's mold.

S o how did this common type of fungus, present in Texas insurance rates are more than double the national all sorts of good things used daily and ever-present in average and are continuing to rise based in large part on mold- the environment, grow into the major consumer crisis related claims. Many people can no longer afford homeown- it has become today? ers insurance, assuming they are able to get coverage in the As a board certified allergist-immunologist, I have taught, first place. Home sales are not going through because of mold done research and seen patients with a variety of immune- concerns; home sellers, lenders, real estate professionals, title based medical conditions for 14 years. In the past several years, companies and a host of other industries are being negatively I have seen an increasing number of frightened, sometimes affected. Eventually this will cost some Texans their jobs. angry, patients who believe, or have been told, that they have People are having their lives disrupted by testers and "toxic mold disease." But do they? remediators, often for no legitimate reason. If health is the There are many different kinds of mold — at least 10,000 major concern, consider this. The apartment or hotel into common types. Mold is everywhere because it requires only a which people relocate for weeks or months may have higher source of water, sugar, oxygen and a mold content than the home being friendly surface on which to thrive. remediated. And after the expensive The term "toxic mold" In high-humidity environments like home cleanup is completed, the Texas, mold is especially abundant. It same molds may still be in the air is not possible to completely rid the seems to have been environment of mold, nor would there The bottom line is this: people be any reason to do so. who are ill should see a physician. manufactured to arouse Is mold harmful to people? Can it If the doctor thinks the patient has cause memory loss, fatigue or brain mold allergies, testing by a reputable panic and fear among damage? For most people, the an- medical specialist who has the cre- swer is a resounding and hopefully dentials to provide reliable informa- otherwise calm people. reassuring, "No." The world is filled tion may be warranted. The doctor's with mold spores. They are breathed direction for treatment should be in the air, eaten in foods and drunk in our water every day with followed. Check the physician's credentials to determine his or no ill effects. Some people develop allergies and experience her expertise in the diagnosis and management of mold-related symptoms of asthma or hay fever when exposed to certain mold allergic diseases. Do not be afraid to ask why he or she thinks spores. There are a few mold-related diseases that can be serious, mold is causing a problem. mostly in people with severely depressed immune systems (such Most importantly, before suing over mold exposure, consider as advanced cancer or AIDS). Fortunately, these are extremely the aggravation, expense and frustration associated with try-rare cases. ing to be compensated for one of the everyday risks of living What about the "experts" who diagnose mold-related mem- on this planet. Is the stress, anxiety and guilty conscience ory loss or learning disabilities? There is absolutely no proof to support these claims. And what about the dreaded "toxic" Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P. ([email protected]) mold? The term itself seems to have been manufactured to is Director of the Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology at the University arouse panic and fear among otherwise calm people. of Texas Medical School at Houston and Chief, Allergy-Immunology Service Even though health risks may be vastly exaggerated, most at Memorial Hermann and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospitals. people would rather not have excess, visible mold in their homes. Mold looks bad and has an unpleasant odor. However, mold removal is relatively simple. State of Black Mold
M old means moisture. Sources of excess moisture — a roof or shower leak or condensation, for example — Newspaper headlines focusing on "black mold" prompted the Texas Medical Association (TMA) need to be eliminated. Stop the source of water, and to study the issue. The association's Council on stop the mold. It's that simple. If expert advice is needed, find a Scientific Affairs (CSA) searched medical and scientific reputable person or company trained in moisture management literature and contacted Texas and national experts and to find and fix the source of excess water. Often, the mold will not return once the moisture is removed. "Adverse health effects from inhalation of Stachybotrys Is it necessary to pay to have a home tested for mold? No. chartarum spores in water-damaged buildings is not The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the supported by available peer-reviewed reports in medical reigning mold expert from Harvard's School of Public Health literature," concludes the CSA report, which was issued do not support most home mold testing. Remember, in high- in September 2002.
humidity places like the Texas Gulf Coast, at least some "The hypothesis that exposure to molds and their mold can be found in virtually all homes more than a couple toxic products may lead to adverse health effects can be made," says the report. "However, the proposition If mold is found, is someone to blame? Probably not. The that molds in indoor environments may lead to adverse mere presence of mold in a home or office does not automati- health effects through mechanisms other than infection cally mean that someone has done something wrong. and allergic/immunologic reactions is an untested Should homeowners panic? No. React to mold based on facts, not on hysteria and hype. The mold scare is already hav- ing a demonstrable and troubling effect on the Texas economy and on individual lives.

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Director, Dr. R. Malcolm Richards; Associate Director, Gary Maler; Chief Economist, Dr. Mark G. Dotzour; Communications Director, David S. Jones; Associate
Nancy McQuistion; Assistant Editor, Kammy Baumann; Assistant Editor, Ellissa Brewster; Art Director, Robert P. Beals II; Graphic Designer, J.P. Beato;
Circulation Manager, Mark W. Baumann; Typography, Real Estate Center; Lithography, Wetmore & Company, Houston.
Jerry L. Schaffner, Dallas, chairman; Celia Goode-Haddock, College Station, vice chairman; Joseph A. Adame, Corpus Christi; David E. Dalzell, Abilene; Tom H. Gann, Lufkin; Joe Bob McCartt, Amarillo; Catherine Miller, Fort Worth; Nick Nicholas, Dallas; Douglas A. Schwartz, El Paso; and Larry Jokl, Brownsville, ex-officio representing the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Tierra Grande (ISSN 1070-0234), formerly Real Estate Center Journal, is published quarterly by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
77843-2115. Subscriptions are free to Texas real estate licensees. Other subscribers, $20 per year. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not imply endorsement by the Real Estate Center, Mays Business School or Texas A&M University.
2003, Real Estate Center. All rights reserved.


Cell Transplantation, Vol. 23, pp. 1631–1655, 2014 0963-6897/14 $90.00 + .00 Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Copyright Ó 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Functional Regeneration of Supraspinal Connections in a Patient With Transected Spinal Cord Following Transplantation of Bulbar Olfactory Ensheathing Cells With Peripheral Nerve Bridging

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