Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold

Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold

Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold

Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold

Synopsis

Molds are everywhere: we inhale their microscopic spores from birth to death. But when an investigation in Ohio revealed that babies suffering from a serious lung illness had been exposed to a toxic black mold in their homes, millions of Americans became nervous about patches of mold in their own basements and bathrooms. Before long, lawsuits were filed by the residents of mold-contaminated homes in every state. By failing to address water damage, building contractors, plumbers, and insurance agents were held liable for exposing families to an unprecedented microbiological hazard. The mold crisis soon developed into a fully-fledged media circus. In Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores, Nicholas Money explores the science behind the headlines and courtroom dramas, andprofiles the toxin-producing mold that is a common inhabitant of water-damaged buildings. Nicholas Money tells the most important mycological story since potato blight, with his inimitable style of scientific clarity and dark humor.

Excerpt

My colleague Jerry McClure was featured in the preface to my first book,Mr. Bloom field's Orchard, but I didn't expect he'd make his way into this one. Jerry has a knack, however, for saying the right thing at the right time. Passing me in the hallway outside my lab last year, he greeted me by saying, “You're in the wrong business. ” This was a little unsettling, because I'd always thought of him as a supporter. Then he explained, “You could be making millions from black mold. ” I didn't think much about this pearl of Texas wisdom at the time, but it festered in my subconscious until my publisher asked me if I knew anything about indoor molds. Bowing to the lobbyists, I put aside my research for a bestseller on the organisms that squirm in the foul pond in my backyard and set off in search of indoor molds.

Few Americans can be unaware of the toxic mold crisis and the crisis of toxic mold lawsuits. The ravages of the mold Stachybotrys, and the ensuing legal battles between residents of sick houses, parents with sick children, building contractors, landlords, and insurance companies, are regularly showcased in newspapers and on television programs. As a mycologist, I had read about cases of mold-related illness long before Jerry McClure's interjection, and . . .

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