Sanitarian David Fehlinger said the owner or landlord must pay a specialist to make a determination. “I’ve had people call me” to report mold. If Fehlinger inspects a spot of mildew the size of a 50 cent piece, he tells residents, “That’s not going to hurt you,. Wipe that off with some bleach.”
Health officer Dr. Michael Fain, Oxford, Ohio, who practices in Brookville, said a patient who worked at a Sunman-Dearborn school seemed to be affected by mold in carpeting there. He sent a sample to the Ohio Department of Health, which reported it was a nontoxic species. “You can still have allergic reactions to that stuff. Toxic molds are not that common.”
Fehlinger reported sometimes ISDH officials will visit local sites, “get the swabs and take them back (to the Indianapolis laboratory) and let you know” if the mold is hazardous. If so, ISDH mandates that a specialist remedy the problem.
Dubois asked, “Does it have a particular smell?” Fain recalling touring a downtown Brookville house filled with mold. He noticed an offensive odor within 5 minutes. “Your eyes burn, your nose runs, you just can’t breathe. There was not one thing in that house that was not covered.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.