St. Mary's Law Journal


It is imperative that more scientific research concerning the effects of mold be conducted to better understand the consequences of long-term exposure to mold. Because of home and building modifications to conserve energy, mold has been able to thrive. Reports of illnesses allegedly caused by mold exposure have increased. No scientific evidence, however, exists that conclusively links the illnesses to the effects of mold. Only a limited number of scientific studies exist showing just how harmful toxic mold can be, but there is disagreement as to whether the harmful effects of toxic mold can compromise the immune system to such a degree that long-term health ailments will result. Nonetheless, conclusive medical research will help establish causation between toxic molds and adverse health effects. This will allow juries to decide issues based on empirical, scientific evidence and not on emotional arguments or inconclusive data. Currently, there are no laws in effect regulating indoor mold levels in Texas. Texas legislators should follow California's lead and duplicate California’s Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001. The Act calls for the creation of a task force with the responsibility of researching permissible levels of mold exposure. Likewise, Texas legislators would benefit from acquiring knowledge pertaining to the effects of exposure to toxic mold in order to draft future legislation regarding permissible levels of mold in buildings. Homeowners, business owners, and insurance companies would also benefit from federal or state guidelines concerning permissible levels of mold. For example, frequent evaluations of the air quality in public buildings would determine the presence of potential health risks. Thus, early detection could mitigate any structural or consequential damages to a mold infestation.


St. Mary's University School of Law