Tips for Avoiding ‘Sick Building’ Liability Claims by Using Mycotoxin Testing as a Guide

Landlords and employers are obligated by law to provide safe environments for their tenants or employees. Failure to make sure buildings, homes and apartments are up to snuff may result in costly liability claims if something happens to injure or sicken a party or parties who frequent said property. When water damage has occurred and mold growth is suspected or evident, property owners can help themselves cut liability risks by taking immediate action. Environmental inspections, complete with mycotoxin testing, should be top priorities in such circumstances.

When mold growth within an indoor environment is suspected one of the first calls should be to an inspector who specializes in mitigation. An environmental inspector will do two primary things:

  • Test a property for evidence of mold contamination
  • Trace the source of the water damage that promoted mold growth in the first place if mold contamination is found.

Both actions are extremely important for helping property owners catch and mitigate damage as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. A third step, however, should also be requested to further safeguard the people who frequent the building: mycotoxin testing.

If mold growth is confirmed, mycotoxin testing can provide precise insights on the hazards posed to people. This type of testing goes beyond determining the presence of mold to detect what, if any, poisonous toxins have been released into the environment. Mycotoxins are small molecules that are produced by molds and fungi. These toxins, when released into an environment, can cause very serious health concerns, including some forms of cancer, kidney toxicity and pulmonary hemorrhages, among others. Property owners who take the extra step of testing for mycotoxin presence, will be better positioned to safeguard their tenants or employees from exposure. In doing so, they may be able to mitigate or eliminate any potential liability in the process.

When mold growth is suspected in a building, property owners will find addressing the concern quickly can save them a great deal of time, money and liability. To make sure people are adequately protected from hazardous exposure, mycotoxin testing will be in order. A simple environmental test can help landlords and employers make informed decisions about evacuation and remediation that may spare them liability concerns down the road. More importantly, identifying indoor hazards and enabling people to avoid them can prove lifesaving in some cases.