Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC
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What do you need to know about mold in the workplace?

There are some buildings in Illinois that are so old or drafty that there is significant structural damage, as well as mold and other unwanted organisms living within the walls. When it comes to mold, this is one problem in the workplace that you don't want to put up with.

What is so harmful about mold, exactly? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can cause numerous health risks in people, particularly those with auto-immune deficiencies, elderly people and children. Black mold is the more serious organism that you might be concerned about, although all types of mold that grow within a building can be harmful.

It is, unfortunately, quite common for mold to grow in homes, schools, office spaces and other buildings that have dark, damp spots for it to thrive. For example, your office might have leaky pipes in the restroom, which drip into the drywall and present the perfect place for mold to grow. A large spill on the carpet might have seeped into the boards beneath and created a nice environment for mold spores. Older buildings with leaky roofs or drafty windows may also encourage mold growth.

Mold spores may result in a variety of symptoms that range from mildly annoying to harmful to your health. These include coughing, wheezing, congestion, skin rashes and headaches. More serious symptoms may include shortness of breath and fungal infections. If you have asthma, allergies or a suppressed immune system, your symptoms may be worse than those of your co-workers who don't have these conditions.

You may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits if a mold infestation at work has adversely affected your health.

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