Tenants of the Baytree Apartment complex have cited black mold as the primary reason for various health conditions. Residents have made claims of throwing up, nose bleeds and upper-respiratory infections since moving into the complex. One woman claims that the black mold is the ultimate reason for the death of her husband.
Resident Rose Banning says her husband died September 17, 2012 due to the black mold, which caused a fungal infection. She says he didn't have an infection when they moved in just 2 months before but soon after he began throwing up blood which led to a heart attack. He never recovered. The cause of death cited on his death certificate was sepsis, pneumonia with aspergillosis and complications of COPD.
Texas Tech University Professor of Immunology and Molecular Biology, David Straus says the micro toxins from the black mold alone would likely not be enough for a lethal dosage. However, he claims that someone with a weak immune system would be susceptible to the micro toxins and infection.
Baytree Apartment complex owner, Edward Lechner said that black mold caught them by surprise and they are not trying to hide it. In fact, new residents are asked to sign a release which discloses their acknowledgement of potential mold within the building. Lechner said the issue will not be fixed overnight, but is in the process of making necessary repairs.
The City Health Department's inspection confirmed that Baytree's poor air quality was caused by the black mold. Records also revealed that some units were infested with bed bugs. Baytree has been cited for having structural and plumbing violations, as well.
According to City Code Enforcement Administrator Director, Stuart Walker, if the City cites violations and no repairs or progress is made, Code Enforcement has the option of taking the matter to Structural Standards Court. Walker said other violations, such as the plumbing and structural issues uncovered in last week's inspection, will be taken up in municipal court.
If you have any concerns about your current living conditions, you can report any possible violations to Code Enforcement.
You can contact them though the City's main dispatch line at 3-1-1.
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