Mold is a type of fungus. It can potentially grown in the cooling system of an air conditioning system. From there, it is dispersed through the ventilation and fan chambers, and into the rooms the air conditioning is cooling. Since ventilation systems often reach all parts of a building, toxic mold in an air conditioning system can present health dangers in a home, condominium or a business.
Mold can grow in an air conditioning system over time, especially in places where it is unusually damp or humid, such as in tropical climates. It can be difficult to detect and is often expensive to repair. You should keep your air conditioning vents clean and inspect the units regularly for mold.
Symptoms from exposure to air conditioning mold often manifest in the form of respiratory symptoms. This is different from other types of food-borne mold that result in digestive disturbances. Symptoms and conditions associated with air-conditioning mold include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sinus problems
- Asthma attacks and bronchitis
- Legionnaire’s Disease: This is a flu-like illness based on a strain of bacteria. Moldy air conditioners can act as a breeding ground for the bacteria.
- Vasomotor Rhinitis: A type of sinus condition with allergy-like symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, you should see a doctor immediately. You should also inspect your air conditioning unit for contamination. Be sure to document your injuries using written reports and receipts.
It is may be difficult to determine who is liable for air-conditioning mold. This is because several parties may be involved, such as the manufacturer of the air conditioning unit, or a landlord who maintains the unit. Also, air-borne molds can be difficult to trace, as we are exposed to air-borne pollutants constantly.
However, you may have a claim against potentially responsible parties under a negligence theory. To prove negligence, you need to show that the defendant breached a duty of care, which directly caused the injuries. The following parties could potentially be held responsible:
- Air conditioning manufacturers: If your newly purchased air conditioning unit shows clear, visible signs of mold infestation upon receiving it, you may have a products liability claim.
- Installers of air conditioning units: A poorly or incorrectly installed unit may malfunction and create breeding conditions for mold. Check for cracks or drips in the cooling unit
- Landlords and homeowners associations (HOA): A landlord or HOA can be responsible for air conditioning mold if they were informed of the hazardous condition and failed to take steps to correct it. Damage from mold is sometimes addressed in the lease agreement.
Again, the difficulty in air conditioning mold cases is in proving who caused the injuries. In order to recover damage for injuries, you need to be able to clearly prove that a certain party was responsible for your injuries.
Air conditioning mold is a particularly difficult issue to address, as it is often difficult to pinpoint the source of the contamination. Such cases often need the expert opinion of a doctor and sometimes a mold specialist. You should contact a toxic mold lawyer if you suspect that you have been exposed to air conditioning mold. The laws governing toxic torts can vary from state to state, so it is essential to employ the services of an attorney.