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WASHINGTON, DC-A newly released study by the Institute of Medicine–an entity of the National Academy of Sciences, which is chartered by Congress–has concluded that mold does not cause cancer, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems or neurological disorders, as many had believed in the past. The report is welcomed news to the National Multi Housing Council and National Apartment Association, as many multifamily property owners have been the target of legal attacks designed to hold them responsible for purported detrimental effects of mold exposure.

The Institute of Medicine study found there are many factors in indoor environments that can intermingle to produce allergic reactions, but that mold alone cannot be held responsible for causing such severe illnesses as those previously mentioned.

Despite the news, NMHC and NAA are sticking to their practice of promoting environmentally safe properties. “Long before media coverage of the more sensational but unsubstantiated mold claims, apartment owners took the threat seriously and began training their staff about the importance of controlling moisture to prevent mold growth,” says Dr. Eileen Lee, vice president of environment for NMHC and NAA’s Joint Legislative Program. “We strongly support the Institute’s recommendation for additional research in this area, and we endorse the call for the federal government to develop consensus guidelines on building design, construction and operation to prevent damp buildings.”

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