Doctor says almost half the country may be living with mold, causes asthma

Posted at 11:48 PM, Dec 23, 2011
and last updated 2012-04-09 17:27:35-04

A NewsChannel 3 investigation exposed mold in military homes, but experts say mold is in a lot more places than you think.

In fact, it could be in your home right now.

Since NewsChannel 3 exposed military families living in moldy housing, others living all over Hampton Roads have been showing us their horrible living conditions.

Viewers showed us pictures that came from private apartment complexes throughout the area.

According to the statistics, almost half the buildings in the country are considered moldy or water-damaged.

And that means a lot of sick people.

“This illness is theoretically expensive to American capitalism. If we say half our buildings are moldy and need to be knocked down, who is gonna pay to knock them down?” asks Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker is one of the world's leading researchers on the health effects of mold.

His book "Surviving Mold" is the go-to guide for those whose genes make them more susceptible to mold illness.

It’s been a struggle for him and others in this breakthrough field to get the U.S. government to even acknowledge their findings on human health.

“What has been the approach in the U.S. is serious of disinformation and misinformation, promulgated for financial info and not medical reasons,” says Dr. Shoemaker.

Moldy housing is so prevalent that Dr. Shoemaker says 21 percent of asthma cases in the United States are caused by mold.

But because most of the research on mold related illness is less than 20 years old, many medical schools don't cover it and many doctors cannot put the puzzle pieces together when they have patients sickened by mold.

Dr. Shoemaker is hoping NewsChannel 3’s investigation starts a revolution not only in military housing, but throughout the United States.

“You will have the citizenry outraged. You will have one person after another say this is wrong for anyone to say a building is safe when people are getting sick from it,” says Dr. Shoemaker.