When mold was discovered in part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, it ultimately resulted in the closing for more than a year of an entire 453-room 25-story tower. It is reported that Hilton spent some $20 Million on consulting and investigation costs, and an additional $35 Million in the remediation. This is one notable example among many of how the presence and growth of mold in homes and commercial buildings has developed into a serious issue that has potentially far reaching consequences for residential and commercial property owners and managers, as well as for the construction and insurance industries.
Several states have established task forces to study mold and its effect on buildings and indoor air quality. However, the intelligent dialogue required for the development of proper standards for mold exposure and remediation has, in large part, been drowned out by extreme voices. On the one hand are those who summarily dismiss the issue as the fabricated product of a conspiracy between tort lawyers and a developing cottage industry of mold remediation consultants. On the other are those readily prepared to broadly attribute a wide variety of medical conditions to the unhealthy environment of “sick buildings.” (more…)