Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
I'm not sure what category to put this in. I'm hoping someone may have a suggestion. My daughter and her roommate moved into an apartment in October. Since then, they have both been sick. Vomiting, nausea, headaches, back and stomach pains. Each has been to the ER and are seeing doctors who are just prescribing different medications, but without helping. I have tested the apartment for mold (a DIY kit from Lowe's) which came back negative. The apartment complex was built in the 80's so it isn't Chinese drywall. Their apartment has an odor, not mildew/mold smelling, which I thought may have been just the new coat of paint or the carpet. But it is still lingering and permeates their clothing. I have also shampooed the carpeting and bleached any area under the sinks that could have mold, but everything looks so clean. (Even their cats have diarrhea. Diet was changed to see if that was the problem, but it did not help.) In order to break the lease, we would have to come up with a lot of money which we don't have. But they are both missing out on work and school. At this time, there isn't anyplace for them to go for a week or so to see if they would feel better out of the apartment. I just don't know what to do next. Thank you in advance for your help!
Check the air ducts, to the point of the a/c unit. Check the water. Go to your local county extention agent and get a sealed bottle, take sample back for small charge.
If they live in apartment building check neighbors or other neighbors on their street.
When I first read the headline, I thought, yes! It could be mold in the floors or walls, even if the area under the sinks looks OK. It could be residue from roaches or mice, etc. But with those symptoms, I am thinking it could be something else. It could be something they are ingesting. Could you have the water tested? Did they ask the neighbors if they were sick too? Perhaps they had a bad problem with fleas, roaches or bed bugs in the past and someone overdid the pest control chemicals. That would be hard to prove though. Could someone in the complex be cooking meth? Could that apartment have been used to cook meth at one point? I heard you can call the police (or sheriff or whoever handles their neighborhood) and request records to see if that is the case. In the mean time, I would try to spend as little time there as possible. How much longer do they have on their lease? I would google "how to get out of a lease when apartment makes you sick"...I don't know if there are any laws protecting people from this. I imagine it would be difficult and costly to get out of it.
You could hire a Inspector that does homes Inspection, I believe they can inspect things that you might not have the tools for. Good Luck
Thank you all for your suggestions. No one else in the complex seems to be sick. The meth idea did come to mind last week. I have a neighbor who is a detective with the Sheriff's office. I will check with him on that. There are 8 1/2 months left on the lease and it will cost over $1400 to get out of it. Then we have to have a security deposit and a month's rent to get them into something else. And unless I can prove there is mold or something health-threatening, we don't stand a chance. I did google it and found it is very hard to prove.
I have been telling them to keep the windows open as much as possible. They have 2 air purifiers running all the time. I would like to get them both out of the apartment for at least a week, but they don't want to budge.
It does sound like you need to have the water checked also.
On a suggestion from an employee of the PCSO, I contacted Crime Stoppers a little over a week ago. May be a coincidence, but the neighbors started to move out over the weekend. Hopefully my daughter's health and that of her roommate and pets will improve. Have not had the chance to have the water tested, but that is also on the agenda. Thank you all for your help and suggestions!