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Residents Say They've Tested for Black Mold
(Friday, December 27, 2002
LELAND DEBUSK


Not only is black mold present in their apartments, it's also in their blood, say some Granbury Housing Authority residents.
Former housing authority resident Melia Barker stated she and her children recently tested positive for black mold antibodies in their blood. Barker said she and her daughters, McKenzie, 5, and Ashton, 3, moved out of their North Travis Street apartment earlier this year after vents in the unit tested positive for black mold.
Barker's mother, Lana Singleton, who lived with the Barkers for a while, said she too tested positive for black mold antibodies.
Barker claims the mold has caused respiratory problems for her children, who already suffer from other ailments. Other housing authority residents claim too that the mold's presence has aggravated respiratory problems.
Barker reported that she, her children and her mother underwent the tests after learning of the black mold problem.

Granbury Housing Authority director Nelda Robertson didn't elaborate on allegations of black mold at the housing authority.
"We're investigating," she said.
Authority board president Glenda Pirkle said that from six to eight units were tested recently for the mold. Pirkle said the board didn't want to comment further on the black mold allegations until the tests come back. The tests should come back in coming days, stated Pirkle.


Black mold has become a major medical concern in Texas in recent years. Some researchers say the mold causes respiratory problems and other health problems.
Barker and Singleton said they moved out after a black mold field-testing kit revealed the presence of black mold in the unit.
Barker and her children are now living with Singleton at Singleton's Oak Trail Shores residence.
Though the housing authority is in the Granbury city limits, Granbury city manager Harold Sandel stated city health inspectors would not become involved in the controversy. Sandel stated the issue is a "civil matter" between authority residents, Robertson and the Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD).
Singleton stated she and her daughter recently met with Robertson, Pirkle and HUD officials to discuss allegations of black mold in housing authority units.
Danielle Hood, who lives in a housing authority unit on Mill Street, said her blood had tested too for high levels of black mold antibodies. Her vents also tested positive for presence of the mold, she said.
Hood said she was thinking about moving because of the black mold threat.
"I'm waiting on a doctor's report," she stated.
County commissioner Al Bulloch has a niece and a sister who live in the housing authority units on Barton Street. He says he tested their apartments for black mold and that the tests came back positive. The niece says the mold has aggravated her chronic lung problems, resulting in her hospitalization several times.
Singleton said her daughter and her daughter's children had to leave many of their belongings in the apartment when they moved out because of fears the objects are contaminated with black mold.
"The mold's growing out of the ceilings," Singleton said of her daughter's apartment. "It's growing out of the air vents."
"They basically had to walk out with the clothes on their backs," Singleton said of her daughter and grandchildren.
The move has been especially hard on Barker's daughters, stated Singleton. The children had to leave "all their clothes and toys, everything that's familiar to them," she said.

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