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Family moves after black mold suspected in rental home

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Science professors at Tiffin University examined particles from the home. Science professors at Tiffin University examined particles from the home.
Holt found particles like this blowing around her home. Holt found particles like this blowing around her home.
TIFFIN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Tiffin family is being forced to move out of their home and leave everything behind because it's making them sick.

Shelly Holt says she found black mold growing inside the walls of the house she's renting. She says it's so bad she and her kids have to move.

"All of our belongings, my children's things, their toys – I know that they're all replaceable, but it's hard to explain to your children that their things are gone," Holt said.

Holt says she noticed something was wrong in October, and she and her three kids started breaking out in rashes.

"I was hopeful that the itching and everything was caused from something other than what it turned out to be," she said.

She says her landlord and a contractor inspected the home, but claimed to find nothing but dust throughout the insulation in the walls. Taking matters into her own hands, Holt sent scientists at Tiffin University samples of shiny particles she saw blowing side the home.

The professors say when they got a look at those samples, they knew there was something wrong.

"You've got mold behind the wall, eating away at the fiberglass insulation, and the vents are blowing it all through the house," said John Schupp, a professor of chemistry at Tiffin University.

Professor Schupp and Dr. Sushmita Ghosh, a professor of science at the university, believe Holt found black mold combine with fiberglass particles from the insulation. They say it can be a very dangerous mix.

"It will be like a cold, because you're breathing it in," Ghosh said. "You may get headaches, which will make you feel sick and not want to do anything, which will escalate."

Holt says she moved her kids out of the home, but she's afraid the mold and fiberglass may have coated their belongings.

"My great grandmother's piano is in the room where the black mold actually was found, and it's been in our family for almost 100 years," she said.

Holt's landlord says he has his own independent scientists looking into the possibility of black mold in the home. He expects to get lab results back within a week.

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