Case studies

Benjel's History

1 New Building Development

A house was built a year ago. It was occupied by a couple and one child. The mother worried for the child’s health, and as a result the doctor suggested an analysis of the air quality in their house. Tests were conducted to find and indentify Mould according to methods recommended by Health Canada (air analysis). The exercise offered neither pollutants nor visible developments to the naked eye.

Findings :
  • Identification of Mould revealed the presence of several species that were not present in the residence’s ambient air (minute quantities)
  • Further visits and a historical study of the house were conducted in order to investigate invisible microbial growth.
  • Investigation results revealed that during construction work, a sewage pipe was moved and the existing one caused water damage in the semi-finished basement. The contractors had claimed having repaired the damage.

A breaking of the basement floor was requested and obtained. Once the floor was opened, there were residual waters several months old, and Mould had invaded materials. The basement floor had to be completely removed and the concrete surface decontaminated before rebuilding.

The house is once again safe.

2 Discomfort in an Isolated Space

A 350 square feet commercial space. One employee complained that their newly renovated office wasn’t fit for occupation. In her opinion, there was a problem with the air quality (headaches, breathing problems, suffocation, etc). Tests were conducted in the plaintiff’s office and in other areas to compare air quality in different parts of the building. Identification of Mould (dust analysis) was conducted according to Health Canada recommendations. Results revealed the presence of two species able to produce a significant quantity of mycotoxins (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus fumigatus).

In the end, she was right to complain. The same pollutants weren’t found elsewhere. The ventilation system was decontaminated.

3 An Individual’s Sensitivity to Mould

A man regularly frequented a female friend. They did not live together. The female friend would always complain of symptoms every time she was at his house or in his car. The symptoms were so strong, she’d have to leave. She began to question the air quality of the man’s house, of which the basement had recently been flooded.

An analysis to identify Mould species as recommended by Health Canada revealed several species able to produce mycotoxins (Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys atra). The house had to be completely decontaminated by removing all materials affected by the fungal growth.

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