We all know mold is a serious health hazard. Exposure can produce symptoms including extreme fatigue, eye irritation, nausea, coughing, rashes and headaches. But before we get to the tragic case of former movie star Brittany Murphy, we need to know: in severe cases, can mold cause death?
You bet. Malcolm Richardson, professor of medical mycology (the study of mold itself) at the University of Manchester says mold is a hostile fungus in a human host and can stop organs from working properly, making it potentially lethal.
Alright, so the professor has studied this icky stuff his entire life; we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here. I think we’re all ready to move on to the case of Brittany Murphy now that we have a clear understanding of the dire health risks that mold can pose.
On December 20, 2009, paramedics respond to the West Hollywood home of Brittany Murphy. She is then rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she is pronounced dead after suffering cardiac arrest.
Two months later, Murphy’s death is ruled an accident. A full autopsy concludes the cause of death as pneumonia and anemia, worsened by a combination of cold medications. The autopsy report indicated that Murphy suffered from chronic iron deficiency due to heavy menstrual periods, resulting in “a weakened state of health