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Reports are being refuted that the deaths of actress Brittany Murphy and her husband, Simon Monjack, can be linked to mold. A coroner's office investigator in Los Angeles is dismissing online rumors that the deaths of the two from pneumonia were linked to mold in their Beverly Hills home. Brittany Murphy, 32, and Simon Monjack, 39, died only five months apart in the home they shared with the actress' mother, Sharon Murphy.
"There were no indicators that it was from mold," Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Monday, according to CNN. Murphy died first, officially of a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and multiple drug intoxication, according the coroner's office. The drugs involved were legal, prescription drugs.
CNN goes on to report that after Murphy's death, Monjack, Murphy's mother, Sharon, and their attorney discussed a possible mold problem in the home during the investigation into Brittany's death, according to coroner Ed Winter. But Sharon Murphy's strongly denies that the issue was ever discussed. In a statement released Monday, July 26, she said she has "never been personally asked by the Coroner or anyone from the Health Department to come and inspect my home for mold." Ed Winter has called that statement an "absolute lie."
In the last several years, concern has arisen that elevated levels of mold spores in indoor living or working environments may increase the risk of adverse health effects, particularly respiratory problems. Studies have shown that mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and respiratory difficulties. Many homeowners who experience significant damage to their homes or health problems have sued and some have received large jury verdicts and settlements.
Mrs. Murphy's representative claims the home was tested by a respected testing company for mold just months before the younger Murphy's death.
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