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# Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold

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Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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15 May 2007, 21:10
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Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Mold cannot grow in dry areas.
B. Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.
C. Mold itself does not create moisture.
D. No varieties of mold are harmless.
E. Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2010, 19:58
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Hey All,

Even though the right answer was eventually arrived at here, there was enough confusion I thought it might be worth outlining. Let's do it.

Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Conclusion: To avoid mold poisoning, keep plumbing in good condition.
Premises: Specialists check in damp areas of the house/mold is almost always in moist places
Assumption: Plumbing is the only thing that causes moisture.

Now I swear on a stack of bibles I wrote this assumption before looking at the answer choices. Think about it. The argument is airtight, other than this little issue. The conclusion involves plumbing, but that seems pretty specific, doesn't it? What about fixing the roof, so rain water can't get in? Truth is, there are plenty of ways moisture could get into the house.

As for a pattern, this is an eliminate alternate cause question. These are very common on the GMAT CR section, and there's a great thing to know about them: very often, when the question posits that A causes B, the assumption is that B doesn't cause A. It's called a causation/correlation mistake (we see two things happening, for example moisture and mold, and assume that moisture causes mold). Though sometimes the answer will just be any other old cause (like the leaky roof I suggested), very often it's just a reversal (mold might cause moisture). Be on the lookout!

1]Mold itself does not create moisture.
ANSWER: Uh-oh. Think about it. If mold DID create moisture, then it wouldn't be enough to check the plumbing, because the mold could be anywhere. This would explain why it's always found in moist places.

2]Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.
PROBLEM: This is a tricky one. If the conclusion were, "Homeowners should thus have no problem finding mold on their own," this would be the assumption. But the conclusion is that plumbing needs to be kept in good condition. If you don't know, you'd just have to learn.

3]Mold cannot grow in dry areas.
PROBLEM: We don't need to assume this, because the conclusion is not that all mold will be eradicated if plumbing is checked. It's only that if one wishes to avoid mold, one should keep plumbing in check. Even if mold can grow in dry places, the facts point towards moisture being the most common place to find it, and thus the conclusion would still hold.

4]No varieties of mold are harmless.
PROBLEM: Not the issue. Even if some are harmless, some aren't.

5]Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.
PROBLEM: This might suggest another way that mold poisoning can be avoided (some type of filtration system), but as the conclusion relates to actually getting rid of the mold where it comes from, this answer choice is out of scope.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 10:26
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bepositive wrote:
Lesson learnt----In CR question, conclusion is the key...please correct me if i miss out on something and i wont mind somebody adding on something more to this....

cheers!
bepositive

That is the crux of CR. You have to insure whether or not conclusion is present in passage or not. In case it is present you can be asked following types of questions:
Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption etc.

However if conclusion is not present, then you can be asked:
what is conclusion, inference, etc.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2008, 12:13
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I'd pick A.

Quote:
Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Argument says that ‘to prevent leakage’ is necessary condition for ‘avoiding mold poisoning’ (note that it says nothing whether it is sufficient). So we need assumption that confirms that ‘preventing leakage’ is indeed necessary.

A. Mold itself does not create moisture. (here it is. If mold created moisture by itself, then clearly preventing leakage would be pointless, and thus won’t be necessary to avoid poisoning)

B. Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition. (how much they really know about plumbing is irrelevant to conclusion)

C. Mold cannot grow in dry areas. (the argument does not assume that. The conclusion would still be true if mold could grow in dry areas as well. Perhaps it grows there, but at slower rate or in lesser amount that in moist places. So preventing leakage still makes sense.)

D. No varieties of mold are harmless. (the argument does not assume that. There might be harmless ones as weel as dangerous)

E. Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air. (the argument does not assume that. Even if mold can be filtered from air, the moist places could still hold danger)
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2010, 19:58
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Hey Kiski,

Also, always be aware of really strong statements. C says "Mold cannot grow in dry places". Would we need to assume that mold NEVER grows in dry places? If it happened one out of a million times, would that compromise our argument? Probably not. Always be wary of terms like "cannot", "never", and "always".

-t
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 05:39
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A is the definite answer . The conclusion depends on the fact that moisture causes mold . The relationship is cause and effect.

If the cause effect relationship is reversed the argument loses ground.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2013, 21:15
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Expert's post
IanSolo wrote:
if the argument were "..since mold is always found in places where there is substantial moisture.." The C would be correct?!

Actually, no. C would still not be correct. There is no material change in the argument if you remove 'almost'.

The conclusion of the argument is: If you want to avoid mold poisoning, keep all plumbing in good condition.

The point is that moisture could be created by something else - excessive rain, water sprinklers, mold itself - so by just keeping plumbing in good condition, you may not be able to avoid mold.
If mold actually creates moisture, it will always be found in places where there is moisture.

If at all, (C) can be an inference in case you remove 'almost'. The premise gives you that mold is always found in moist places. We must take the premise to be true so we can infer that it cannot grow in dry areas (though, the inference is not perfect. We can say that it can grow in dry areas but it cannot be found there because it is not visible or something...).
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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15 May 2007, 22:05
I'll go with (C)

Quote:
since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture

Because of the quoted statement .........I think A cannot be the ans
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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19 May 2007, 11:12
C has to be the answer.

A cannot be the answer because it is clearly stated in the passage that "mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture " , so choice A (Mold cannot grow in dry areas) is not an assumption but a fact .
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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19 May 2007, 23:10
abhinava wrote:
C has to be the answer.

A cannot be the answer because it is clearly stated in the passage that "mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture " , so choice A (Mold cannot grow in dry areas) is not an assumption but a fact .

Agree with abhinava...C it is.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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20 May 2007, 14:54
I THOUGHT IT WAS B BUT B IS MORE RELATED TO THE CONCLUSION THAN TO THE ARGUMENT.

THANKS!
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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20 May 2007, 17:12
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Here's my take, someone please feel free to correct me if I am incorrect in any of my thinking: Hopefully some of you will get a better idea of why the INCORRECT answers are wrong.

D and E are both outside of the scope of the argument. D is dealing with a variety of mold, which in the passage you see no mention of. E involves filtering spores from the air, which is again not mentioned in the argument

Now with A:
"Mold can grow in dry areas", if you take the contrapositive of this statement you are left with "Mold can not grow in dry areas". If you were to use the contrapositive to attack the argument, would the argument crumble, no.

Why, because the argument states "since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture." Almost always does not count for always (100%).

With B:
The argument states "one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

While the possible answer B states "most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition"

Difference : The argument uses "internal plumbing" while the possible answer of B usues "plumbing"... need to be careful with reading.

Mold itslef does not create moisture
->by taking the contrapositive of this your left with "mold itself DOES create moisture". This is where you are able to break the argument and make it crumble.

Argument assumes that "mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisutre". Assumes moisutre is the effect of the mold. But if mold is the effect of the moisutre it makes the argument crumble.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 09:52
Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
Mold itself does not create moisture.

Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.

Mold cannot grow in dry areas.

No varieties of mold are harmless.

Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.

hey guys i marked c for this one...please explain...will post OA soon...thanks in advance
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 10:08
bepositive wrote:
Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
Mold itself does not create moisture.

Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.

Mold cannot grow in dry areas.

No varieties of mold are harmless.

Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.

hey guys i marked c for this one...please explain...will post OA soon...thanks in advance

Last statement in the argument : "one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold."

This assumes B - Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.

is that correct?
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 10:11
CR in my words : Molds cause problem. Expert come and eradicate it. They look in moist places. So, to avoid mold, avoid moist places.
Assumption : Molds form in moist places

Quote:
Mold itself does not create moisture.

Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.

Mold cannot grow in dry areas.

No varieties of mold are harmless.

Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.

hey guys i marked c for this one...please explain...will post OA soon...thanks in advance

Answer = A. Because if mold themselves create moisture, then conclusion fails.
B - Third party - Eliminate. This is wrong because it is not necessary that they themselves know. They can ask others experts to ensure plumbing is in good condition.
C - Eliminate - This is not assumption, this is conclusion.... Tricky though.....
D - Third party - Eliminate
E - Out of scope - Eliminate
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Last edited by Leopard on 16 May 2008, 10:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 10:12
First of all you need to get to the conclusion of the sentence before answering the question.

Fact/Premise: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes.
Fact/Premise: After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. Fact/Premise: These specialists look in damp areas of the house,
Fact/Premise: : since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture.
Conclusion: If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Now there is an assumption which is not implied in this passage is "Mold are found in damp places and faulty plumbing is reason for that". What if there is some other reason for damp, specially what if Mold can create damp areas.

A: Mold itself does not create moisture.
Exactly attacking the assumption.

B: Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.
Even if homeowners does not know plumbing they can take proactive help from professionals.

C: Mold cannot grow in dry areas.
Passage is concerned about where mold lives and not about how mold grows.

D: No varieties of mold are harmless.
Harmless or harmful this has no relevance at all.

E: Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.
Even if they can be filtered but that does not attack the conclusion.

I will go with A.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 10:35
abhijit_sen wrote:
bepositive wrote:
Lesson learnt----In CR question, conclusion is the key...please correct me if i miss out on something and i wont mind somebody adding on something more to this....

cheers!
bepositive

That is the crux of CR. You have to insure whether or not conclusion is present in passage or not. In case it is present you can be asked following types of questions:
Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption etc.

However if conclusion is not present, then you can be asked:
what is conclusion, inference, etc.

Wow , glad to be around this GMATClub , I suck at verbal but with help of these kind of explanations I have some hope ! +1 to both Abhijit and bepositive (well I try hard to) !
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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16 May 2008, 15:48
remember guys, in am assumption question, if reversing an answer choice, destroys the conclusion, its the correct assumption.

so in this question if u are stuck between A and B, lets reverse them.

A) Mould causes moisture. This means that looking after plumbing won't make a difference and destroys the conclusion. So the original answer choice should be a correct assumption.

B) Owners do not know how to diagnose plumbing problems. This does not destroy the conclusion, since the conclusion states that "one must make sure that plumbing is in good order", which can be done by hiring a plumber, right?

so the answer must be A
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2008, 11:46
Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Mold itself does not create moisture.
B. Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition.
C. Mold cannot grow in dry areas.
D. No varieties of mold are harmless.
E. Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air.
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2008, 11:55
Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold spores in their homes. After someone becomes ill, specialists are often hired to eradicate the mold. These specialists look in damp areas of the house, since mold is almost always found in places where there is substantial moisture. If one wishes to avoid mold poisoning, then, one should make sure to keep all internal plumbing in good condition to prevent leakage that could serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Mold itself does not create moisture. ->irrelevant
B. Most homeowners know enough about plumbing to determine whether theirs is in good condition. ->not fully convincing
C. Mold cannot grow in dry areas. -> perfect.Negate this argument .The argument falls apart.The purpose of the argument is how to remove moisture.That itself falls apart when we say mold can grow in dry places.
D. No varieties of mold are harmless. ->I dont see any link
E. Mold spores cannot be filtered from the air. -> irrelevant.

I go for (C).OA plsss?
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Re: Every year many people become ill because of airborne mold   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2008, 11:55

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