Indoor Air Quality Solutions Blog

"Healthier Air Starts Here" (407) 383-9459




Indoor Air Quality IAQ Blog





Post Storm Damage Caution!


Many across Florida have been directly impacted by the recent storms that wreaked havoc on our beautiful state.


In a recent discussion with Richard "Rick" Morrison, Executive Director, Division of Professions Mold-Related Services Licensing Program regarding the possibility of the Governor waving licensure requirements for mold related services.  Rick felt that the state has enough licensed mold professionals to not recommend waving the licensing requirements at this time.


Those impacted by the storm and in need of water and mold damage restoration should ensure that the contractors providing services are licensed and in good standing with the state of Florida.  http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/mold/index.html


I also wanted to take a minute to provide a few questions that you can ask your mold assessor or mold remediation contractor before you make the decision to hire. 

 

  • Are you licensed?
  • Who will be providing the mold assessment?
  • Who will be providing the mold remediation?
  • What will my mold assessment consist of?
  • Will I receive a written report or just a laboratory report?

 


The most common mistake property owners can make is to allow the mold remediation contractor to provide the mold assessment.  Mold remediation is a very profitable business. Many mold remediation contractors use free or deeply discounted mold inspections as a means to acquire expensive mold remediation jobs.  This is the beginning of the “Fear” based approach to mold not the “Fact” based professional approach.


Unfortunately, this is a common practice.  The assessment often includes the collection of mold samples and the declaration that the home is contaminated with “Black Mold”.  Sampling of any kind is more often than not necessary and more often than not used to scare the homeowner into believing that their home is contaminated with “Toxic Black Mold” or “Stachybotrys”.  Fear not Fact!


If your mold professional brings up the “Black Mold” issue walk him or her right out the door. 


The Center for Disease Control clearly states, “There is always some mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and the CDC does not recommend performing routine sampling for molds.”  Fact!


The type of mold will not change the need for mold remediation nor will the type of mold change the severity of the water and mold damage.  There are over 100,000 molds and over 10,000 have the ability to produce mycotoxins.  There are also a few well know molds that are repeatedly used to scare consumers such as “Black Toxic Stachybotrys”.


From the CDC website.  “The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces.”


These “Black Mold” fear tactics began in Cleveland, Ohio, when in 1993 and 1994 where there was a cluster of cases of pulmonary hemosiderosis among infants. with a conducted titled “Study of Toxin Production by Isolates of Stachybotrys chartarum and Memnoniella echinata Isolated during a Study of Pulmonary Hemosiderosis in Infants.”  Yes that is a mouth full but most government studies have grandiose titles.


The problem with the study is that it was preliminary and incomplete.  Worse yet is that most in the mold and restoration industry have never read any of these studies or the final opinions of these studies. 


Below is the final opinion of the study from the CDC.


“A review within CDC and by outside experts of the investigation of acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants has identified shortcomings in the implementation and reporting of the investigation described in MMWR (1,2) and detailed in other scientific publications authored, in part, by CDC personnel (3-5). The reviews led CDC to conclude that a possible association between acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants and exposure to molds, specifically Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly referred to by its synonym Stachybotrys atra, was not proven.”


The CDC Position on Toxic Mold and Stachybotrys.  https://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

 

The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.


Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.


US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC145304/

While many papers suggest a similar relationship between Stachybotrys and human disease, the studies nearly uniformly suffer from significant methodological flaws, making their findings inconclusive. As a result, we have not found well-substantiated supportive evidence of serious illness due to Stachybotrys exposure in the contemporary environment.


Despite the well documented lack of connection between Stachybotrys and health effects, including the CDC, many in the mold and restoration industry continue to use these wild and scientifically unsupported scare tactics to charge for mold remediation services that are unnecessary.  I can assure you that Stachybotrys is in every home and building to some degree or another.  We have been cohabitating with mold since we lived in caves. 


The value in a professional mold assessment is in the identification of the specific area of the mold contamination by a licensed professional that is not providing the mold remediation.  With the identification of the specific area of mold contamination in a written report from your assessor, licensed mold remediators can provide estimates for the mold remediation.


The specific area of mold contamination cannot and will never be revealed by sampling the air and scaring homeowners with specific molds.   The sample only approach to a mold assessment has no value to anyone but the sampler who collects a fee for the sample.  Remember the type of mold does not change the method of mold remediation, does not change the area impacted by mold, and will never elevate the concern for exposure to occupants.  All claims that the type of mold raises the severity are either by the ill-informed or those looking to prey on your fears for profit.

 

A professional mold assessment would include the area affected by the mold as required by the ASTM D-7338.  A professional assessment would report that the area impacted by mold.  For example, the area of mold growth is approximately 4 square feet of the exterior south facing bedroom wall as shown on the attached restoration floor plan and diagram.  Remove the base boards and the drywall from the floor to a height of 2 feet.  The diagram would show the area of affected building material that would require removal.  The type of mold would not matter and would not change the area impacted or the method of remediation.   Fact not Fear. 


Those wanting to insight fear would report nothing more than the spore counts of samples collected as elevated or as having the presence of Stachybotrys “Black Toxic Mold”.  Fear not Fact.


The cost of restoring your home can be greatly increased if you’re not careful when hiring a mold professional.  Be aware of scare tactics, ask for references, never hire anyone that is recommending sampling, never ever hire anyone that uses the term “Black or Toxic Mold”.


I hope this helps at least one family through this time of recovery.


POSTED BY

 

  • John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
  • Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
  • Indoor AIr Quality Solutions, IAQS


Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)


Follow jlapotaire on Twitter


Review microshield-es.com on alexa.com
   

[Valid RSS]
Add this Content to Your Site
   


Latest Top (12) News


EPISODE497 - Radio Joe and the Z-man – Using Building Science & EPA’s Moisture Control Guide to Improve Indoor Air!
Today Radio Joe and the Z-man will be discussing how to solve indoor environmental quality problems by using building science fundamentals and the “EPA Moisture Control Guide”. To get at the root of IEQ problems you must understand buildings and building science. Today we will discuss some great information from people like Joe Lstiburek, Terry Brennan, Bill Rose, Mike McGuinness and Lew Harriman. We start with an overview of building science concepts that will help you solve problems. Our foundation will be the 4 P’s (people, pollutant, pathway, pressurization). From there we will go into how to use the wealth of information in the EPA “Moisture Control Guide” and then go through some case studies. On a future show we will get into how to include the information in your reports

Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:00:00 -0500


EPISODE509: Nick Hurst – US EPA, Indoor Environments Division – The EPA Indoor airPLUS Program
This week on IAQradio+ we welcome Nick Hurst. Nick is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the US EPA and the Program Manager of EPA’s Indoor airPLUS label for new homes. He has been involved in the construction industry for over 17 years as a self-employed remodeling contractor, project manager, green building consultant, and trainer. Nick earned a Master’s in Technology concentrating in Building Science from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and he later served as Education and Outreach Director for the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance at ASU’s Energy Center. Before coming to EPA, Nick also worked as a consultant at ICF in their Federal Energy Efficiency portfolio. Nick is also a BPI Building Analyst and participates with a number of standard setting organizations and technical committees in the building industry.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:30:00 -0500


EPISODE508: HOMEChem Open House – House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry
This week on IAQradio+ will be broadcasting live from the Open House event for the HOMEChem study at the University of Texas Austin’s, J.J. Pickle Research Campus. The HOMEChem experiment (House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry) incorporates state-of-the-art measurements performed by over 20 investigators and their teams from the fields of chemistry, microbiology, and engineering. This experiment engages far more institutions and disciplines than ever applied to the study of a home. This research study is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Chemistry of Indoor Environments Program and it will take place this summer at the University of Texas at Austin’s UTest House. Our guests for this special show are Marina Vance (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Delphine Farmer (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Atila Novoselac (HOMEChem host, specialist on the UTest house) Rich Corsi (HOMEChem host, indoor air specialist) Dr. Richard L. Corsi is the Joe J. King Chair in Engineering #2 in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He has served on the faculty of CAEE at UT Austin for nearly 25 years, after starting his career in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Corsi is highly regarded as an educator. He has received numerous teaching awards, and in 2015 was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, an honor held for the top 5% of teachers across UT Austin. He also received a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for the entire UT system in 2016. Dr. Corsi’s research focuses on sources, physics and chemistry of indoor air pollution, particularly as related to pollutant interactions with indoor materials and innovative strategies for using such interactions to reduce human exposure to air pollution of both outdoor and indoor origin. He has served as principal investigator on over 70 projects, as major advisor to over 50 undergraduate and 70 graduate students, and as co-author on over 300 journal/conference papers, reports, and book chapters. His work has been featured in National Geographic, The Economist, Business Week, National Wildlife, Prevention, Men’s Health, National Public Radio’s Science Friday, Science Studio, the Academic Minute, the Canadian television series The Nature of Things, and more. Delphine Farmer, PhD Dr. Delphine Farmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:30:00 -0500


EPISODE508: HOMEChem Open House – House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry
This week on IAQradio+ will be broadcasting live from the Open House event for the HOMEChem study at the University of Texas Austin’s, J.J. Pickle Research Campus. The HOMEChem experiment (House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry) incorporates state-of-the-art measurements performed by over 20 investigators and their teams from the fields of chemistry, microbiology, and engineering. This experiment engages far more institutions and disciplines than ever applied to the study of a home. This research study is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Chemistry of Indoor Environments Program and it will take place this summer at the University of Texas at Austin’s UTest House. Our guests for this special show are Marina Vance (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Delphine Farmer (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Atila Novoselac (HOMEChem host, specialist on the UTest house) Rich Corsi (HOMEChem host, indoor air specialist) Dr. Richard L. Corsi is the Joe J. King Chair in Engineering #2 in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He has served on the faculty of CAEE at UT Austin for nearly 25 years, after starting his career in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Corsi is highly regarded as an educator. He has received numerous teaching awards, and in 2015 was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, an honor held for the top 5% of teachers across UT Austin. He also received a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for the entire UT system in 2016. Dr. Corsi’s research focuses on sources, physics and chemistry of indoor air pollution, particularly as related to pollutant interactions with indoor materials and innovative strategies for using such interactions to reduce human exposure to air pollution of both outdoor and indoor origin. He has served as principal investigator on over 70 projects, as major advisor to over 50 undergraduate and 70 graduate students, and as co-author on over 300 journal/conference papers, reports, and book chapters. His work has been featured in National Geographic, The Economist, Business Week, National Wildlife, Prevention, Men’s Health, National Public Radio’s Science Friday, Science Studio, the Academic Minute, the Canadian television series The Nature of Things, and more. Delphine Farmer, PhD Dr. Delphine Farmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:30:00 -0500


EPISODE508: HOMEChem Open House – House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry
This week on IAQradio+ will be broadcasting live from the Open House event for the HOMEChem study at the University of Texas Austin’s, J.J. Pickle Research Campus. The HOMEChem experiment (House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry) incorporates state-of-the-art measurements performed by over 20 investigators and their teams from the fields of chemistry, microbiology, and engineering. This experiment engages far more institutions and disciplines than ever applied to the study of a home. This research study is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Chemistry of Indoor Environments Program and it will take place this summer at the University of Texas at Austin’s UTest House. Our guests for this special show are Marina Vance (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Delphine Farmer (HOMEChem Co-PIs / organizer) Atila Novoselac (HOMEChem host, specialist on the UTest house) Rich Corsi (HOMEChem host, indoor air specialist) Dr. Richard L. Corsi is the Joe J. King Chair in Engineering #2 in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He has served on the faculty of CAEE at UT Austin for nearly 25 years, after starting his career in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Corsi is highly regarded as an educator. He has received numerous teaching awards, and in 2015 was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, an honor held for the top 5% of teachers across UT Austin. He also received a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for the entire UT system in 2016. Dr. Corsi’s research focuses on sources, physics and chemistry of indoor air pollution, particularly as related to pollutant interactions with indoor materials and innovative strategies for using such interactions to reduce human exposure to air pollution of both outdoor and indoor origin. He has served as principal investigator on over 70 projects, as major advisor to over 50 undergraduate and 70 graduate students, and as co-author on over 300 journal/conference papers, reports, and book chapters. His work has been featured in National Geographic, The Economist, Business Week, National Wildlife, Prevention, Men’s Health, National Public Radio’s Science Friday, Science Studio, the Academic Minute, the Canadian television series The Nature of Things, and more. Delphine Farmer, PhD Dr. Delphine Farmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:30:00 -0500


EPISODE507: Radio Joe & Bob Krell Report LIVE – IAQA Mid Atlantic Conference – Eva King, PhD & Wei Tang, PhD
This week on IAQradio+ and Healthy Indoors Magazine are coordinating on a live show from the IAQA Mid Atlantic Conference in Princeton, New Jersey. Today’s guests include Eva King, PhD and Wei Tang, PhD. Dr. Eva King, CIEC is the Principal Scientist and Founder of AURA EnviroScience. Eva received her Masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and her Doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Wei Tang is the founder, President and Laboratory Director of QLab in Metuchen, New Jersey. Dr. Eva King, CIEC is the Principal Scientist and Founder of AURA EnviroScience. Eva received her Masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and her Doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK. She has been involved in investigations and research into indoor environments and health, allergens, asthma and immunology for over 10 years, and has developed a wide range of new methods for exposure assessment. She has helped clients in different industry sectors, accelerating product development and validation, and assisted in clinical trials and other research studies. Her work has been published in many peer-reviewed scientific publications. Eva is an active member of the indoor air quality, industrial hygiene, and allergy research communities, and served on the Board of Directors of IAQA, and as Convention Committee Chair between 2013 and 2017. Dr. Wei Tang is the founder, President and Laboratory Director of QLab in Metuchen, New Jersey. Dr. Tang graduated from Cornell University with his Master and Ph.D. degrees in Soil Microbiology. He has conducted numerous research projects in Cornell University Soil Microbiology Laboratory in using microorganisms for bioremediation of environmental organic pollutants. His work in recent years has been focused on microbiological sampling and analysis methods for indoor environmental quality assessment. He has taught professional development courses and presented frequently at national conferences on analysis of indoor microorganisms and also on various topics including investigation and remediation of microbial growth in indoor environment. Dr. Tang is the inventor of several advanced microbial sampling devices including AccuScience Triple Gel-Tape, Sweep-Swab and Sponge-Swab. He also developed several advanced analytical methods such as AccuScience High Performance Spore Count and AccuScience Triplicate Analysis. Dr. Tang served on IAQA Board of Directors for three terms. H

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 15:15:00 -0500


EPISODE507: Radio Joe & Bob Krell Report LIVE – IAQA Mid Atlantic Conference – Eva King, PhD & Wei Tang, PhD
This week on IAQradio+ and Healthy Indoors Magazine are coordinating on a live show from the IAQA Mid Atlantic Conference in Princeton, New Jersey. Today’s guests include Eva King, PhD and Wei Tang, PhD. Dr. Eva King, CIEC is the Principal Scientist and Founder of AURA EnviroScience. Eva received her Masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and her Doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Wei Tang is the founder, President and Laboratory Director of QLab in Metuchen, New Jersey. Dr. Eva King, CIEC is the Principal Scientist and Founder of AURA EnviroScience. Eva received her Masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and her Doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK. She has been involved in investigations and research into indoor environments and health, allergens, asthma and immunology for over 10 years, and has developed a wide range of new methods for exposure assessment. She has helped clients in different industry sectors, accelerating product development and validation, and assisted in clinical trials and other research studies. Her work has been published in many peer-reviewed scientific publications. Eva is an active member of the indoor air quality, industrial hygiene, and allergy research communities, and served on the Board of Directors of IAQA, and as Convention Committee Chair between 2013 and 2017. Dr. Wei Tang is the founder, President and Laboratory Director of QLab in Metuchen, New Jersey. Dr. Tang graduated from Cornell University with his Master and Ph.D. degrees in Soil Microbiology. He has conducted numerous research projects in Cornell University Soil Microbiology Laboratory in using microorganisms for bioremediation of environmental organic pollutants. His work in recent years has been focused on microbiological sampling and analysis methods for indoor environmental quality assessment. He has taught professional development courses and presented frequently at national conferences on analysis of indoor microorganisms and also on various topics including investigation and remediation of microbial growth in indoor environment. Dr. Tang is the inventor of several advanced microbial sampling devices including AccuScience Triple Gel-Tape, Sweep-Swab and Sponge-Swab. He also developed several advanced analytical methods such as AccuScience High Performance Spore Count and AccuScience Triplicate Analysis. Dr. Tang served on IAQA Board of Directors for three terms. H

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 15:15:00 -0500


EPISODE505 - Ed Cross – “The Restoration Lawyer” – Restoration Industry Legal Issues & Answers
This week on IAQradio+ we welcome “The Restoration Lawyer” Ed Cross to discuss current legal issues and answers for restoration professionals. Mr. Cross has built a successful law practice that specially caters to the needs of insurance damage repair contractors and remediators. Mr. Cross received a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications with an emphasis on Public Speaking from California State University at Northridge in 1986 (Dean’s Honor Roll), and his Juris Doctor Degree from Western State University in Fullerton California. Ed is also well known for his risk management advice, cleaning and restoration contracts and related forms available for free and/or for purchase on his website edcross.com . These are simple one page forms in plain English that protect payment rights and deter lawsuits. He has recently added contract forms specific to the needs of those doing work in Texas and Florida.

Fri, 25 May 2018 15:15:00 -0500


EPISODE505 - Ed Cross – “The Restoration Lawyer” – Restoration Industry Legal Issues & Answers
This week on IAQradio+ we welcome “The Restoration Lawyer” Ed Cross to discuss current legal issues and answers for restoration professionals. Mr. Cross has built a successful law practice that specially caters to the needs of insurance damage repair contractors and remediators. Mr. Cross received a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications with an emphasis on Public Speaking from California State University at Northridge in 1986 (Dean’s Honor Roll), and his Juris Doctor Degree from Western State University in Fullerton California. Ed is also well known for his risk management advice, cleaning and restoration contracts and related forms available for free and/or for purchase on his website edcross.com . These are simple one page forms in plain English that protect payment rights and deter lawsuits. He has recently added contract forms specific to the needs of those doing work in Texas and Florida.

Fri, 25 May 2018 15:15:00 -0500


EPISODE502: Tedd Benson – Bensonwood & Unity Homes Bridging the Gap! The Search for a Better Way to Build & Bob Krell – Healthy Indoors Magazine An Industry Update
This week on IAQ Radio+ we look forward to a great discussion on better ways to build and an industry update. Tedd Benson of Bensonwood and Unity Homes and Bob Krell of Healthy Indoors Magazine are our guests this week. Tedd Benson the founder of Bensonwood (1973) and Unity Homes (2012), has devoted his life to developing a better way to build. A key figure in the revival of timber framing in America, he was one of the founders of the Timber Framers Guild of North America (1984) and authored four books on the subject. Through the decades, Bensonwood established itself as a creative leader in timber frame design, engineering, craftsmanship, and CAD-CAM technology.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 14:45:00 -0500


EPISODE502: Tedd Benson – Bensonwood & Unity Homes Bridging the Gap! The Search for a Better Way to Build & Bob Krell – Healthy Indoors Magazine An Industry Update
This week on IAQ Radio+ we look forward to a great discussion on better ways to build and an industry update. Tedd Benson of Bensonwood and Unity Homes and Bob Krell of Healthy Indoors Magazine are our guests this week. Tedd Benson the founder of Bensonwood (1973) and Unity Homes (2012), has devoted his life to developing a better way to build. A key figure in the revival of timber framing in America, he was one of the founders of the Timber Framers Guild of North America (1984) and authored four books on the subject. Through the decades, Bensonwood established itself as a creative leader in timber frame design, engineering, craftsmanship, and CAD-CAM technology.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 14:45:00 -0500


EPISODE500: Radio Joe & The Z-man – Interviewed by John Lapotaire, Bob Krell, John Downey & Pete Consigli 10+ Years and 500 shows; What have We Learned?
This week on IAQradio+, Radio Joe & The Z-man are celebrating 10+ Years and 500 shows! It’s been an interesting journey from when podcasts were a new thing to where it seems everyone has a podcast. This week we turn the tables on the IAQ Radio co-hosts with questions from frequent listeners, guests and industry leaders. The four industry experts we have lined up come from unique perspectives and all have been guests and contributors. They have also listened to the show over our 10+ years and they have given freely of their time to help their respective portions of the indoor air quality and restoration industries. We look forward to answering their questions about IAQ Radio and what we have learned through 500 shows and 10+ years “on the air”.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0500
Follow Microshields IAQ News and Headlines Bloglines RSS Feed

Subscribe with Bloglines

 



IAQ News and Articles

Latest Top (10) News
http://recordings.talkshoe.com/rss1547.xml