What The ERMI Test Really Means

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What The ERMI Test Really Means

The US Environmental Protection Authority developed ERMI to provide a straightforward, objective, sensitive and standardized way to assess mold and indoor air quality investigations.

Based on widely published data from EPA researchers and the 2006 HUD American Healthy Home Survey, the test has been developed as a tool to evaluate the potential risk of indoor mold growth and associated health effects to occupants.


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CIRS, Mold, and VCS Results

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CIRS, Mold, and VCS Results

So, what is CIRS? Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is the inability to remove certain biotoxins, such as mold, from the body. Side effects can cause chronic fatigue, weakness, aches, and vertigo.

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How To Limit Mold Exposure

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How To Limit Mold Exposure

You can neither prevent mold spores from entering your home (they exist everywhere in the outdoor environment and can easily get inside through open doors and windows, air ducts and vents, or even attached to clothes, shoes, and bags), nor deprive mold of its “food” (the harmful microorganisms feed on organic materials, such as wood, carpet, paper, insulation, paint, plasterboard, fabrics, cotton, leather, furniture, and even dust that are found in abundance in the home). Your only option is to make sure the ambient conditions in your house are not right for mold to grow.

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Misdiagnosed Mold Exposure

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Misdiagnosed Mold Exposure

Chronic illness is at an all-time high with no signs of relief. Millions of Americans are stuck in a loop asking why do I feel this way?  Is this normal? Why is the rest of my family not sick? Maybe this is all in my head like my doctors are saying? 

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What Is Neuroquant?

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What Is Neuroquant?

There is no single test for detecting mold illnesses in humans. Urine, blood, and even psychology tests have all been used in diagnosing an array of mold-related illnesses. Certain testing can illustrate just how severely mold mycotoxins impact the brain’s function, chemical balance, and ability to process information.

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Know Your Rights Against Mold

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Know Your Rights Against Mold

We get a lot of questions from people about their rights are when renting a home. One of the greatest benefits of renting instead of owning is being able to call a landlord when something goes wrong. But what about when there is an issue that can cause a health hazard, like mold? We researched each state to breakdown the tenant's rights after a mold problem is discovered.


If you are living in a rental with obvious signs of water damage, you should have the right to know if it was properly  addressed. If you notice musty odors, see water damage or suspect mold growth you should contact your landlord immediately. Depending on where you live, your rights vary. The first task should be getting familiar with the laws and regulations of environmental hazards in your state.



Below are each state “Mold” regulations:


  • Alabama - There is no law or regulation directly addressing mold. Landlords can still be held liable for mold problems under the warranty of habitability, which requires landlords to keep their properties "livable." However, this warranty is controversial, since there is no defined outline of what “livable” means.

 

  • Alaska - There are no state or federal laws that deal specifically with mold in rental units. The rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords with respect to mold can vary depending on the terms of the lease contract, the cause of the mold growth, and local (e.g., municipal) codes. 

 

  • Arizona - Under Arizona law, a tenant must notify the landlord of any situation or occurrence that requires the landlord to provide maintenance, make repairs, or otherwise take action (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-1341(8)). Presumably, a landlord could raise a tenant’s failure to provide such notice as a defense in a mold injury case.

 

  • Arkansas - Currently there are no laws or regulations requiring property owners to remediate (clean up) the presence of mold in buildings. Ultimately is option to remediate is up to the owner and/or occupant of the building. 

 

  • California - Residential landlords must provide written disclosure to prospective and current tenants of affected units when the landlord knows or has reasonable cause to believe, that mold, visible, invisible, or hidden, is present that affects the unit or the building. To be subject to the disclosure requirement, the mold must either exceed the permissible exposure limits to molds established by law or pose a health threat according to the department's guidelines. A residential landlord is not required to conduct air or surface tests of units or buildings to determine whether 2018-R-0233 September 20, 2018 Page 7 of 9 the presence of molds exceeds the permissible limits. Landlords must provide the written disclosure to prospective tenants prior to them entering into the rental or lease agreement and to current tenants in affected units as soon as is reasonably practical. The law exempts landlords from providing written disclosure to prospective tenants if the presence of mold was remediated according to the mold remediation guidelines (Cal. Health & Safety Code § 26147).

 

  • Colorado - A tenant fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably clean and safe manner when the tenant substantially fails to promptly notify the landlord if the residential premises are uninhabitable or if there is a condition that could result in the premises becoming uninhabitable if not remedied (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-504)

 

  • Connecticut - A landlord's responsibility regarding mold is generally not specifically addressed in landlord-tenant statutes, regulations, or town ordinances. However, the statutes impose a duty on landlords to maintain safe and habitable premises. This extends to the maintenance of things such as roofs, windows, and pipes from which water can leak and cause mold.

 

  • Delaware - Under the law, a landlord’s property maintenance obligation involves repairing leaking pipes, windows, and roofs. If leaks are left unresolved, mold may result. Even in cases where the tenant created the conditions that allowed mold to accumulate, the law holds landlords responsible for remediating the problem. This is usually true, despite a mold clause that may exist in the rental agreement or lease.

 

  • Florida - There is currently no federal law covering a landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, Florida doesn’t have any laws that specifically address a landlord’s duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation. In an effort to protect the citizens of Florida, Florida Governor Crist signed Mold / Inspection legislation (SB2234) into law. The new law regulates the Mold Inspection and Mold Remediation Industry. 

 

  • Georgia - When the owner of a property seeks to lease or rent that property for residential occupancy, prior to entering a written lease agreement, the owner must notify the prospective tenant in writing of the property's propensity of flooding if flooding has damaged any portion of the living space at least three times in the previous five years. An owner who fails to give such notice must be liable in tort to the tenant and the tenant's family residing on the leased premises for damages to the personal property of the lessee or a resident relative of the lessee which is proximately caused by flooding which occurs during the term of the lease (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7- 20)

 

  • Hawaii -  A landlord's responsibility regarding mold is generally not specifically addressed in landlord-tenant statutes, regulations, or town ordinances. However, the statutes impose a duty on landlords to maintain safe and habitable premises. This extends to the maintenance of things such as roofs, windows, and pipes from which water can leak and cause mold.

 

  • Idaho - A landlord has a duty to maintain a habitable premises. A rental unit with mold growth or a bed bug infestation may be uninhabitable, therefore triggering the landlord’s duty to make repairs under Idaho Code § 6-320. 

 

  • Illinois - There is currently no law covering a landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, Illinois doesn’t have any laws that specifically address a landlord’s duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation.

 

  • Indiana - Indiana requires sellers of residential buildings with up to four units to disclose in writing any known hazardous conditions, including mold (Ind. Code Ann. § 32-21-5-7). 

 

  • Iowa - Part of Iowa's landlord-tenant law, Iowa Code 562A.15, requires landlords to maintain their properties and comply with local housing codes affecting health and safety

 

  • Kansas - If your landlord does not provide habitable housing under local and state housing codes, a court would probably conclude that you have been “constructively evicted;” this means that the landlord, by supplying unlivable housing, has for all practical purposes “evicted” you, so you have no further responsibility for the rent. Kansas law (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 58-2559) 

 

  • Kentucky -  A landlord has a duty to maintain a habitable premise. The Health Department does not have a program with enforcement authority to address mold complaints inside a residential property.

 

  • Louisiana - Under default Louisiana law, a Louisiana landlord has the obligation to maintain the leased premise in a suitable condition for the purpose for which it was leased. La. Civil Code art. 2682. Louisiana Revised Statutes 11:1345.9 requires the State Licensing Board for Contractors to: adopt rules and regulations to govern mold remediation; issue, suspend, modify, and revoke licenses to practice mold remediation; maintain an up-to-date list of all licensees; report violations to the Attorney General; and adopt minimum standards of practice for licensed mold remediators. Establishes various required practices for licensees.

 

  • Maine - It is a legal obligation to ensure the unit is habitable, free from medical and safety threats as well as ensuring the tenant is comfortable in the location.

 

  • Maryland - Landlords are under no obligation to have their rental properties tested for mold contamination before allowing a tenant to move-in. However, should a tenant discover mold within the home after the fact, it then becomes the landlord’s legal responsibility to assess and solve the issue, including payment for the removal of all contaminants. Maryland law states that landlords in all regions, including Severn and Fort Meade, are required to provide tenants a safe and habitable place to live.  Law requires that any company or firm that provides mold remediation services on residential property in Maryland to obtain a license to provide mold remediation services.

 

  • Massachusetts - Massachusetts doesn’t have any laws that specifically address a landlord’s duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation. (105 CMR §410.020.)

 

  • Michigan - Michigan does not currently have laws regarding mold in rental housing. To our knowledge, there are no local laws regarding mold either. Keep in mind however, under Michigan law landlords have a duty to maintain the unit in a habitable condition.

 

  • Minnesota - There are no legal requirements specific to mold in most residential settings. However, Minnesota Law (Minn. Stat. § 504B) requires that a landlord must provide an apartment that is habitable and in reasonable repair.

 

  • Mississippi - Under Mississippi law, a tenant must inform the landlord if he or she has actual knowledge of any condition that may cause damage to the premises (Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8- 25(g)).

 

  • Missouri - Under Missouri Law, standard rental leases contain an “implied warranty of habitability”. There are no legal requirements specific to mold in most residential settings.

 

  • Montana - In 2003, Montana passed The Mold Disclosure Act. Under the law, a seller or landlord is required to disclose the presence of mold, if they know of such a problem. The seller or landlord must provide a written mold disclosure statement when they are offering to sell or rent you a house or apartment. 

 

  • Nebraska - Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary, after written or actual notice, to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition (§§ 76-1419)

 

  • Nevada - Landlords are legally required to keep rental premises livable in Nevada, under a legal doctrine called the “implied warranty of habitability.”

 

  • New Hampshire - New Hampshire law requires landlords to provide safe, sanitary housing for tenants. A state law RSA 48–A:14 spells out minimum standards for rental property. 

 

  • New Jersey - Under current New Jersey law, the landlord does not have to disclose high concentrations of mold in rental properties tenants. All you must do is notify them if the property sits in a flood zone. They are about to pass a mold licnesing law 

 

  • New Mexico - New Mexico does not have laws or state agencies that regulate mold or have jurisdiction to enforce abatement.

 

  • New York - Landlords of buildings with three or more apartments — or buildings of any size where a tenant has asthma — are required to keep tenants’ homes free of mold and pests. This includes safely fixing conditions that cause these problems, repairing water leaks and correcting persistently high humidity levels. State law requires landlords to keep apartments free of conditions dangerous to life too, health, and safety of tenants. Article 32 of the New York State Labor Law, establishes licensing requirements and minimum work standards for professionals engaged in mold assessment and remediation.

 

  • North Carolina - North Carolina law requires landlords to fix excessive standing water, sewage, or flooding problems caused by plumbing leaks or inadequate drainage that contribute to mold (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-42).

 

  • North Dakota -  Landlord must disclose, prior to lease signing, knowledge of any mold in the dwelling that exceeds safety limits or poses a health concern. A landlord must distribute a State Department of Health Services consumer handbook once it is developed and approved. (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 26147 and Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1941.7)

 

  • Ohio - The state of Ohio has no standards for mold exposure or laws and regulations related to mold exposure limits. No certification or licensing requirements exist in Ohio for mold inspectors and remediators. The Ohio Department of Health has a very limited role with regard to mold but will answer questions from the public.

 

  • Oklahoma - The landlord has a responsibility to ensure proper living conditions for their tenants, which includes having premises free from any kind of mold contamination. If a tenant and has discovered mold, then it is the duty of the landlord to get the mold removed and pay for any such removal.

 

  • Oregon - The landlord is legally required to keep the rental “habitable,” which is legalese for livable. That means that the landlord must make any repairs necessary to stop the growth of mold in the unit. 

 

  • Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania doesn't have any statutes or regulations that require landlords to disclose high concentrations of mold in rental properties to prospective tenants or buyers.

 

  • Rhode Island - There are no current, specific, mold regulations. However, there are multiple laws and regulations that require safe and habitable housing, that specifically address moisture and ventilation, and otherwise touch on mold-related housing standards. For example, the Rhode Island Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the premises, and make necessary repairs. (RIGL §34-18.)

 

  • South Carolina - State law does not protect tenants from mold. In South Carolina, there are no laws to protect you or force your landlord to clean it up. 

 

  • South Dakota - Requires sellers of a residential property to provide a form disclosing known hazardous conditions including radon, mold, methane gas, lead paint, asbestos insulation, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, and toxic materials, as well as any known testing for such conditions. §§ 43-4-37–44 - WHat about tenants?

 

  • Tennessee - The Tennessee  Department of Health does not have the authority to inspect and require landlords to address mold issues in rental property.  Laws to address mold directly are not common. However, in some cases, local building codes may help to address the problems that contribute to mold growth.  

 

  • Texas - Landlords in Texas must abide by the “implied warranty of habitability.” This legal doctrine requires the landlord to provide a property in a livable condition. All persons performing mold assessments and mold remediation in Texas, if not exempt under the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules, are required to be licensed or registered.

 

  • Utah - Under the Utah Fit Premises Act, landlords have a duty to maintain what the law calls “standards of habitability.” Landlords are often responsible for any cleaning and repairs that may be necessary to get rid of it.

 

  • Vermont - Authorizes the state Department of Health to promulgate rules and regulations for preserving public health. Rules (Yt. Admin. Code 12-5-25:8) establish habitability standards for rental dwellings, including the requirement that dwelling units “be maintained to be free from the regular or periodic appearance of standing water or excessive moisture which may result in visible mold growth. There are no Vermont certifications or licenses for mold remediation or testing. 

 

  • Virginia - Landlords must disclose any visible mold to tenants before they move in, and take prompt action to remove the mold. In addition, tenants must “use reasonable efforts” to maintain their apartment and prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold.

 

  • Washington - The landlord must, at all times during the tenancy, keep the premises fit for human habitation (warranty of habitability). Specifically, the landlord must (1) maintain the dwelling unit in reasonably weathertight condition and (2) provide tenants with the information provided or approved by the department of health about the health hazards associated with exposure to indoor mold. (Wash. Rev. Code § 59.18.060).

 

  • Washington DC - All mold professionals must maintain a general liability insurance coverage of at least one million dollars, unless covered under an employer’s policy. Licensed professionals may only perform services they are licensed to conduct. A licensed mold assessor is permitted to record observations, take measurements, collect samples, plan and conduct surveys, prepare reports, and develop and evaluate mold remediation and management plans. 

 

  • West Virginia - The duty of the landlord to maintain a premise; requiring a landlord to address issues of accumulation and the growth of mold, and requiring the landlord to perform mold remediation in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.

 

  • Wisconsin - While dampness and mold are typically not written into local housing ordinances, landlords do have a duty to keep premises in a reasonable state of repair and to make necessary structural repairs. Tenants have certain rights where conditions in the premises materially affect the health or safety of the tenant.

 

  • Wyoming - In every residential lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which is breached with the presence of mold.


In an attempt to shield themselves from liability due to illness resulting from mold, some landlords insert mold clauses in the rental agreement that provides the landlord immunity from liability in such cases. 


To learn more about the laws where you live, contact your local Health Department. 


If you suspect you have mold in your home please connect with us today.

The information contained on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent a health diagnosis, therapeutic recommendation or prescription for treatment. We urge you to consult and obtain medical advice from a licensed, trained, and competent medical provider for concerns with health issues.

 

References :


1. http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/mold


2.https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/mold-rentals-landlord-liability-responsibility-prevention-30230.html


3. To see whether your state is considering mold-related legislation that might affect residential rentals, you can search the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Environmental Health State Bill Tracking Database


4. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/mold-rentals-landlord-liability-responsibility-prevention-30230.html


5.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/maryland-rules-regarding-mold-rental-properties.html


6. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/rpt/pdf/2018-R-0233.pdf 


7. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-rules-regarding-mold-rental-properties.html


8. https://www.hud.gov/states/hawaii/renting/tenantrights


9. https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/landlords-duties-regarding-mold-in-montana.html


10. https://www.hepworthlegal.com/


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Mycotoxins

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Mycotoxins

In order to better understand how mold toxins impact our health, it’s important to understand the purpose of mold and the bi-products it produces. Mold is a living organism and it plays a very important role in our ecosystem as our natural recycler. Mold eats and breaks down organic materials, without mold we would have trash piled sky high! 


However, mold doesn't just grow on old food in the back of your refrigerator. Certain species of mold enjoy paper, drywall, wood, and dust! In order for mold to grow on the building materials, they need 2 important environmental factors, temperature and WATER.  When the environmental conditions are right and molds begin to grow, they produce by-products that are released from the growth area, they include MVOCs, Spores, and Mycotoxins. 


Like any living organism, Mold must adapt to survive. This is where Mycotoxins come into play. Mold expels Mycotoxins as a defense mechanism to fight off foreign invaders. However, Mycotoxins don’t just protect the growth area of mold, these toxins are wrapped around the spores as that are ejected from the colony. Making the possibility of cross-contamination commonplace when a mold issue occurs. 


Mycotoxins are so small, they're categorized as ultra-fine particulates. Their molecular weight is not heavy enough for gravity to actually allow them to fall down to the surfaces unless attached to another particulate. This allows for Mycotoxins to suspend in the breathing zone for long periods of time. 


Exposure to Mold and Mycotoxins can have serious health implications. Diseases and health symptoms linked to Mycotoxins include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, liver damage, and more.


The advancement of science has allowed for the detection of these toxins in the body and in the home.  Testing for Mycotoxins in the built environment is a very important in order to set the appropriate next step actions when setting a mold remediation strategy. If you suspect a mold problem, it is important to contact us today to perform an inspection and testing to identify the source areas of contamination.


There are several labs that perform clinical testing for Mycotoxin exposure, you can find more information on the lab tests here RealTime Labs, Great Plains Lab and Vibrant Wellness Labs


 

The information contained on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent a health diagnosis, therapeutic recommendation or prescription for treatment. We urge you to consult and obtain medical advice from a licensed, trained, and competent medical provider for concerns with health issues.


https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/or.2017.5424


van der Gaag B, Spath S, Dietrich H, Stigter E, Boonzaaijer G, van Osenbruggen T and Koopal K: Biosensors and multiple mycotoxin analysis. Food Control. 14:251–254. 2003. View Article : Google Scholar


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Walls Can Talk

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Walls Can Talk

The importance of knowing exactly what your biggest purchases history is- is almost just as important as the sale price. Your home is your sanctuary. Committing to those walls is a make or break to not just your wallet, but your health.


You get an ownership history report when buying a used car. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing when shopping for a home? There are many typical variables when making any home purchase like the location, school districts, size, yard, and so on. It’s never on the top of the list to ask for the history of the home or even worry too much about it after it passes inspection.


However, what if your home inspection missed something big? Like a well-hidden toxin? The most commonly overlooked element when looking at a home is water. Water damage can occur from a number of sources inside and outside the home. Typical water damage inside the home can happen when dishwashers or washing machine hoses rupture, causing living areas to fill with water. More serious water damage can occur from floods, severe storms, and natural disasters. 


There are plenty of resources out there to help your walls talk. A great tool to start with is an ERMI test. The ERMI is readily available for purchase and is more telling than a real state agent. Also, home inspectors don’t raise alarm at the sight of mold and typically don’t know what to look for in case there is mold. It’s much better to do your homework much like test driving a car. 


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From Desolate To Ambient

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From Desolate To Ambient

Picture this, it’s Sunday morning, you and the family have begun your weekly routine of cleaning your home. With all bedrooms vacuumed, floors mopped, all surfaces wiped, and linens washed you can relax knowing you’ve done a spotless job, right? Well, not exactly.  

Your home is just as alive as you. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? The reality is bacteria, viruses, and toxins are living and thriving in our homes. Unfortunately, no matter how much cleaning products you use to prevent organic materials from growing, it continues to, from the top to the very bottom of your house. Which includes your attic, basement, or crawl space. 

Basements and crawl spaces are notoriously wet and damp due to groundwater seepage from the foundation walls. Any area of the home can influence any other area of the home based upon air convection movement such as the stack house effect, where warm moist air raises and permeates through the home. The attic is the area where all the warm moist air should expel out through air handler vents. However, many times, depending on the design of the attic, whether it is over insulated, or poorly ventilated, moisture can get trapped in the attic, causing mold growth. 

Depending on where the main HVAC system is located, (basement or attic) it can take the air from those areas draw the air into the air handler units and in turn distribute throughout the entire home. If the area where the HVAC system is located is contaminated with mold, mold spores can be drawn into the HVAC system and distributed throughout the home and impact the indoor air quality. 

Mold isn’t something you can just add to your Sunday chore list though. Once your home is contaminated, you will need to find a professional to test the extent of the damage. Because this living organism grows over time, a top to bottom inspection is absolutely necessary.

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Your Remediation Finder Guide

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Your Remediation Finder Guide

ALL remediation projects big or small should be performed by a licensed & certified to mold remediation company. Companies should be using botanical products, proper engineering controls, and building science to ensure that the sources of contaminations are being removed in a manner that will not cause additional damage and cross-contamination to the building. Additionally, it is important to work with a mold remediation company that truly understands working with all clients, especially individuals that are hypersensitive to their built environment.
Finding a company that understands the technical nuances needed to perform remediation for individuals with CIRS, Lyme Disease, Mycotoxin Exposure, etc is very difficult.

Here are the top 7 questions to ask when speaking with
remediation contractors:

  • Does your company perform mold testing and remediation?
    The answer should only be remediation. It is a conflict of interest to do both and illegal
    in some states to perform the inspection and remediation on the same project.

  • Can you explain an ERMI and Mycotoxin samples to me?
    It is important to work with a company who understands the types of testing performed.
    You want them to at least have a general knowledge of the testing type.

  • Have you ever performed remediation for someone with CIRS, LYME, MCS or
    Auto Immune disorder?
    Understanding the homeowner’s needs is so important. Working with this clientele type
    requires a different degree of remediation.

  • Can you please send me a list of your certifications and licenses?
    At a minimum, you want to make sure they have Certified Mold Remediation Managers
    on staff that oversee the project day by day and are onsite with the workers making sure
    the work is getting done properly.

  • Do you require a mold inspection and testing prior to your remediation and
    after remediation is completed? Do you guarantee your work?
    The company should require a remediation plan from a separate company, this should
    always be provided by the assessment company who performed the inspection and
    testing. Additionally, post-testing should always be performed by the initial inspector and
    be used to guarantee the remediation performed. If the work is failed by the inspector,
    there should be no added cost to the homeowner for the remediation company to come
    back and do work needed to finish the job, as long as the work falls within the original
    remediation plan provided.

  • Side note, post inspections should include both a visual inspection, moisture mapping,
    and testing. The testing protocols should mirror the samples collected during the initial
    inspection. A visual post inspection only is not acceptable!

  • Are you familiar with fine particular remediation?
    This is a very thorough cleaning procedure performed after the remediation of the
    source areas that involves a full home wipe down and cleaning.

  • Will you be willing to go thru the report with the mold assessment company
    that performed the assessment?
    Should be yes, it’s important there is a collaboration between all parties involved. They
    should have an all hands on deck approach.
    Remember ultimately you want to make sure they can get through these
    questions and direct technical questions to the assessor who performed the
    inspection and testing

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Ticks, Lyme, and Mold

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Ticks, Lyme, and Mold

“The CDC estimates there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year – which is roughly 10 times as many as what is reported. That group of undiagnosed Lyme Disease victims can suffer for years with the disease. You or someone you care about could be one of those victims.”

Those are some shocking statistics. It seems strange that something as seemingly innocuous as a tick, often close in size to a pinhead, could damage someone's health. The increase of Lyme disease in North America has paralleled the explosive growth of deer populations on that continent over several decades. 

Ticks can be very difficult to notice if you are not actively looking for them. In addition to being quite small, ticks can also secrete saliva with anesthetic properties, numbing the area where the tick is feeding and preventing the host from feeling that the tick has attached itself.

The major discussion concerning mold and mycotoxins is that when a Lyme compromised patient is exposed to them, the mold symptoms that occurred can prevent and neutralize the benefit the of the Lyme protocol prescribed. In other words, any prescribed protocol either for mold or Lyme compromised patients is only effective if the home or workplace where the patient is exposed is remediated and cleaned appropriately of all mold and mycotoxins. 

Mold mycotoxins, heavy metal toxicity, genetic factors, underlying respiratory ailments, antibiotic use, a weakened immune system, increased chemical sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, and viral infections are all interconnected.

Mold spores make their way onto your clothes and your belongings, allowing for contamination wherever you go. These mold spores can cause illness, with symptoms similar to those caused by Lyme infections. Many people do not know that these mold spores are what’s keeping them ill. They often assume that it’s just the Lyme infection.

It is important to understand that mold is only part of the problem. If your immune system is weakened by the Lyme infections, you are more susceptible to fungal overgrowth in the body. You will also be more affected by mold in your environment. Symptoms can mimic Lyme, and Lyme can mimic mold illness.


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The Importance of Samples

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The Importance of Samples

Here are the different sampling methodologies we can perform. Specific samples and quantitates depend on the inspection performed and condition of the environment.

Air Sampling ; The Air Sampling cassette is a sampling device designed for the rapid collection and analysis of a wide range of airborne aerosols. These include fungal spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cell fragments, fibers, and inorganic particulates. Air enters the cassette, the particles become impacted on the sampling substrate, and the air leaves through the exit orifice. The airflow and patented cassette housing is designed in such a way that the particles are distributed and deposited equally on a special glass slide contained in the cassette housing called the “trace.”

Benefits

  1. Useful for initial site testing, especially if fungal growth is not visible.

  2. Quick and simple procedure.

  3. Fast turnaround times available.

  4. Low chance of sample contamination.

Surface Samples ;  Tape lift, bulk and swab sampling, are techniques used for direct examination. A direct exam allows for the immediate determination of the presence of fungal spores as well as what types of fungi are present. Direct examinations should only be used to sample visible mold growth in a contaminated area since most. Most surfaces collect a mixture of fungal spores that are normally present in the environment.

Benefits

  1. The direct exam is inexpensive, and can be performed quickly.

  2. A useful test for initial site sampling.

  3. Direct examination of a surface indicates all mold present in a given area.

  4. Direct sampling may reveal indoor reservoirs of spores that have not yet become airborne.

ERMI ; This is a methodology developed by the EPA that defines the population of mold species in the settled dust and or dust reservoirs.

Benefits

  1. The results of the EPA 36 outlines the 36 different mold types down to the species level.

  2. This is helpful in identifying potential toxic molds and or mycotoxin activity.

Mycotoxin Sampling;  Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain mold species as a toxic defense to protect their food source and territory. This sampling will detect the presence of three types of Mycotoxins that are produced by . These toxins include Tricothecenes, Gliotoxins, Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A

Benefits

  1. To understand the potential toxic load in the indoor environment.

Endotoxin Testing : Endotoxins are derived from the cell walls of Gram Negative bacteria (GNB). Gram-negative bacteria is found almost anywhere in nature. Their toxins are found within the outer layer membrane of the GNB cell wall. They do not have to be living, therefore both viable and non-viable gram-negative bacteria contribute endotoxins. The most common routes of endotoxin exposure are through inhalation, or through intestinal tract absorption through food or water. The health effect of endotoxins varies depending on the individual, dosage and route of exposure. 

Water Testing ; Testing the water allows a knowledgeable approach to address the specific problems of a water supply. This helps ensure that the water source is being properly protected from potential contamination, and that an appropriate treatment system is selected and is operating properly. Testing types include: Heavy Metals, Turbidity, Bacteria, Mold.

Full Particulate Dust Sample Identification ; Incorporates physical testing with Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) to identify nearly all particles from cotton fibers, dander and dust mites to unusual materials such as carbon black, metal oxides and minerals. This method is the perfect procedure for initial site surveys where Indoor Air Quality is in question.

Formaldehyde Testing ;  Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly used in the manufacture of building materials and numerous household products. At room temperature, formaldehyde vaporizes into the air, potentially causing serious health problems. It is also a by-product of combustion processes. When you burn things like natural gas, wood, gasoline, or tobacco, formaldehyde gas is released into the air. The most significant sources of formaldehyde in homes are: pressed wood products like particle board, plywood paneling, and MDF (medium density fiberboard); foam insulation; carpets; drapery fabrics; resins; glues; cigarettes; and un-vented, fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves or kerosene heaters.

VOC Testing ;It monitors for hundreds of chemicals in the air (called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds) and active mold growth with a single air sample. It not only reports on the total levels of VOCs and mold present in the property, but it also identifies the potential sources of air pollutants (e.g., paint, adhesives, flooring, cabinets, heating fuel, dead animals and hundreds of other products and materials that emit gases into the air) giving you actionable information on the steps necessary to improve the air quality in your property.

Benefits;   

  1. Unusual and noticeable odors, stale or stuffy air

  2. Noticeable lack of air movement

  3. Dirty or faulty central heating or air conditioning equipment

  4. Damaged flue pipes or chimneys

  5. Unvented combustion air sources for natural gas or propane appliances

  6. Excessive humidity

  7. Air-tight building

  8. Presence of molds and mildew

  9. Health reaction after remodeling, weatherizing, using new furniture, using household or hobby products, or moving into a new building

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