In this episode of the FDN Health Detective Podcast, we welcome Jason Earle, the founder and CEO of Got Mold? and creator of the Got Mold? Test Kit. Jason shares his personal journey from suffering extreme allergies and asthma due to living in a mold-infested childhood home to pioneering in the healthy home business. Jason has conducted numerous sick building investigations, helping families recover their health and peace of mind.
Got Mold? Mold Exposure
- Mold exposure is often associated with upper respiratory issues, but its impact on mental health, such as depression, is often overlooked.
- Mold sniffing dogs, like Jason’s lab named Oreo, have been effective in detecting mold sources.
- The compound 1-Octen-3-ol commonly found in musty smells is neurotoxic and affects behavior and reproduction in fruit flies.
- Modern buildings made of materials like sheetrock quickly get moldy when wet due to minimal air exchange.
- Buildings contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from petroleum-based products, contributing to poor indoor air quality.
- Spending time outdoors and opening windows can help restore balance and improve indoor air quality.
- Air is often overlooked but is the most vital human need, emphasizing the importance of addressing indoor air quality.
- Three options to address indoor air quality problems are remediation, air filtration, or ventilation.
- Temporary fixes like spraying or painting over the issue don’t address the root problem.
- Chronic exposure to a poor indoor environment, especially a moldy one, can weaken the immune system and lead to inflammation.
- Mold exposure can come from the air and the food supply, such as imported grains and conventional meats.
- Paying attention to environmental problems and making necessary changes can lead to quick recovery, while ignoring signs can result in long-lasting health issues.
- Mold exposure weakens the body over time, and each individual has a unique response to environmental exposures.
- The immune system’s ability to function optimally is affected by mold exposure, making it difficult for processes to return to normal.
- Short-term controlled exposures to mold may have benefits, but long-term exposures are problematic.
- Overall health is generally weakened by mold exposure, although the impact can vary among individuals.
Got Mold? Testing
- The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) is a research tool developed by the EPA to analyze mold profiles in homes.
- ERMI uses MSQ PCR technology to identify specific organisms in dust samples but does not accurately quantify mold levels.
- ERMI targets 36 molds, including both indoor and outdoor varieties, but the significance and health effects are not well validated.
- All indoor mold growth has the potential to create toxicity and cause serious health effects, regardless of mycotoxin production.
- Relying solely on ERMI without considering other factors can lead to unnecessary and costly remediations.
- Some practitioners and remediators exploit ERMI for profit, conducting expensive remediations without solid evidence of mold or moisture problems.
- Mycotoxin urine tests are valuable but should not be confused with airborne mold exposure, as mycotoxins require carrier particles.
- Spore traps, DNA-based testing, and next-generation sequencing provide more comprehensive information about microbial composition.
- The Got Mold? test kit offers affordable air sampling options, providing comprehensive reports within three business days.
- The kit includes an air sampling pump duplicating professional devices’ functionality at a lower cost.
- The report indicates mold presence, water damage indicator molds, and provides links to qualified remediators and inspectors in your area.
Got Mold? Remediation
- Actinomycetes, soil bacteria found in water-damaged buildings, can also impact indoor air quality and should be considered in assessments.
- VOC and microbial VOC tests can help detect hidden mold growth and assess air quality, such as those offered by Enthalpy labs.
- A proper mold assessment involves multiple data points, including visual observations, olfactory cues, and a holistic understanding of the environment.
- Consider using affordable test kits like the Got Mold? test kit for DIY testing if budget constraints are a concern.
- Find an independent mold inspector experienced in addressing mold and moisture problems, without financial relationships with remediation contractors.
- Address the root cause of mold issues, typically moisture problems like leaks or condensation.
- Follow industry standards like the IICRC S520 for mold remediation, emphasizing environmental control over chemical use.
- Set up containment areas during remediation to control dust and prevent cross-contamination.
- Use HEPA vacuums and damp wipes for surface cleaning, avoiding chemicals unless necessary.
- Confirm that the water problem has been resolved and conduct testing to ensure the work area and adjacent areas are restored to normal conditions.
- Rebuild after remediation, but only after addressing the underlying moisture issue.
Got Mold? Become Informed
- Become informed about mold exposure and take necessary action to reduce exposure for better health.
- For those unable to afford professional mold inspections, using a test kit can be a helpful alternative.
- The Implied Warranty of Habitability legally obligates landlords to provide safe and clean housing.
- Moldy buildings pose health risks, particularly to individuals with preexisting medical conditions.
- Familiarize yourself with the implied warranty of habitability and follow proper procedures to address mold issues with your landlord.
- If the landlord fails to respond, options like withholding rent, paying into escrow, or breaking the lease without negative consequences may be available.
- Procedures and rules can vary by municipality, so understanding local regulations is important.
- Utilize resources like Google to educate yourself on mold exposure and understand your rights as a renter.
Got Mold? Resources & Discounts
- Visit gotmold.com/healthdetective for resources like the ebook “How to Find Mold” with inspection checklists and FAQs.
- Use coupon code detective10 for a 10% discount on test kits from the website.
More About FDN
For more informational and functional health-oriented podcasts like this one, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/health-detective-podcast/.
To learn more about us, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/about-fdn-functional-testing/.