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I am sure you guys remember the recent mold conversation that was going on with a guy? named tug. Well I think he intended to e-mail Mike O and instead sent it to me. Here was his e-mail and my response to him.

From tug_slug@yahoo.com:

"Mike, I'm sending you this because I read your post on the Inspectors Journal Forum or as the members of the mold forum I belong to call it the Neanderthal forum. You really don't have a clue about the health hazards of mold do you? How long do you think you'd be in business if your potential clients knew your lack of knowledge when it comes a toxic substance like mold? You paid $500, took a 2 hour class now your a home inspector which gives you a license to ruin peoples lives. I feel sorry for the people that depend on you when their looking to make the most important decision of their life."

My response:

While I am not Mike, I will say this. You are acting like a complete buffoon when it comes to this topic. I would challenge you or any of the other "experts" from your little mold forum to do a home inspection at the level of Mike or anyone else on that forum. I highly doubt you would compare. Most of the inspectors on that forum have been in business 10+ years and have seen all types, including many like you. Did you think sending a defamatory e-mail was going to help get your point across? It didn't, just proved what we were thinking about you anyway.

Bring some scientific facts to your argument and I am sure I can find the same amount of scientific facts to argue against whatever crap you spew.

Now head on over to your little forum and have a great time.


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You paid $500, took a 2 hour class

Here it is in 8 paragraphs.

Actually, it was, after franchise fee, vehicle purchase, tool purchase, hotel bills and gas about $35K and the course was two weeks long (but who was counting).

Thanks Robert. He doesn't get it and never will. My customers know full well upfront that, in my own words, "I don't know squat about mold other than what I've read on the EPA, CDC sites and a few others that are similar and what I read on the net." I tell them during first telephone contact when they want to know what I'll be looking at and won't be looking at on the home.

I'll have been in business 16 years this coming April 15th and not a single past client has every complained to me about a mold issue or health problems due to undiscovered (gasp) "mold" in their homes in all that time. In fact, I've never been sued and have never been to an arbitration in all of that time.

How many home inspectors can say that? Probably most of the guys and gals who hang out here can say that but I doubt that there's a single inspector that does "mold inspections" who can say it. Those folks go out there taking samples, giving folks reports on spore count and propagating this idea that there is some scientific justification for what they do - charge folks money to tell them what they already know, that there's mold in the home ('cuz there is ambient mold spore everywhere).

As those of you who've been reading my stuff for years know, I sit the client down before the inspection and tell the client straight out that my job isn't to find mold, because mold is ubiquitous in the environment around us. Our job is to find water intrusion through roofs, windows and doors and through wall penetrations and flashings, water leaks from fixtures, poorly set up/inoperative ventilation systems, poorly ventilated attics and crawlspaces and to look for poor drainage issues such as water under a house that can lead to elevated moisture in a home; because with that you can have an explosive over-growth of ambient fungi.

There was a person earlier today in another thread that went on and on about how they'd lived in their home for four years and everyone in the home came down sick to due mycotoxin exposure. I've heard those stories before. Know what? Most of the time it's a self-induced wound. I find homes around here all the time where owners have shut down the whole house air exchange system because they want to save money on heating and don't like drafts. They don't realize what they're doing to their homes. We've all inspected homes where elderly folks live where the elderly folks have turned off the heat in unused rooms to save money on heating bills and have found the walls and ceilings are dark with fungi in those rooms. Why is it that so many older folks can seem to survive that in an older weakened state? Answer - they haven't been brainwashed by arm wavers.

Bottom line, I tell my clients that there is already mold in the home, that it's in their hair, on their clothes, stuck to their eyes and in their lungs and I tell 'em that if they have the air in the home tested they are guaranteed to find at least three or four varieties of so-called "toxic" mold in the air of the home. I tell 'em that if we find some kind of visible fungi (as opposed to the invisible ambient fungi in the air), I'll point it out to them, tell them what I think might have caused it and, if I know what did, recommend they get the cause fixed and then clean it up. I tell 'em that if they then want to hire a "mold guy" (while giving air quotes) because they have mold or pollen allergies, or because they believe some of the stories they've read in the media or or seen on TV, they should avoid hiring one of me - namely a home inspector - 'cuz there isn't anyone in this business, in my opinion, that knows his arse from his elbow when it comes to mold, and they should seek the advice of a "real" scientist; someone with lots of letters after their name and a long pedigree of doing "real" mold research, instead of some home inspector that's got a two-day mold seminar under his belt. I tell 'em not to waste their time paying some con artist $300 to tell them what they already know - that there's mold present in the home.

If/when they ask for a referral to a mold specialist. I refer 'em to Dr. Payam Fallah, the guy who moderates the mold forum on this site. Dr. Fallah is a Phd. and has been researching mold for about 15 years. The firm he works for Indoor Environmental Hygiene Laboratories is a rock star in the environmental field and if I ever have a mold issue in my own home that I think is so bad that even if I clean it up it's going to still be an issue, they'll be the ones I call for advice for what to do about it. I sure as hell won't move out and burn all of my possessions and then spend my days blaming corporate america and the BBB and God knows who else for the fact that the scientific community - the real scientific community - thinks that these mold heads have one foot in the loony bin.



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Yeah, not bad, just not long enough.

I don't think anyone here denies mold having health effects. But, these crazed individuals that think illness has a single root cause (mold!) and that mold is a killer in all cases are not connected to any reality I've been able to find.

All the medical professionals that I have talked to about this, and I've talked to a lot of them, are circumspect in their predictions and statements on the health effects of mold. They all believe it is a possible factor, but only one factor, and one that is barely understood. Not a one of them has indicated casual exposure to molds does anything more than make one's nose itch.

It's all the non-medical profession individuals that are so certain about this stuff. When there are respected and credible symposiums of medical professionals telling me things backed up with research, I'll listen. I'm not inclined to listen to individuals with no relevant training or background blathering their personal horror stories.

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Yeah, I think that someday it might be the killer the mold heads want it to be; I just don't think that time is now.

Humans have short circuited the process of natural selection. I know it sounds cruel, but we are killing ourselves, mold isn't going to do it for us. The human race built up immunities to lots of stuff in the environment over hundreds of thousands of years. Those who had strong immune systems grew up and passed on that trait to their offspring; those who were born without strong immune systems usually died at birth, as children or as young adults, often without passing on those genetic weaknesses.

That's not the case anymore. Over the past century or so, as we've developed more and more medicines, so that children that would have died from natural causes 150 years ago have grown to adulthood and passed on those genetic abnormalities that wouldn't have enabled them to survive back then. Those genetic issues end up spreading throughout the population. Eventually, immunities to certain things that are normal in our environment now will weaken or disappear and things that don't kill normally healthy people now will kill them in the future.

I don't think it has to be that way. Every time I read about scientists figuring out what gene causes a specific illness and how they've been able to remove/alter that gene in test animals to stop that animal from passing on that trait to its descendants, I think there's still some time for us to turn this around. I think in the future it might be possible with gene manipulation for scientists to eliminate allergies to peanuts, pollen, mold and other stuff. It just won't be in my lifetime; of that I'm sure. In the meantime, I won't be blaming my allergy to strawberry rhubarb on anything except my own genes.



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