Jump to content

Stop Testing for Mold! Editing/Comments Please


Recommended Posts

I am going to include a page on my website concerning mold testing. I welcome your edits and comments.

Stop Testing for Mold!

October 17, 2013

This is in response to the great number of clients who call me each year and ask if I test for mold. No, I do not.

Yes, I do look for signs of mold, and more importantly, I look for the moisture that causes it but I do not, nor do I recommend that anyone do mold testing.

Mold growth in the home is not good. Inhalation of mold spores can cause various allergic reactions and can make some people ill depending upon their immune system. However, testing for mold is a waste of your money. Why?

No credible medical authority recommends testing for mold as a normal course of action even if you know you have mold issues. The general public is ignorant of this. Mold testing companies have proliferated like rabbits because of sensational and misinformed news stories that have no real medical basis.

From the (CDC) Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.

From a published (AAAAI) position statement by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology concerning breathing mold/mycotoxins:

?Thus we agree with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine evidence-based statement and the Institute of Medicine draft, which conclude that the evidence does not support the contention that mycotoxin-mediated disease (mycotoxicosis) occurs through inhalation?. Furthermore, the contention that the presence of mycotoxins would give rise to a whole panoply of nonspecific complaints is not consistent with what is known to occur; ... Conclusions: ?The occurrence of mold-related toxicity (mycotoxicosis) from exposure to inhaled mycotoxins in nonoccupational settings is not supported by the current data, and its occurrence is improbable.?

The Minnesota Department of Health has published an excellent source of information on mold and mold testing. The entire article can be found in the references below. They go as far as to list four reasons (? la the David Letterman Show) why it is a poor idea to test for mold which just so happens to be the same exact reasons why most people do want testing.

1. Poor reason for testing, ?To find out if there is mold.?

2. Poor reason for testing, ?To identify what type of mold is present.?

3. Poor reason for testing, ?To learn if the mold is the toxic kind.?

4. Poor reason for testing, ?To find the cause of health complaints?.

Do not test for mold. If you can smell it or you can see it then take the necessary steps to correct the moisture that is causing the mold. Remember, moisture is the problem not the mold. Find out what is causing the moisture. Fix the moisture problem. Clean up the mold. It is that simple. Stop testing for mold!

References:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/mold.html#4

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaL ... d-2006.pdf

Minnesota Department of Health http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/i ... dtest.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Extreme cases will have to make their own decisions and even then the testing is likely to be inaccurate, and any evaluation of the samples even more so. If people smell mold but can't see it, a thorough moisture evaluation is needed and walls may need to be opened up. Air sampling is pretty much useless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently attended a CE program on mold (I needed the hours and there isn't much to choose from here, so...). The presenter was from Pro Labs with a PHD in mycology. He surprisingly only spent the last 10 minutes or so pitching their equipment and lab services.

In six hours I learned only a handful of useful info:

Mildew doesn't grow in your shower. All of the more than 100,000 species grow outdoors on live hosts, the undersides of plant leaves mostly.

You can see penicillium aspergillus growing on surfaces by glancing the beam from a laser pointer across them. It's fuzzy enough to refract the beam. Why you would do this I don't know.

There are between 14 million and 40 million spores on every square inch of surface on this planet. Removing 99.9% of them leaves 14-40,000 of them behind (per square inch). The hotel conference room we were in had plastic carpeting, vinyl wall coverings, dropped ceilings, and leaky outdated ventilation. By my estimation the spore counts were likely double that in there.

The organizer has a sense of humor. The caterer fed us Buffalo chicken wraps with blue cheese for lunch.

The mold labs see the writing on the wall. At the close of his presentation, the Doc urged those of us interested in sampling to market our services to Physicians. The next big thing, apparently, is going to be tracking allergens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest the following edits:

This is in response I wrote this article in responseto the great number of clients who call me each year and ask if I test for mold. No, I do not.

Yes, I do look for signs of mold, and, more importantly, I look for the moisture that causes it but I do not, nor do I recommend that anyone, do mold testing.

Mold growth in the home is not good. Inhalation of Inhalingmold spores can cause various allergic reactions and can make some people ill depending upon their immune system. However, testing for mold is a waste of your money. Why?No credible medical authority recommends testing for mold as a normal course of action even if you know you have mold issues. The general public is ignorant of this. Mold testing companies have proliferated like rabbits because of sensational and misinformed news stories that have no real medical basis.

From the (CDC) Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.

From a published (AAAAI) position statement by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology concerning breathing mold/mycotoxins:

?Thus we agree with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine evidence-based statement and the Institute of Medicine draft, which conclude that the evidence does not support the contention that mycotoxin-mediated disease (mycotoxicosis) occurs through inhalation?. Furthermore, the contention that the presence of mycotoxins would give rise to a whole panoply of nonspecific complaints is not consistent with what is known to occur; ... Conclusions: ?The occurrence of mold-related toxicity (mycotoxicosis) from exposure to inhaled mycotoxins in nonoccupational settings is not supported by the current data, and its occurrence is improbable.?

The Minnesota Department of Health has published an excellent source of information on mold and mold testing. The entire article can be found in the references below. They go as far as to list four reasons (? la the David Letterman Show) why it is a poor idea to test for mold which just so happens to be the same exact reasons why most people do want testing.

1. Poor reason for testing, ?To find out if there is mold.?

2. Poor reason for testing, ?To identify what type of mold is present.?

3. Poor reason for testing, ?To learn if the mold is the toxic kind.?

4. Poor reason for testing, ?To find the cause of health complaints?.

Do not test for mold. If you can smell it or you can see it, then take the necessary steps to correct the moisture that is causing the mold. Remember, moisture is the problem not the mold. Find out what is causing the moisture. Fix the moisture problem. Clean up the mold. It is that simple. Stop testing for mold!

References:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/mold.html#4

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaL ... d-2006.pdf

Minnesota Department of Health http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/i ... dtest.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...