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Bogus mould legislation

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I knew there was a reason I didn't buy them $1000.00 air sampling machines when I got "certified" to do mold testing. Never used it, don't even remember who gave the class, but glad I didn't buy it.

Here's what I tell people about mold:


What may be mold or mildew or fungal growth is present in ___________ . It may be in other areas also. I don't know. The identification of the organism(s) and characterization of a health hazard are beyond the scope of this home inspection. Mold, mildew, fungus and other toxic organisms commonly occur in areas that show evidence of, or have the potential for, leaking, moisture intrusion and/or inadequate ventilation. Any area or item exhibiting such conditions can be a health hazard to some people.

My basic recommendation is: The moisture source needs to be controlled and the growth might need to be cleaned up. Who does that is your decision. However, review the below information and recommendations before deciding on how to deal with this issue.

If, after reviewing the below information, you have additional questions or want further investigation, I recommend that you contact an Environmental Health Specialist, usually listed in the yellow pages under "Environmental Consultants" or "Mold & Mildew Services" to advise you. Whomever you chose, to avoid a conflict of interest, select a consultant that investigates, designs and oversees remediation plans but does not perform, or have a financial interest in performing the actual remediation. Remember to closely investigate the consultant’s qualifications and experience.

There is a lot of controversy over the issue of mold and mold testing. As the following websites state, it is not necessary to invest resources in expensive laboratory analysis and money spent on testing is not available for cleanup.

The EPA does not recommend measuring airborne fungal levels. The EPA publication "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" states "Is sampling for mold needed? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary."


The EPA also says "You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it."

( http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html )

The CDC says "You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth."

( http://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm )

You may want to identify and review additional sources of information.


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Coaimhin, I really respect your input on the mould issues, you bring some sanity to the debate. I am not a mould inspector and do not have a dog in this fight. As a biologist, I have to wonder what is wrong with comparing to an outside sample? It seems to me you need some control. The issue is not really if the mould is at a "dangerous" level, but whether it is a problem in the home. I can't see any other way of determining that without sampling outside the home in addition to samples within the home.

I also have a bit of a problem with your disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are your personal opinions, not your professional opinions. Apparently they differ??

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Good morning, Mr. Saunders:

Fair comments.

The problem with indoor v. outdoor counts is numerous, and I have addressed some of those limitation here:


Essentially, no comparison can be made, because statistically, there is no correlation between indoor/outdoor relationships and indoor mould problems. The following statements are all equally true:

1) Clean houses can have higher mould counts indoors than outdoors.

2) Mouldy houses can have lower mould counts indoors than outdoors.

3) Clean houses can have lower mould counts indoors than outdoors.

4) Mouldy houses can have higher mould counts indoors than outdoors.

I can't see any other way of determining that without sampling outside the home in addition to samples within the home.id="blue">


And I can demonstrate that it can be done without the collection of any samples.

I have addressed the disclaimer in the past, but since you are new here, I will address it again.

My professional opinion is a process wherein the totality of circumstances is weighed and researched. Sources are checked, lit reviews are done, a draft is prepared, the draft is peer reviewed, the draft may be submitted to SMEs and/or attorneys for consideration, changes are made, and then the professional opinion is rendered.

These posts are hammered out in a matter of seconds, while I am drinking my cuppa coffee in my famously blue bathrobe, before I shower and get ready to take on the day.

As an expert witness, when I am in depo or on trial, if an attorney wants to bring up these posts, and try to claim they represent my professional opinion – my disclaimer makes it clear that these are just my personal, off the cuff, opinions. They are rather like a conversation that you and I may have while standing in the kitchen at a party. That’s all.

And yes – most definitely, my professional opinion, and my personal opinion can be very different indeed – in fact, in some cases, my professional opinion may be diametrically opposite my personal opinion. Do you find that odd?


By the way, (I edited this post to include this) as just happened a few seconds ago on another baord on which I used to participate - A moderator, without authority, modified my post. (When that happens, I immediately stop participating on the board).

In one board, the moderator, (a certain Carl Grimes), did not like being quoted, or my post in opposition to his goofy positions, and so he altered my post, thereby changing the meaning of the post.

As such, what you read on the web, and what may be attributed to me, may - or may not- actually be mine. But when you read my professional opinion, on my letterhead, and signed in my hand - co-signed by my boss -that's mine.


Caoimhín P. Connell

Forensic Industrial Hygienist


(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)


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