Is this for real?


Lead and asbestos testing amounts to less than 1% of all indoor air inspections. Most are mold and radon. Radon has state licensing where there are high radon levels for the most part, and where there is no state licensing, there are Federal standards and procedures for testing. What doesn’t have laws and regs is mold which permits unqualified diploma mill association Candidates to buy mold test kits on Tuesday and offer mold testing services on Wednesday. This is a problem. A problem for consumers.

IAC2 solves this problem to some degree by offering consumers and REALTORs a list of inspectors who have at a minimum, fulfilled NACHI’s requirements, joined NACHI, (NACHI membership indicates an understanding of homes and inspections and NACHI’s entrance exam, for example, already contains questions about asbestos, lead, radon and mold) and completed at least one additional 1-day indoor-air related approved course of study which includes additional training, an exam, and laboratory support.

IAC2 is perfect for NACHI members who want to offer mold testing services, for example… and the cost of membership (free) is nice too.

Like HArvey noted - I have some concerns too.

Who inspects or certifies these individuals?

Is 8 hours of classroom seminar education going to make someone somewhat knowledgeable or like most 1 day seminars - an awareness of the subject mtter or something else?

In Ontario - how does this measure up the 3 day CMHC - IAQ training, examination and ongoing training/mentorship that is required?

Does the E&O policy of the inspector include/exclude this type of activity? Or is insurance available?

Again - sounds like its’ comparing apples with oranges!

I certainly would not like to see any more bad press of seeing inspectors overstepping their expertise, or some person caused serious injury by such activity.


8 hrs, 3 days, 10 days How much time is needed to instruct someone to take a few samples of suspected mold?

Just another scam to rip folks off…:shock:

The only outfit to benefit is ProLab.


I disagree.The one that benefits is our clients and HI.This is going to be huge Dale you better get on board.

Claude, I took 3-day CMHC IAQ Investigator training and 1-day PRO-LAB initial mold training. You can’t compare these two because of completely different approach. CMHC does not endorse any testing whatsoever. PRO LAB is all for testing. I agree completely that 1 day course does not make you IAQ specialist, nor does a 3-day course. I guess everybody understands this. Membership in IAC2 in my opinion is just another marketing idea, that allows home inspectors to extend their services in offering air samples collection during a home inspection for additional charge.

So there is no such thing as mold to test for?
If I did not have funding And I was not sure if I had mold or not, I would rather spend $100 a sample than $400. If everything comes back clean I’ve only spent a couple of hundred bucks rather than close to a thousand. It doesn’t matter what Lab is used mold is mold and the results will come back the same. Again the lab does the analysis not us. Personally if I get a positive for toxic mold back I will recommend to my client that a mold remediation company be called, in the meantime they’ve saved money because the remediation company will use pro-labs report. I will not be actively be promoting to all my clients that they have to test for mold with their H.I. but they will know that I can test for it if they suspect it or just want to test for it, that will be their choice.
So again how does saving your client money rip them off.
(by the way I am talking from personal experience where one of our complexes had toxic mold which we were already pretty sure of and spent thousands just to confirm it, I think the owners would have appreciated the savings.)

Gerry :slight_smile:


I’m not into taking peoples hard earned money to send a sample of something to ProLab, I’ll stick with doing things I can sleep good at night knowing I actually helped someone.

I do enjoy explaining to folks how they will be taken advantage of though if their not careful, and I also send them Caoimhín P. Connell’s posts to confirm my position, I get huge thanks for sharing the truth…I like it this way.

Pre- emptive stike here…
The tests that the professional company performed was exactly what Pro-Lab showed us what to do. Swab samples, Air samples and bulk samples.


Have you read Caoimhín P. Connell’s posts?..that in itself from a hygienist is enough to make a person sway from the subject–period…:grin: …these pro’s (industrial hygienist’s) will make the one day (or one month) certified look like a Jack-A$$…everyday of the week, and also in court…:shock:

[FONT=Verdana] Re: Mold test
Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
Good morning, Gents-

Great comments. Mr. Warner, regarding the ESA you say: “Their material and education clearly state that it is widely accepted to provide indoor and outdoor samples in order for the lab to make a comparison of the levels and indicate elevated interior counts or not.”

That may be, but just because a brand new (formed only three years ago), small, local, obscure, training company with an handful of employees suddenly says “Do it this way” doesn’t wipe away decades and decades of procedures and methods that have been developed and validated by hundreds of international professionals. There are dozens of self-proclaimed commercial entities that are publishing “standards” that carry no weight whatever, and are not used by real experts; the IESO “standard” is a good example. On the other hand, there are real standards organizations such as ANSI, ASTM, ASHRAE, NFPA and others that put out real standards; additionally, there are standard texts that are “bibles” for air sampling that have been around for decades, I have included some of those references at the end of this post. IMHO, until one has read and understood at least these, one should not be taking samples.

If what ESA is teaching is blatently wrong (which you claim), what recourse do we have to rectify our erroneous teachings.

The ESA is at liberty to teach whatever they want. They can teach that one spore per cubic meter of air is extremely dangerous, and any building that contains a single mould spore should be evacuated and burned to the ground. (That may sound silly, but one of the bigger CMI courses employ a kook who used to teach that very thing).

ESA is claiming that Certified IHs are part of their team. Again the word “certified”.

Certification in industrial hygiene is merely a club, not a statement of competency in industrial hygiene. For example, last year when I testified before the Colorado Department of Health regarding an upcoming regulation, the Board Explicitly stated: “If you restrict assessments to Certified Industrial Hygienists, the board WILL reject the regulation since ABIH certification is NOT a stamp of competence in industrial hygiene, or anything else for that matter.” Just last week, I taught the Biosafety section for ABIH certification. I was followed by a CIH, MPH, CSP, who came right out and told the attendees that if they think their certification would make them competent Industrial Hygienists, then they should leave the room, since, he stated, some of the most incompetant industrial hygienists he ever met were CIHs. Certification USED to mean something, now, it’s just a club. This is not a new argument, see my discussion in the AIHA Journal June, 1998, ( [FONT=Times New Roman]]([/FONT]).

Hello Mr. Bennett:

Taken some one on in court is not what it is about.
Of course not, and I never stated as such. Indeed, I don’t generally sue people. However, incompetence frequently leads one to court, am I am hired by “the other side” to provide valid scientifically sound rebuttals. Maintaining the highest degree of competency for the benefit of one’s client is what it’s all about.

Question — Did your test show mold – Yes or No
Which test? I have performed several thousands over the last 18 years, in hundreds of houses, from Bakersfield to Boston, and Montana to Bucerias, Mexico. Regardless, ALL mould tests “show mold” as you would put it; it’s only a matter of detection limits. ALL houses, ALL HOUSES, contain moulds. ALL HOUSES contain Stachybotrys atra, ALL HOUSES contain the Aspergilli and Penicillia, ALL HOUSES contain the Cladosporia. So if your only data quality objective is to determine if the “test shows mould” then I want to be your lab, since I can charge you lots of $$$$ and only ever have to produce one report to cover all your samples. (Wanna buy a bridge?)

Question — Can the test be done again and get the same results --Yes or No
Which test?

Question — Is the level high enough to be a health issue
Which level, and what kind of health effect in what kind of person are you referring?

Question — Would you live there

Should all the people selling “mold home test kits” like Home Depot etc be take out of the business??
They should be sued.

I think I already answered that question. The practices and procedures for good sampling, based on sound sampling theory have been around for decades and decades. Just use those (I’ve listed a couple of standard references below); this may be new to the home inspection industry, but it isn’t anything new to microbiologists or Industrial Hygienists; who have been doing this since I was in diapers (and when I was born, there were only 48 States in America!).

If the public is to receive a service to keep them safe it has to be affordable and available.
And it is. I love it when someone calls me up and asks me over the phone to interpret their “mould test” and before I do it, I predict their results without ever having seen the lab result; and I do it for free (how affordable is that?). And them point out to them the fact that if someone could guess their lab results, sight unseen, why did they waste their money collecting a sample?

One Inspector in Florida is ready to do a school – He has been doing Mold for a few years – we are talking a lot of $$ and we are talking a lot of kids going to that school — So help us out here.
I have been helping out; that is why I take the time to make these posts. If you would like to hire me, then please let me know. At $95 per hour, and $200 per hour for legal cases, I’m very reasonable.

BTW a home owner should have the same AFFORIDABLE information.
They do. To my knowledge, it costs nothing to read my posts here, or my web sites, or indeed, download thousands of legitimate academic papers and documents (see the references below).

----- Radon testing - lead testing – CO2 – testing — Smoke testing – Sound testing – Temperature testing etc. is all off the shelf –
Is it? I am paid a lot of money to perform sound/noise monitoring. I performed work for the FBI on the Oklahoma City bombing case. As I remember, my tests were extremely complex, and required a very high level of understanding in the physics of sound and physiology. Radon testing is, for you, off the shelf, because you do not interpret the data; as I have discussed on this board in the past, virtually ALL of your “radon” readings are wrong, but you cannot get in trouble for it IF you have followed the US EPA protocols, since the EPA established those DQOs and interpretive tables, and a “certified” radon person, merely follows the cook-book instructions. In my case, as an ex Radiation Safety Officer, (who used to teach radiation toxicology to workers at the Rocky Flats Nuclear facility and having performed Radiation Endangerment Audits for Sandia National Labs), I am held to a slightly higher standard, and therefore, I NEVER follow the EPA protocols, since they are not valid (for reasons I have already described in earlier posts). As far as testing other items, such as CO2, of CO, or radon, or anything- everything I said about mould holds true for those as well- sampling theory doesn’t change just because the contaminant changes! (What a concept!)

I really want to tell them that I can not test for mold and no one else can either.
Tell them as you please, however, testing for mould can be done, and can be done correctly, and has been done for decades following valid, sound, tenable sampling theory using properly established DQOs to perform hypothesis testing. All of which seems to be ignored by the vast majority of those who are conducting “mould testing.”

You see I too understand that testing without very controlled conditions, which we do not have, can be very far in the green at one point and then in the red a short time later.
I don’t see that at all. We DO have very controlled conditions, and I use them all the time to perform scientifically sound testing, producing very tenable results, and I have been doing so for years.

Give us a real simple reason to get out of the business.
I don’t want you out of the business, I just don’t want to see you in court getting sued for following myths and misconceptions and the ESA nonsense instead of doing things the right way. I want you to understand what you are and are not doing, so that you can provide a useful service to your clients instead of just running around willy-nilly collecting useless samples that are misinterpreted 99.9% of the time.

Remember our test can be reproduced – even if not exactly but probably within normal testing tolerance to say that a building is a hazard or not.
No it can’t. And it you can, then you are REALLY screwing it up.

PLEASE your LOW LEVEL thoughts – remember we see you as the expert and at this time do not want to challenge you — but I am thinking
Based on my experience, most HIs are not low-level thinkers; they are highly technical, highly educated professionals who are keen to know the facts, and avoid the pitfalls of misconception. I have met a lot of you guys in the field, and I love ya, Man! And that is why I share this technical info on your chatboard, instead of waiting till you get sued and then sneak up and pounce.

Thanks for the great input!

What a great day to be alive! Cheers,
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.)


Sampling References:

Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual, US DHEW, PHS, CDC, National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health, 1977

Cox and Wathes, Bioaerosols Handbook, Lewis Publishers, 1995 (ISBN 0-87371-615-9)

Wells WF, Airborne Contagion and Air Hygiene, Harvard University Press, 1955

Cadle RD, The Measurement of Airborne Particles, Wiley Publishers, 1975 (ISBN 0-471-12910-0)

ISO Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement, 1995* (There is an ancillary discussion put out by the US DoC, NIST called “American National Standard for Expressing Uncertainty–U.S. Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement*, ANSI/NCSL Z540-2-1997*” that can be obtained from NIST, free of charge.)*

NIOSH/NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, publication 94-113, 4th Ed. with Appendices


How can one quantify healthy home counts to unhealthy home counts period? Even your data has changed as noted. From 15% to 13% probability is a rather large difference mathematically.

[FONT=Arial][size=2]How can the word “usually” be used in any scientific approach? “Usually” denotes uncertainty as is the root disagreement with any mold sampling and accepted “healthy” levels. [/size][FONT=Arial]Good question. REAL science (as you call it) is EXACTLY a discussion of uncertainty, and indeed, the quantification of uncertainty. We call it “precision” and distinguish it from “accuracy” (one or two or three mould samples being neither).

The reason my data stand up in court is EXACTLY because I not only understand the uncertainty, (since I purposely find the uncertainty) but also because I articulate that uncertainty in my reports.

Scientifically, it either is or it isn’t, not usually is or is not. Is this a hypothesis you are currently testing, or accepted theory for indoor home health?

Not true. When dealing with samples, there is no sample that is definitively “true” or “not true.” There is no sample, whatever, that is devoid of uncertainty. The issues I’m discussing here are not “hypotheses” neither are they “hypothetical statements” rather they represent good science. And so, yes, it is accepted and has been accepted for centuries, it is known as “the scientific method” wherein we establish an hypothesis, then we test the hypothesis pursuant to properly laid out questions and limits. When you take an air sample for mould, using the more common techniques, there is virtually no ligitimate probability that the count you received as “data” is the actual mean count for that house.
ESA’s accepted and taught standards are being used as a “general rule” as well. [/FONT]I agree that comparison of samples taken inside and outside may not be a quality comparison, but it is a starting point. Are your findings of 500 to 900 count/m3 accepted industry standard? I’m not trying to pick a fight, I just want more than an “I’m right and your wrong” discussion since from your website even you are unsure of healthy limits.“You mean if i swab something and it comes back as mold and then i do and air test and find mold at levels that prolab says is too high, it is not WRONG?”How am i suppose to do mould/mold testing then? [/FONT]](“”)

Yes I have read the postings. And he has valid points but again how is this any different from how professional mold remediation companies do their testing. If you do the sampling properly the results are valid no matter who does it. The only difference is cost. Again if mold is confirmed A hygenist is recommended or a remediation company to remove it. Room for error is a possibility but even so called pros can screw up. As long as you are ethical about the testing and not trying to screw the client over I don’t see the problem on who does the testing if protocol is followed. Unless you test you cannot confirm what kind of mold you have. Toxic mold can have diverse and serious consequences on a person, to me it is nonsense not to test, no matter what the CMHC and others say you need to confirm what is there. If you see it and do not test for it or recommend it be tested not necessarily by you and someone gets ill I think you’ll be a lot more liable for the consequences.
Again I will ask what testing done by hygenists is different from what we would do?

Gerry :slight_smile:

I think the answer is here Gerry.

Re: Mould and testing
Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
Hi Gents –

Good comments.

Mr. DeForrest, let me address your comments first since it is exactly the things that you said in your post that would be the rope by which I would hang you in court and demonstrate that your services constituted gross negligence. Imagine that your report cost the seller to loose an important sale (or other claims), and now they are going to sue you for their damages claming gross professional negligence, and gross incompetence. They hire me as a rebuttal witness. As it turns out, I defeat you in court without ever having to even visit the subject property. I demonstrate that your report alone destroys your credibility, and demonstrates gross incompetence.

Here’s is how I would do it: (Everyone should know that the following is a DEMONSTRATION ONLY and that DeForrest Home Inspections is in no way involved in litigation or that the following example is actually meant to impugn the good reputation of DeForrest Home Inspections.)

Rebuttal witness writes:

“We have reviewed the DeForrest Home Inspections report, and we have found several fundamental errors and omissions which render the DeForrest Home Inspections report fatally flawed in its nature and unusable. Nowhere in the DeForrest Home Inspections report were we able to locate where the inspector applied standard mandatory data quality objectives in the collection of their data. The collection of the data is far outside accepted science, and the premise of the data lacks scientific acceptability and therefore the work does not appear to meet the standards set by Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir. 1923).

It is an established and industry accepted fact that particle migration (such as spores) is mainly influenced by particle properties, ventilation conditions and airflow patterns. (1) Particle concentrations in general, (2) and spore concentrations in particular within a structure exhibit large spatial variations which tend to be compartmentalized within a given space. Furthermore, it is a well established and a common industrial hygiene precept that short term samples such as those collected by the DeForrest Home Inspections personnel exhibit large temporal variations. (3) Generally, the geometric standard deviation of interday and intraday airborne concentrations lie between 1.2 and 2.5 geometric standard deviations. (4) These large variations are similar to those seen by other authors, specific to airborne mould concentrations. (5)(6)(7). However, the DeForrest Home Inspections report entirely failed to provide a statement on confidence, error and/or precision regarding their data (see Daubert V. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. 113 S.Ct. 2728, 125 L.Ed. 2d 469, 482-485 (1993)), rendering the samples and data, and, ultimately, the analysis, meaningless.

Classic air sampling strategy indicates that reasonable confidence in estimating an average ambient airborne concentration is achieved when at least 70% of the exposure time is measured,( 8 ) and states that random grab samples are the least desirable technique for estimating the average exposure. (9) Yet we note that DeForrest Home Inspections used exclusively single random grab samples whose total sampling time was less than 1% of the anticipated exposure time. Thus the sampling design error in the DeForrest Home Inspections was uncharacterized and resulted in huge uncertainties in the reported results.

Other foundational and scientifically accepted classic air sampling references (10)(11) have estimated that for each daily study period (expressed as 8 hours), between eight and eleven random grab samples are needed to obtain adequate confidence in the average airborne concentration estimate. As it is, DeForrest Home Inspections only collected five indoor samples and five outdoor samples which cannot provide adequate confidence in estimating the spore concentration in the subject property. Essentially, DeForrest Home Inspections failed to use accepted scientific protocols and instead, they guessed the spore concentrations at the expense of the homeowner.

Based on our review, the lack of DQOs in the sampling performed by the DeForrest Home Inspections demonstrates the way DeForrest Home Inspections artificially increased the cost of their services and lent a pretence of credibility by puffing up their report with Latin names and exotic numbers, without providing any actual valid data. (At this point, I would probably provide a three or four page discussion on DQOs, and how without DQOS, one has numbers, but no data, and how you violotated about six different ASTM standards).

We have found that the DeForrest Home Inspections report relied exclusively on myths and misconceptions regarding moulds in the home. The report indicates the inspector lacked any real knowledge and had no factual basis for making their conclusions, and that their conclusions were unsupported by scientific fact. For example, in their report, DeForrest Home Inspections repeated an often quoted, but entirely false premise that:

But if the levels are higher inside than the outside there might be a problem.

This false premise has become the hallmark of the charlatan and the untrained “mould inspector” who collects indoor and outdoor samples without any understanding of sampling theory of aerobiology. It is entirely untrue that counts higher indoors than outdoors in anyway indicates a problem, and we have noted that DeForrest Home Inspections did not provide any valid scientific references or peer reviewed scientific literature to support their false claims that “…if the levels are higher inside than the outside there might be a problem.”

For a start, nowhere in the DeForrest Home Inspections report do we find a qualitative or quantitative statement regarding the outdoor vs. indoor coupling. As such, DeForrest Home Inspections has entirely ignored the fact that on the day of their visit, opposing windows in the subject property were open, and their “elevated” indoor counts were actually outdoor counts, and not representative of the indoor concentrations at all.

It is well known that non-problematic houses may have significantly higher indoor spore counts than outdoors. For example, in the graphic below,
(…evononprob.jpg ) we have presented the results of a study (16) conducted by this reviewer (Connell) wherein actual simultaneous indoor and outdoor contemporaneously collated samples were collected from non-problematic houses (no mould problems). As can be seen, in a significant number of the properties, (yellow triangles to the left of the blue line) had spores counts in excess of the outdoor counts – even for closed mode sampling (insignificant outdoor coupling).

Similarly, in another study (17) performed by this reviewer (Connell) we collected simultaneous indoor and outdoor contemporaneously collated samples from problematic houses (significant mould problems). As can be seen, in the following graphic ( ) in a significant number of the properties, (yellow triangles to the right of the blue line) had spores counts less than the outdoor counts (outdoor coupling also qualified).

DeForrest Home Inspections attempts to defend its nonsensical indoor vs. outdoor comparison by citing the “IESO Standard,” (12) a document frequently cited by untrained and poorly trained “mould experts” who lack any real knowledge in aerobiology. However, the IESO is not a recognized standards authority, and does not establish national consensus standards as claimed. The “standards” used by DeForrest Home Inspections are not considered to be scientifically valid, and do not carry any weight in legitimate discussion amongst bone fide indoor environmental quality experts.

Essentially, the IESO “standards” were initially developed a couple of years ago by a particular laboratory in an effort to promote sales. The “standards” referenced by DeForrest Home Inspections (IESO 2210) are mostly myth-based procedures devoid of any actual scientific merit, and lacking any credibility. The “standards” make a central point of using outdoor airborne mould levels as comparison to sample indoor levels. However, this is an example of argumentum ad populum in the light of state-of-knowledge; essentially IESO makes the case that “since everyone else seems to be doing it, it must somehow be correct.” However, it has long been known, that there is no correlation between indoor and outdoor spore concentrations in the circumstances under discussion.

By comparison, bone fide national consensus standards organizations would include ASHRAE(13), ANSI (14) and ASTM International. (15). These organizations publish “technically exhaustive” standards that will carry weight of law, and are frequently incorporated directly as actual mandatory code.

The promulgation of true standards is an arduous process involving literally hundreds of experts. For example, this reviewer (Connell) in the capacity of a recognized Industrial Hygienist is on the ASTM International Indoor Air Quality Committee (D22.08 ). We (several dozens of us) have been engaged in the promulgation of an indoor mould assessment standard for over three years. The process involves the vetting of the language and the science by a broad spectrum of scientists, medical personnel, engineers, public policy experts, and others before the standard will see the light of day. Ultimately, an entire ASTM standard could be held up on the opposition of just one expert, until consensus is achieved. By contrast, the IESO was formed in 2002, and the “standard” was instantly published without any external peer review or assessment of validity. (At this point, I would probable provide a discussion on how the IESO documents are in stark contradiction to decades old ASTM standards on sampling protocols).

Even the IESO indicates it’s lack of technical merit in it’s own standards. IESO 2210, (used by DeForrest Home Inspections) explicitly states in it’s own language, that the standard is not technically exhaustive, and should only be used to determine if an appropriate specialist (e.g. an Industrial Hygienist) is required for further investigation. Indeed, the IESO 2210 clearly states:

7.0 Applicability and Limitations
7.3 The results and recommendations made by the inspector relative to this standard are not a warranty, surety, or guarantee of any nature or kind.

By this statement, the IESO is explicitly and honestly telling the world that the standard carries no weight.

DeForrest Home Inspections makes further foundationless statements in its report such as:

Visible mold should be tested to see what type it is and at what levels they are and then determine if it needs remediation.

In making this statement, DeForrest Home Inspections implies that if mould of a particular genus or species is present, then it should not be remediated. However, DeForrest Home Inspections does not provide any information on which genera or species it would permit to remain in the subject property. If, on the other hand DeForrest Home Inspections does not hold the opinion that a specific mould genera should be permitted to remain, then what is to be gained by needlessly spending additional fees to identify the “type” except to further artificially increase its invoices?

Similarly, DeForrest Home Inspections has provided absolutely no threshold as to which “levels” would constitute the need for remediation. Finally, DeForrest Home Inspections concludes that “Visible mold should be tested…” but does not provide a reference for this assertion that is not held or supported by any recognized body of experts.

DeForrest Home Inspections underscores its lack of understanding in sample collection and analysis by stating:

Independent labs will examine the tests and determine if remediation should take place.

In fact, no legitimate independent laboratory, following BMPs would ever determine if remediation should take place. The role of a independent laboratory is exclusively to identify and quantify samples without interpretation. Unless a laboratory has visited the site, performed an industry accepted inspection complete with the identification of moisture intrusion issues, such a laboratory would be entirely incapable of determining the need for remediation. It is exclusively the role of DeForrest Home Inspections to determine the need and scope of remediation.

Finally, DeForrest Home Inspections disingenuously attempts to increase its apparent credibility by citing a link to the US DHHS, Centers for Disease Control. However, in so doing, DeForrest Home Inspections purposely ignores the document recently released by the Centers for Disease Control. (18 ) The CDC Mold Work Group, in its section “Chapter 2: Assessing Exposure to Mold” states (in part):

*Sampling for mold is not part of a routine building assessment. In most cases appropriate decisions concerning remediation and need for personal protection equipment (PPE) can be made solely on the basis of visual inspection. *(sic)

In fact, the CDC recognized the frivolity of samples suchb as those collected by DeForrest Home Inspections in the same document when it stated:

Other than in a controlled, limited, research setting, sampling for biological agents in the environment cannot be meaningfully interpreted and would not significantly affect relevant decisions regarding remediation, reoccupancy, handling or disposal of waste and debris, worker protection or safety, or public health.

We do not see that DeForrest Home Inspections performed their sampling “…in a controlled, limited, research setting…

Overall, we conclude the work performed by DeForrest Home Inspections, and the comments and conclusion based thereon lacked scientific validity, lacked the application of standard practices, lacked the application of pertinent industry standards, lacked credibility, lacked foundation, and lacked value. In our opinion, the work and conclusions of DeForrest Home Inspections constituted gross incompetence in the field of indoor aerobiology.

Etc, etc, etc…… (all of the references I used are provided below at the end of this post).

An important note is that since you didn’t follow proper standards, etc, your E&O carrier denied your claim, and now your insurance policy is rendered useless - YOU have to come up with the punitive damages out of your pocket (got a couple hundred thousand $$$ on hand for emergencies?)

Again, this was just a fun example of how I would handle the case as presented. Now, the above took me aoub t90minutes to prepare; at $195 an hour, I would probably impugn your report for under $500. Good money spent by my client considering the fact that you are being sued for a couple of million.

I hope that sheds some light on the matter. Please feel free to defend your position (with the recognition that I get a second chance on cross examination!)

Caoimhín P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

(1) **Li Y; Heng J; and Chen Z *****Study Of Particle Movement In Ventilation System ***Proceedings: Indoor Air 2002 Anaheim California, 2002

(2) Keady PB; Mainquist L; TrackingIAQ Problemsto Their Source**, ****Occupational **Health & Safety,September 2000

(3) Ayer, HE, Burg J, *Time Weighted Averages Vs. Maximum Personal Sample *(Presented at the AIHA Conference, Boston, MA, 1973)

(4) NIOSH Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual, HEW Publication Number 77-173 (1977)

(5) Spurgeon, J; Data submitted to the ASTM D22.08.02 Committee for review, October 2005

(6) Connell, CP, Sample results: What do they really tell us? Presented at the IAQ in Schools Lecture Series, Corpus Christi, TX, 2003

(7) Eudey L, Su HJ, Burge HA. Biostatistics and bioaerosols. In Bioaerosols, Burge HA, ed. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers, pp. 269-307. 1995

(8 ) NIOSH Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual, HEW Publication Number 77-173 (1977)

(9) Ibid.

(10) NIOSH Technical Information Exposure Measurement Action Level and Occupational Environmental Variability, HEW Publication 76-131, Cincinnati OH, 45226, (1975)

(11) NIOSH Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual, HEW Publication Number 77-173 (1977)

(12) Indoor Environmental Standards Organization

(13) American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers

(14) American National Standards Institute

(15) Formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials

(16) Connell, CP, Field Measurements for Moulds: Spatial and Temporal Variations; Presented at the ASTM International D22 Committee: 2006 Boulder Conference: Bringing Science to Bear on Moisture and Mold in the Built Environment

(17) Ibid.

(18 ) The CDC Mold Work Group, National Center for Environmental Health, National Center for Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 2005

[FONT=Arial](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.)


On 09/21/06 at 15:07 MST, I edited this post by removing the “smiley faces” created by the number “8” and the incomplete clause “Indeed in the ASTM Standard…” [/FONT]


You asked if E&O insurance is available for inspectors who offer mold testing.

The answer is yes, but you have to be a NACHI member and have taken a PRO-LAB course (the IAC2 Certification requirements).

Read: offered by the U.S.'s 5th largest insurance company.

PRO-LAB’s laboratory also carries E&O insurance.

Again deforrest did his testing wrong. If you follow proper protocol(industry Standard) Proper sampling methods, correct amount of air sampling time etc…How is our testing any different? The above case is not about the validity of testing samples but about how he screwed it up.

Gerry :slight_smile:

I am not trying to be pigheaded, I am a firm believer if you don’t test it you can’t be sure what you have, I don’t care how good you are.
A little off topic but it does involve fungus.
When my daughter was 4 she developed a scab on her head. The family Doctor said don’t worry its just Alopecia it’ll go away. Week later it was worse went to a different Doctor he said the same thing I asked to see a dermatoligist. He was upset but set up an appointment. The dermatologist agreed with their diagnosis. Now none of these Doctors took a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis. 4 days later my daughter was crying her whole head was covered with this scab and most of her hair was gone. I took my daughter to Sick Kids Hospital where a specialist saw my daughter said he suspected what it was gave her some medication and took a skin sample. 2 days later he called me and confirmed that she had a fungal infection to continue with the meds and it’ll clear up. 2 weeks later the scab was gone and the beginnings of new hair growth was showing. if not treated she would have been bald for the rest of her life.
My point is three people saw her gave their opinion without testing and were wrong. I can’t see how you can walk in some where and say you have this and be sure you are 100% right with out testing.

Better to err on the side of caution than not.

Gerry :slight_smile:


I can’t believe you bought into what this guy is saying.

Thank you Dale for posting the commentaries from Caoimhín. Personally to me - it only raises the level of risk, and helps foster more business for the testing lab.

I have not seen any responses about the Q - about insurance coverage for E&O on this is any thoughts on liability other than re-reading Caoimhín’s professional opinion and his posts on this.

Mario… From what I gather you are just starting in this profession… before you get convinced and all goggled eyed with free certification and FREE CE from every vendor that nick supports and believe they are the only ones that are correct, do you self a favor and attend a few seminars on IAQ provide from professionals that DO NOT have something to sell… I have been to several IAQ related seminars provided by these highly trained professionals in the IAQ profession and trust me,
They DO have a different story and ARE NOT attempting to sell anything… not to mention you will find that there is no way in heck that any single person can complete a 1 or 3 day vendor course on air sampling and provide a service that comes close to what is involved in IAQ testing.

If your still convinced that you can be qualified to provide this service with this program ask your self… would you hire your family doctor to inspect your new home…


I agree with you as far as being qualified for IAQ services after a 1 or 3 day course.I have taken 2 other IAQ courses not related to NACHI or Nick in any way and believe me everyone is trying to sell something,the fact that they put on a course or seminar they have allready sold you something!
Dan I have sent my daughter off to university for 7 years this being her last year with a degree in bio-chemistry,I’m not that naive to think that 1 or 3 days is going to make me or anyone else an expert!And I never professed that.It’s a starting point.


Read all of Caoimhin posts,and read what he writes at the very bottom of everyone of his posts.

This guy is giving info on this board that his colleagues would probably frown upon.