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]http://www.aiha.org/TheAcademy/html/june98.htm](http://www.aiha.org/TheAcademy/html/june98.htm)[/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 $$$$ and only ever have to produce one report to cover all your samples. (Wanna buy a bridge?)
Question — Can the test be done again and get the same results --Yes or No
Question — Is the level high enough to be a health issue
Which level, and what kind of health effect in what kind of person are you referring?
Question — Would you live there
Should all the people selling “mold home test kits” like Home Depot etc be take out of the business??
They should be sued.
I think I already answered that question. The practices and procedures for good sampling, based on sound sampling theory have been around for decades and decades. Just use those (I’ve listed a couple of standard references below); this may be new to the home inspection industry, but it isn’t anything new to microbiologists or Industrial Hygienists; who have been doing this since I was in diapers (and when I was born, there were only 48 States in America!).
If the public is to receive a service to keep them safe it has to be affordable and available.
And it is. I love it when someone calls me up and asks me over the phone to interpret their “mould test” and before I do it, I predict their results without ever having seen the lab result; and I do it for free (how affordable is that?). And them point out to them the fact that if someone could guess their lab results, sight unseen, why did they waste their money collecting a sample?
One Inspector in Florida is ready to do a school – He has been doing Mold for a few years – we are talking a lot of $$ 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.)
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