By: Dr. Margaret Christensen MD, IFMCP, ABOIM, FACOG
Are you concerned that many of the illnesses and mystery symptoms you and your family are experiencing may be coming from your environment at home (or work), but don’t know where to start assessing for possible mold and other air quality issues?
Would you like to learn more about the different tests for toxic mold and air quality in your home? Do you want to understand when to call in a professional and what they should do?
These questions are answered in-depth in my interview with professional mold inspector and indoor air quality expert, Mike Schrantz, available for immediate viewing here as part of the upcoming Toxicmoldproject.com
High Index of Suspicion
As I’ve discussed before, you need to have a high index of suspicion regarding your home or workplace, particularly if you have multiple family members (including pets!), or co-workers experiencing different recurrent symptoms such as:
- Chronic sinus infections and allergies
- Ear infections and asthma
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog and concentration issues
- Neurological symptoms like tremor
- Anxiety and insomnia
- ADD and learning disorders
- Skin issues and hives
- Hormone disruption
- Among many others….
Industry Standards Behind
Unfortunately, the current industry standards for mold inspection and testing are a number of years behind the science of Biotoxins. Quality inspectors and remediators who understand the complexities of severe biotoxin illness, MAST cell issues, and multiple chemical sensitivity are hard to find.
Good professional mold inspectors should take the following steps. You can help them by learning more about each, along with the pros and cons of the different methods of sampling. A number of these you can do yourself, however, please get a professional involved when you find something!
Watch as I discuss in detail quality inspections and testing, with professional mold inspector and indoor air quality expert, Mike Schrantz on the steps below.
9 Steps to Mold Inspection, whether DIY or Professional:
- House history– Any known water leaks whether roof, windows, hot water heater, HVAC unit, slow plumbing leaks from the toilet, sinks, washing machine, etc? Musty smells anywhere? History of heavy flooding or weather damage? Occupant’s health?
- Visually inspect to see if you can see any visible areas of leaks, water damage, and mold growth. This includes roofs, gutters, landscaping, windows, exterior walls (inside and out) as well as interior walls and ceilings. Check closets for moldy or musty items.
- Humidity check of ambient levels of moisture in each room with a Hygrometer. (available at hardware stores) Ideally, interior humidity should be less than or equal to 50%. Thermal imaging of the walls for moisture content can also be valuable, as well as testing the wall’s sheetrock.
- Air sampling for mold and other bacterial and particulate spores (as well as VOC’s)- this is the standard test done by most mold inspectors. There are now DIY kits but you need to understand the pros and cons and how to get a good sample
- Direct sampling of the visible mold with tape or swabs to identify the species of molds.
- DIY- Mold Agar Plate inexpensive sampling in each room with a specialized petri dish to see visibly what is growing out of the air. (I would only recommend those from Immunolytics.com as the ones at Big Box home stores are inadequate) Need to send in for species identification.
- DIY- Dust sampling for Mold DNA also known as ERMI or Environmental Relative Mold Index testing. A way to assess a house’s history. Understand the pros and cons.
- Mycotoxin testing on house dust- a very new modality and the industry is still trying to determine it’s place. Can be a little pricey per sample, valuable in litigation.
- Hidden mold growth- this is the tricky part and may involve checking inside your HVAC unit, wall cavities, and other hidden spots. An experienced professional is important!
Understanding mold remediation and rebuilding
For an in-depth discussion of the above topics, along with solutions for home remediation and optimizing air quality watch my interview with multiple indoor air quality experts and mold remediators on Day #5 of the upcoming ToxicMoldproject.com, Aug 17-23
The better you understand what you are dealing with and how to approach it, the more efficiently and economically you can resolve your home and health issues!
Always have Hope for Healing Health and Home!
Margaret Christensen, MD.
P.S. Three transcripts are now available for FREE. Unlock these interview transcripts from Dr. Margaret Christensen’s Toxic Mold Summit, and gain insights from Dr. Gail Clayton, Michael Schrantz, and Trudy Scott!