Non-Toxic Remediation Part One

Mold on wall surface

Reviewing and Summarizing the recent Toxic Mold Summit Session by  Jeff Bookout Part 1 of 2

(Read this blog series’ introduction at very end if you are catching up. Look for “SERIES INTRODUCTION”)

            Jeff Bookout, from Oklahoma EnviroServe Specialists, provided insights from his work as a certified mold inspector.  Here are a few take home points from his talk.

  1. Finding mold in a home requires more than looking for the big black hairy stuff growing on the wall.
  2. A good mold inspection requires consideration of all the contributors in that particular home.
  3. Genetics determines which person in a home gets sick and which does not.
  4. Proper remediation requires removal and containment.
  5. After remediation, encapsulation of remaining wood materials should be performed.
  6. There are different mold cleaning and fogging products to use for remediation.
  7. The HVAC and ductwork systems are critical areas to clean from mold.
  8. For environments like dorms where complete control is impossible, air purifiers and other means can provide a level of protection.
  9. Keep it simple to avoid being overwhelmed.
  10. Control your indoor air quality

Expanding on these take home points, we will focus today on #1 through #5:

            Besides sharing his own personal story which led him to work in the mold inspection industry, Mr. Bookout walks through both an overview of the mold remediation process and various options for remediating with non-toxic products.  We agree with him that there are a myriad of mold remediation products and approaches out there which can overwhelm those in the heat of the mold toxicity battle.  There are not only a number of effective products and approaches, but several ineffective and sometimes harmful products and approaches for the chemical sensitive patient. 

            Starting from the big picture, our experience coincides with his in that it is rarely the simple “look for the big black hairy stuff growing on your walls” although we have had a few patients with literal mushrooms in their homes.  Some come to us with suspicions or having found some mold, but many come with skepticism that their new home could have any mold anywhere. Regardless of where you fall in that spectrum, the homeowner and their remediator must walk through a systematic approach.  Even if mushrooms are found, all the other nooks and crannies and hidden spots must be evaluated.  Mr. Bookout discusses a few of those hidden spots but emphasizes that water and moisture are the critical factors deserving a remediator’s attention not just the obvious mold growth.

            As many if not most speakers on the summit emphasize, genetics determines which individuals will get sick and which won’t.  Not everyone is born with the ability to efficiently clean out mold toxins or other biotoxins from their systems.  With good genetics, many in a building, even within a family may feel no ill effects from the exposure while 1 or 2 suffer inexplicably.  Just because others are “well”, does not mean that a mold problem does not exist.

            Containment of the remediated space stands out as a critical principle for remediation.  Removing the growing mold and its water source may be the only factor more critical than containment. Containment means that the moldy materials are not allowed to contaminate the remaining building environment during the removal process. This requires planning, extra time and effort, but these are less costly than repeated remediation when the mold spores and toxins must be removed from other areas later due to failed containment.  Always ask your remediator what they are doing to contain the contamination. 

            Following successful remediation, no one wants to start over with a re-infestation of mold. When feasible and where possible, some form of encapsulation decreases the risk that mold will return.  Remediators can encapsulate crawlspaces, basements, attics, and various aspects of a building.  These can be expensive so many are left with less expensive options like sealers.  Mr. Bookout mentions AFM Safecoat which is a line of products that I will be exploring as non-toxic options for our own home.  (UPDATE: Learned of negatives for this product and looking at other options… stay tuned). There are many products which can do the job but then release VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which may be just as harmful to both chemically sensitive and non-sensitive individuals.  I will try to post more after we experiment with their (correction…other) products. 

            (COME BACK SOON FOR PART 2)

References

AFM Safecoat Site https://www.afmsafecoat.com/

            We have not tried these but plan to do so in near future.  (UPDATE:  A close remediator friend reports that they release more VOC’s than expected)

Fogging Agents

            MDF information: https://greensolpro.com/about-mdf-500%C2%AE      

                        My family has used this for both remediation and prevention (during new home construction).  I am confident in its effectiveness when used correctly.

            US Enzymes: Natural Mold Products:  https://usenzyme.com/shop/  My family has also used these products and have confidence in them.

EC3 product line: https://microbalancehealthproducts.com/Mold-Products?rfsn=1018830.ca4fb

            My family tried their mold candles but were not impressed. I know many who used other products with reported success however.

Essential Oil products:  Several different individual oils and combinations of these oils have been shown to lower mold growth and or toxins.  We recommend the Close Protocol as additional measure after remediation of visible mold.  The site for this is here   http://www.naturesmoldrx.com/

            A guide for use of cold oil diffusers is here: http://www.naturesmoldrx.com/p/blog-page.html

            My favorite diffuser (workhorse which has been great for my family):  https://store.diffuserworld.com/Aroma-Ace%E2%84%A2-Essential-Oil-Atomizing-Diffuser-110V-US-_p_12.html     Just don’t tip it over allowing oil to enter diffuser from chamber.. will ruin diffuser.

Indoor Air Quality Association: http://www.iaqa.org/

ARTICLES

Essential Oils

Nazzaro, Filomena et al. “Essential Oils and Antifungal Activity.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,4 86. 2 Nov. 2017, doi:10.3390/ph10040086

Thanks to those who collaborated and contributed to the Toxic Mold Summit.   While I have a few nuanced different opinions here and there, the information one can glean from listening to this summit is empowering for those facing this disease.  While some are able to handle the recovery process without formal care by a medical provider, I do believe it is wise for most to have a “trusted guide” of some sort who stands outside the tornado of active mold toxicity.  Standing inside the mold tornado leaves one with a spinning sense of direction.  Having a stable and fixed point of reference in a knowledgeable guide serves you well.  Traveling the road to recovery is better done with someone who has walked it before.  That is what we try to do at Sanctuary is working to restore healthier more abundant lives even after the tornado of mold toxicity.

To order the Summit from our affiliate link, click here (we receive a commission for this purchase):   https://toxicmoldproject.com/order/?idev_id=25016

SERIES INTRODUCTION

            You may feel a little overwhelmed and stressed after the recent Toxic Mold Summit  A great line up of both clinical types and environmental remediator types took the stage for several day offering a smorgasbord of information about mold toxicity.  Now, what do you do with all that information?  Should you run out the door screaming in your underwear and leave everything behind?

            Short answer….NO!  You should simply keep coming back to Sanctuary’s Facebook Live sessions every other week about mold toxicity and read our regular blog posts about mold toxicity and a ton of other chronic health issues.  Bring your questions.  Hear from myself, Dr. Eric Potter Functional MD who has walked both sides of the mold toxicity line in caring for my family and for hundreds of patients.  While I can’t diagnose or treat non-patients by Facebook, I will do my best to educate and empower you in the journey of healing from mold toxicity. Over the coming weeks, I will review several of the Mold Summit’s sessions with additional information from our experience and study.)

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