FINDING A PROFESSIONAL TO DO MOLD SAMPLING
Copyright February 16, 2015
Since first discovering that mold in buildings could be prevented and eliminated by diffusing Young Living’s Thieves oil, in 2005, two of the most frequently asked questions we receive are:
1. How do I find a qualified professional to do mold sampling in my local area?
2. What if the sampling professional recommends a massive and costly remediation project, or suggests using one of the remedies you have exposed as dangerous and/or ineffective, such as fogging with toxic chemicals, using bleach, ozone, or ultraviolet light?
The answers to both of these questions can be found in our book, Nature’s Mold Rx. However, since we receive most of our questions from homeowners, renters, and people concerned about their health and the health of their families, rather than refer you to the book for this answer, we thought it would be helpful to more people if we shared it here.
Question Number 1: How do I find a qualified local professional to do mold sampling?
LOCATING A PROFESSIONAL IN YOUR AREA
There are several options for finding a professional in your local area:
o Go to your local Yellow Pages or your State’s directory of licensed professional engineers and locate engineers in your area. Contact the companies or individuals listed, and ask if they do mold sampling or if they can refer you to someone who does. Most States do not regulate mold remediators. Anyone who is willing to call themselves a mold abatement or remediation specialist can do so and charge for their services in most States. There are exceptions, in Texas and New York. For that reason, we recommend using Professional Engineers (PE). Professional Engineers have a State regulated license. Professional Engineers (PE) tend to do a much more thorough job than the average mold remediator. This is because they have a credential to protect, and they are not allowed to do work for which they are not qualified. When people contacting us have chosen to use a PE in their local area to help with their mold project, they report to us that they have had much better quality service and are much more confident and happy with their results. A Professional Engineer’s charge may be slightly higher for doing the sampling, but that is because they are licensed and insured, which increases their costs and the training required to be able to do the work.
o Contact the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and ask for referrals to qualified professionals in your area. Their website is: http://www.iaqa.org/ and you can find additional information on locating a qualified professional under the Consumer Info tab at http://www.iaqa.org/consumer-info
o Locate an environmental consulting firm that does mold sampling or that specializes in indoor air quality. Often this is as simple as looking in the yellow pages of your local directory for environmental, environmental engineering, industrial hygiene, or mold sampling.
o Contact a professional Industrial Hygienist. Here is a searchable list of consultants and professionals, many of whom are qualified to do mold sampling: https://www.aiha.org/about-ih/Pages/Find-an-Industrial-Hygienist.aspx
o Contact a university in your area that has an environmental science or an engineering program. Ask if they can recommend a qualified professional in your area that does mold sampling. Professors often do sampling to supplement their income. People who have contacted us tell us the professors tend to cost less, but more often than not they have no credential to protect (their degree, their job, their livelihood is not dependent on doing a good job for you), often they don’t have professional liability insurance and frequently they do not provide reports that explain the results received.
Requirements for certification and registration of professionals vary from State to State, and there are currently no standards established for levels of mold that constitute a hazard to health. However, someone who has sufficient experience in mold sampling and remediation will have a good background on which to base professional opinions and judgments. Once a qualified professional has been located, then be sure to ask that professional the following questions.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE HIRING THEM
- How long have you been doing mold sampling?
- What type of training, credentials and background in mold sampling and remediation do you have?
- What type of samples will you collect?
- Do you provide a report, a copy of the sample analyses, and an explanation of your findings?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
Whoever you choose to do your sampling is up to you. We have heard that there are many unscrupulous people doing mold sampling and remediation. Therefore, be certain you choose someone you can trust. We strongly recommend hiring a Professional Environmental Engineer or other credentialed professional to assure your safety and success. When they have a credential to protect, they will have liability insurance and be more focused on providing the best quality of service.
The most serious and most common mistake anyone can make with mold is to underestimate the dangers of exposure to toxic mold. This is explained in detail in our book, DVD, and here on our website, but it cannot be overstated. The importance of finding a qualified professional who can take the appropriate samples and interpret the laboratory results is key to your having a successful resolution to any mold problem in a building.
And don’t forget that you have a viable and highly effective solution available in the Close Protocol for preventing and eliminating mold that the vast majority of professionals may not know about. The use of essential oils to eliminate the dangers of toxic mold is a relatively new, and still cutting edge discovery. While efforts have been made to educate professionals and continue to be made, most professionals working in mold sampling and remediation still do not know about this discovery.
The professional you choose will often have their own favorite remedy, which will almost certainly not be as safe or as effective as using the Thieves oil and Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living. So, listen to their suggestions and recommendations and then make your own decision about what to do. Just remember, the Thieves oil method as outlined in the Close Protocol for Preventing and Eliminating Mold in Buildings has been proven repeatedly in tests performed and documented. The scientific data collected has been published in our book, DVD, and a small portion of it is posted here on our website. Here are clips from the DVD and links where they can be viewed on YouTube:
The 24-Hour Test
The 48-Hour Test
Question Number 2. What if the sampling professional recommends a massive and costly remediation project, or suggests using one of the remedies you have exposed as dangerous and/or ineffective, such as fogging with toxic chemicals, using bleach, ozone, or ultraviolet light?
Thank them for their help and their suggestions, then tell them you will have to consider their proposal and your options. That will effectively end the conversation with them and allow you to make your own determination about how to proceed without any pressure.
Other methods of mold remediation are usually far more costly than using essential oils and while essential oils are not cheap, they are cost-effective. So, when you have located someone who has the credentials, experience, and equipment to do a proper job of sampling and analysis, you can avoid over-reaction and added expense by doing the following:
- Make sure the professional taking samples takes at least one indoor and one outdoor spore-trap air sample. This is really the only way to know what is growing inside the building. There may be other sampling methods that are appropriate to your situation. A good professional will know if other sampling techniques are warranted. You can find additional information on sampling and the various types of samples to collect in our book, Nature’s Mold Rx, the Non-Toxic Solution to Toxic Mold. To order a copy click this link:
Also, we do not recommend using ERMI sampling for making determinations about mold remediation and cleanup. Here is a link to a previously posted article on the problems inherent in using ERMI Sampling: http://www.naturesmoldrx.com/2014_02_01_archive.html
- Ask for a written report identifying the mold species growing in the building.
- Start diffusing Thieves essential oil blend immediately after the first set of samples have been collected and the professional has departed. Do not diffuse before the first set of samples are collected, because this will affect the results of the sampling. Here is the short version of what to do.
a. Diffuse for a minimum of 24 hours
b. Remove mold affected materials
c. Clean with Thieves Household Cleaner – undiluted when indoors
d. Diffuse again for a minimum of 24 hours – this second diffusing is critical to success
Instructions on which diffuser to use and how to use it are located at this link:
- If the sampling company does remediation or recommends someone, again, politely thank them and tell them you will consider their proposal for additional work.
- If there is no toxic mold present, then diffuse the Young Living Thieves oil blend and use Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner to clean the infested area as stated above in #2.
- If toxic mold is found, then be certain to diffuse the YL Thieves oil blend for a minimum of 48-72 hours in the areas where the mold was found.
- After the second intensive diffusing is complete, contact your professional again, tell them you have used a solution of essential oils to eliminate the mold, and you would like to have them come and re-sample to find out if mold is still present and at what levels. If mold is found in this second sampling at elevated levels, or if toxic mold is found, then there is only one possibility…there was a source of mold that was not found and not addressed by the previous actions. If this is the case, then you will need the professional’s assistance in order to identify that source. Once you identify the source, repeat the process outlined above in that area and based on our past experience this will eliminate the problem.
- Be certain you discuss the results with your professional. Refer them to this website, or share our book with them.
- Develop a plan for appropriate cleanup and removal of any remaining mold infestation. If you have Toxic Mold, you will need the professional’s help to identify the source of the infestation, the areas where leaks or moisture are creating the conditions necessary for mold growth, and help in removing and disposing of toxic mold contaminated materials.
- After cleanup and removal are complete, continue diffusing the Young Living Thieves oil blend for prevention and maintenance. This can be done by diffusing for 30 minutes to 1 hour each day, or even as little as 30 minutes for 3 days each week, and cleaning with the YL Thieves Household Cleaner regularly for all of your cleaning chores. For maintenance, you could diffuse 8 hours once a week, or 24 hours once each month if you prefer. Maintenance usually requires just 1 bottle of Thieves oil a month per area of concern.
In summary, it is important to keep the following points in mind:
- You have the very best remedy available today: Young Living Thieves Essential Oil Blend and Thieves Household Cleaner. Not only is it more effective, it is also non-toxic and actually supports proper healthy function, and it is the most cost-effective option available. Typical mold remediation projects cost homeowners between $10,000 and $50,000. However, when you use Thieves oil and Thieves Household Cleaner, a typical mold remediation cost is reduced to just $1,500 to $3,500. That is a huge savings over standard remediation costs and it is more protective of your health than standard remediation methods.
- Have a qualified professional do the sampling. When you sample before and after diffusing you have a 3rd party determination of the effectiveness of your efforts. Do not use gravity sampler – petri dishes – they are a waste of money, as are most self-test kits. They do not provide you with sufficient information. They always find mold, but they give little information on what you are breathing – which is what causes most health problems.
- If you have a professional service do the cleanup, do not accept the use of bleach, chlorinated petrochemicals, or any other toxic chemical. Your health is too precious and we have heard from too many people that they have spent tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars on other supposed remedies for mold, yet they still have a mold problem and terrible health problems as a result of toxic chemical exposure combined with mold exposure.
- If you do any of the cleanup yourself, be sure to obtain the proper protective equipment (PPE). You can find PPE by doing a google search for PPE. You will need:
a. Disposable Tyvek suits with hoods and booties
b. N-95 Face Mask or better
c. Goggles to protect your eyes
d. Ear plugs to protect your ears
e. Nitrile gloves to protect your hands
These items may also be found at many local hardware stores.
So, now you know how to find a professional in your area to do testing, what to ask before you hire them, and how to proceed if you learn that mold is indeed a problem that needs to be addressed.
Wishing you joyous, abundant, vibrant health.
Dr. Ed and Jacqui Close
NOTE: The information above is copyright protected and all rights are reserved.
Copyright EJC Advantage LLC and Edward R Close and Jacquelyn A Close, 2015 and continuing.
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