Sunday, March 8, 2015

CAN I USE YOUNG LIVING'S AromaLux DIFFUSER FOR MOLD CLEANUP AND REMEDIATION?

Young Living's AromaLux Diffuser 

Edward R Close, PhD, PE, and Jacquelyn A Close
Copyright March 8, 2015

We have received numerous requests for information about using Young Living's new AromaLux Diffuser for addressing mold in buildings.

While the AromaLux is a cold-air diffuser and we are very impressed with it, we have not completed testing of this diffuser and cannot advise you or help you in using this diffuser until testing is completed. At this time, we have no way of knowing with any certainty if it will actually deliver a sufficient amount of oil in the requisite time frame, what the eccentricities of operation are, and exactly what might be required to obtain the desired results. Additionally, the diffuser will stop operating after 10 hours. This is problematic for addressing mold in buildings because we typically would diffuse for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 72 hours, depending on the levels and types of mold present in a given building. Therefore, we continue to recommend using the TheraPro Premium for mold cleanup and remediation projects.

The AromaLux is an excellent diffuser for maintenance in buildings where the Close Protocol using the TheraPro Premium Diffuser has already been employed. The AromaLux appears to be much quieter, have more control options, and be more thorough in using the oil in the bottle, plus we like the design much better. However, until we have completed testing, we cannot recommend the AromaLux for mold remediation or cleanup and we continue to recommend using the TheraPro for preventing and eliminating mold in buildings.

We have added this information to our 2015 DIFFUSER RECOMMENDATIONS page. You can now find everything you need to be able to use the Close Protocol for Preventing and Eliminating Mold in Buildings on that updated page.You can access that page by clicking this link:
http://www.naturesmoldrx.com/p/blog-page.html


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.  
This information may not be reproduced, copied, pasted, or posted elsewhere through any means whatsoever. We invite you to provide a link to this webpage if you wish to share this information with others.

Monday, February 16, 2015

FINDING A PROFESSIONAL TO DO MOLD SAMPLING




FINDING A PROFESSIONAL TO DO MOLD SAMPLING
By:  Edward R Close, PhD, and Jacquelyn A Close
Edward R Close
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

  1. How long have you been doing mold sampling?
  2. What type of training, credentials and background in mold sampling and remediation do you have?
  3. What type of samples will you collect?
  4. Do you provide a report, a copy of the sample analyses, and an explanation of your findings?
  5. 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:

  1. 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

  1. Ask for a written report identifying the mold species growing in the building.

  1. 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:


  1. If the sampling company does remediation or recommends someone, again, politely thank them and tell them you will consider their proposal for additional work.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Be certain you discuss the results with your professional. Refer them to this website, or share our book with them.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

  1. 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 for an average 2,000 sq ft house, including all sampling and remediation costs. That is a huge savings over standard remediation costs and it is far more protective of your health than standard remediation methods.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.  

This information may not be reproduced, copied, pasted, or posted elsewhere through any means whatsoever. We invite you to provide a link to this webpage if you wish to share this information with others.

Monday, September 1, 2014

OZONE: Is It SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR MOLD REMEDIATION?



OZONE: Is It SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR MOLD REMEDIATION?
By:      Edward R. Close, PhD, P.E., Senior Research Fellow, ISPE,
Member: NSPE, IAQA and AIRASE

 


Introduction
As a professional environmental engineer dealing with indoor air quality issues for many years I have tried, tested and otherwise investigated virtually every mold remediation method out there. In field tests conducted in 2005, I discovered that certain pure essential oils (specifically those meeting the therapeutic-grade standards established by Dr. D. Gary Young) are more effective, longer-lasting and safer than toxic chemicals such as bleach, bactericides and pesticides, as well as ultraviolet light (UV) and ozone, and all other hazardous substances that are commonly used for mold remediation.

In 2007, my wife, Jacquelyn A. Close, and I published the protocol used in 20 case studies with laboratory analytical data in our book Nature’s Mold Rx, the Non-Toxic Solution to Toxic Mold. We also compared the protocol using essential oils with other methods of remediation and explained some of the problems associated with the use of bleach, UV and ozone.

Among the many emails and phone calls we receive daily, we still get some of the same questions, over and over, even from some who have the book: “Why can’t I just use bleach?” and “I have UV and ozone generators in my air-handling system, do I still need to diffuse oils?” The reasons you should not use bleach are given in detail on page 19 in Nature’s Mold Rx, and the problems with UV and ozone are described briefly on pages 122 and 165. For the record, the short answer is:

All three are dangerous substances that can cause serious health problems, the mold remediation they accomplish is superficial at best, and they almost always fail to address the sources of serious mold infestation.

Environmental professionals have known this for at least a decade, but we’ve learned much more about ozone since the publication of Nature’s Mold Rx in 2007, and the purpose of this article is to provide you with an update.

 We have had several clients who have spent thousands of dollars on ozone generating units for mold problems, only to find them ineffective, or in some cases, causative of worse problems than mold. Unfortunately, they were victims of companies whose marketing campaigns misrepresented the facts.

Companies promoting the use of ozone for mold remediation in homes and offices are either ignorant of the facts, or, worst case, using deliberately misleading ads. According to some of these ads, ozone generators will not only remove the musty odor of mold, it will solve mold infestation problems by killing the mold. But such ads fail to mention that at levels needed to kill mold, human beings, pets, houseplants, rubber, leather, some fabrics, artwork, and electrical wiring, can be damaged by the oxidizing action of ozone.

Some Scientific Facts About Ozone


Exposure to ozone levels high enough to kill mold spores can lead to allergy-like reactions, chest pains, asthma attacks and breathing problems. Long-term exposure to ozone can cause permanent damage and weaken the body’s ability to fight infection, which can lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.


Ozone is a molecule composed of three atoms of oxygen. While the more stable two-atom oxygen is essential to life on this planet, ozone’s third oxygen atom is more weakly attached, allowing it to attach to molecules of other substances, producing a chemical reaction known as oxidation. It is ozone’s ability to oxidize and destroy biological molecules that makes it a potential fungicide and dangerous to human health at the same time.

Studies have shown that when ozone reacts with certain chemicals often used in paints and cleaners, it can produce horrible odors and harmful, irritating by-products like volatile organic chemicals such as aldehydes and formic acid. It is especially important to be aware of ozone’s known effects on human health, not only for those with compromised immune systems, such as those recovering from debilitating disease, surgery, or the side effects of drugs, but also because of its known effects on the very young and the elderly.

Ozone does not stop oxidizing biological molecules when it is taken into the body of a human being or pet. The extra oxygen atom is a powerful oxidizing radical. Free radicals, including oxygen radicals, are extremely damaging to our health, and are the opposite of anti-oxidants that we are encouraged to take to improve our health. Even low levels of ozone can damage the mucus membrane, sinus cavities and lungs.

Exposure to ozone levels high enough to kill mold spores can lead to allergy-like reactions, chest pains, asthma attacks and breathing problems. Long-term exposure to ozone can cause permanent damage and weaken the body’s ability to fight infection, which can lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

What the EPA Has to Say About Ozone
The EPA, being uncharacteristically blunt, says:

Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.

The EPA website specifically refutes ozone generator manufacturers’ claims about the effectiveness of ozone for indoor air remediation, including mold, as follows:

If used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants.

Well-documented scientific and medical facts form the basis for a number of health standards related to ozone. In addition to the EPA, three other government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have set standards and restrictions on ozone exposure for worker and public safety.

Uses of Ozone in Restoration

Like a lot of other things, ozone is not all bad. It can be used to remove odors from materials recovered from fires. But this is
done only under carefully controlled conditions, using air-tight chambers built for that purpose. Smoke damaged objects and materials are placed in a sealed chamber with high levels of ozone for a period of 24 hours or longer. Then, the ozone is pumped out of the chamber and thoroughly flushed with fresh air before anyone can safely enter and remove the contents.


Studies show that to kill bacteria and mold, the ozone levels must be at least ten times higher than the public health standards allow.


The effectiveness of this process using ozone to restore smoke-damaged materials led some manufacturers of environmental remediation equipment to speculate that ozone might be used to restore mold-contaminated objects. However, studies show that to kill bacteria and mold, the ozone levels must be at least ten times higher than the public health standards allow. A study done by the restoration industry concluded that even very high levels of ozone will not kill bacteria and mold embedded in porous materials like HVAC duct lining and acoustic ceiling tiles; and many restoration professionals have reported that when porous materials like upholstery, clothes and shoes are being treated for odors in ozone chambers, and there is mold growing on them, the mold is not killed in the process.

These facts, however, do not seem to discourage some manufacturers from promoting ozone generators for use in mold remediation. Recently, I did air sampling and testing for a client who had purchased several expensive ozone generating units and had them installed in the air-handling systems of a building used by a Christian youth ministry. They found that, although the level of ozone produced was below the levels considered dangerous by the EPA and OSHA, other than some reduction of odor, they had no beneficial effect, and the use of this equipment and the ozone it produced actually caused discomfort for many of the individuals spending time in the building.

Conclusions:


Commercial ozone generators are generally ineffective for remediation of indoor mold, and may be detrimental to the health of plants, animals and human beings. They may also damage commonly used leather and plastic materials, paints and varnishes, and even electrical wiring. They should not be used in occupied spaces.


If you have ozone generating devices in your home or office, or are considering installing ozone generators for mold or other indoor air quality remediation, please visit the EPA’s website and read their report entitled:

“Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners: An Assessment of Effectiveness and Health Consequences”.

Here is a link to the EPA website:

 
And if you have questions about how to use essential oils to address mold in buildings, then we suggest you acquire a copy of our book, Nature’s Mold Rx,  
which is available from many book retailers. You can find information on where to purchase the book at this link:



You can also request help with your mold remediation project through this link:

If you are just looking for information on how to use a diffuser and essential oils to address mold in your space, then please visit our 2014 Diffuser Recommendations page:


That is where you will find our latest diffuser recommendations, as well as directions for using the diffuser and Thieves Essential Oil to address mold in buildings using The Close Protocol.

References:
1.    Pinto, Michael, 2005. Article: Ozone Generators and Interior Mold Remediation: A Recipe for Disaster, Cleaning and Restoration, April, 2005.
2.    American Lung Association. 1997. Residential Air Cleaning Devices: Types, Effectiveness, and Health Impact. Washington, D.C. January.
3.    Sawyer, W.A.; Beckwith, Helen I.; and Skolfield, Esther M. 1913. The Alleged Purification of Air by the Ozone Machine. Journal of the American Medical Association. November 13, 1913.
4.    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). 1995. Ozone Generators in Indoor Air Settings. Report prepared for the Office of Research and Development by Raymond Steiber. National Risk Management Research Laboratory. U.S. EPA. Research Triangle Park. EPA-600/R-95-154.


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, 2010-2014 and continuing.  

This information may not be reproduced, copied, pasted, or posted elsewhere through any means whatsoever. We invite you to provide a link to this webpage if you wish to share this information with others.