Freddie Kimmel 00:00
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about mold. Let’s talk about mold baby. Okay, I’m not going to sing, but we are going to sing the praises of Jason Earle. He’s the creator of the GOT MOLD? test kit, Jason has an incredible story, which fits right in the beautifully broken container. He was actually diagnosed with a terminal illness, and everything cleared up when he moved out of his moldy home. So we’re gonna get into the story, and the heart centered mission.
But here’s why I love Jason. Jason is providing an at home test kit, which uses a lab from one of the best microbiology centers in the country. This is an at home test kit, which looks at outdoor air quality, indoor air quality, and the difference in between different rooms in the home. It’s a quick turnaround, and the big one, it’s really, really affordable. And I think it’s really important.
The last thing I’ll say is when you have an understanding that your home might be making you sick, that the 20,000 breaths you take every day, are either leading you towards high functionality, or they’re making you ill, I believe we need to separate the testing from the people who are offering remediation solutions. And so this is an important point we’re gonna get into in the show. I love Jason. I met him at the Bulletproof Conference in LA, we immediately hit it off. And I was just like this, you’ve got to come on the podcast. So as we talk about Jason’s testing solutions and how he trained at one time dogs, mold sniffing dogs, to sniff out biotoxins around the home. He came up with a beautiful discount for the audience. You can use code BEAUTIFULLYBROKEN10 in the cart of GOT MOLD? That is gotmold.com to get your test kit and see what your home is doing for you, or how it may be the hidden source of kryptonite. I hope you enjoy the show. Let’s jump on in.
Welcome to the Beautifully Broken podcast. I’m your host Freddie Kimmel. And on the show we explore the survivors journey, practitioners making a difference. And the therapeutic treatments and transformational technology that allow the body to heal itself. Witness the inspiration we gain by navigating the human experience with grace, humility, and a healthy dose of mistakes. Because part of being human is being beautifully broken.
Ladies and gentlemen, before we start this episode, I need to mention how I’ve upgraded my oral health and my immune system response in the last 30 days, I started using a supplement called Silver Biotics, and they have a line of products that incorporates silver, a century old technology utilizing silver, which is a metal with the highest electrical conductivity on the planet. But they’ve biohacked silver, and literally surrounded these particles with a molecular coating that allows it to work much, much better. And when I say much better, I mean they have 420 independent studies, 60 patents, and it is 4x more potent than any silver on the market. So, this is going to work on things like bacteria, mold, fungus, my result. or my N equals one. is my gum health. My gums are like pink and glowing, they look amazing. And then, I’ve just had a better balance, or I would say an even immune response after about a month. I would have you have this in your cabinet. If there’s one thing we overlook its oral and dental health. And every single tooth is wired to an organ in your body. It’s one of the most overlooked things I see people jump around. And this is something that is cheap, it’s affordable, and you can get a great discount. It’s like 20% using the code BEAUTIFULLYBROKEN. So go over to Silverbiotics.com and check them out. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Beautifully Broken Podcast. I’m sitting here with a guest I have been. I’m like salivating over this interview. Because today we’re sitting down with Jason Earle from GOT MOLD? Jason, welcome to the show.
Jason Earle 04:31
It’s so good to be here Freddie thanks for having me.
Freddie Kimmel 04:34
So we were just at the I never know how to frame it’s like the Bulletproof Conference, the Biohacking Conference, the upgrade performance conference. We were in LA at the Beverly Hilton at a huge wellness event, which Dave Asprey procures, and you are one of the people that I sat down and I said, I want this guy on the podcast and I want to talk about mold, because it is a field rich with information. It’s a pain point for thousands of people across the world, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, we might get into. And it’s something that you’re providing a solution for. So Jason, I have to ask you, why are you qualified to speak on mold?
Jason Earle 05:19
Well, first of all, I want to back up, I also have the same problem describing the conference, I stumble and fumble. Is it Bulletproof, Biohacking, an upgrade, and so you know, you and I are struggling the same thing there. It’s kind of all of those things, right? And in terms of my qualifications for being in the the mold business, I’m actually unqualified. I would argue that I may accidental, expert, one way to look at it. But like many people who are doing, I think important work in the health and wellness space, I come to it from a personal perspective with personal history, which has fueled my unending desire to learn more and more about this. And there’s really, there’s so much to learn. I can call myself an expert, but I’m just scratching the surface. And the people who I talk with, who are also experts, and within the subdomains of this domain, are also acutely aware of the level of ignorance that they currently move through the world because this is an emerging space. And we’re just learning the incredible impact of mold and indoor air quality on health and longevity.
Freddie Kimmel 06:19
Yeah. So I imagine there’s a time in which you had an initial mold exposure or with an awareness that mold was a problem for you.
Jason Earle 06:30
Yeah, so I got into this space, again, from this personal history. But it was again, very, very sort of accidental. When I was around four years old, I suddenly lost a lot of weight in a three week period. I was having difficulty breathing. And then my parents took me to the pediatrician, who said, you know, you really should take him to Children’s Hospital, this looks serious. So they took me to Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia, which is renowned for their respiratory clinic. And based on family history and symptoms that I had presented with, they initially diagnosed me with cystic fibrosis. And that was devastating, devastating to my parents, they spent the next six weeks crying while they were waiting for the second opinion, because my father had lost four of his cousins to CF before the age of 14.
So he saw this up close and personal when he was growing up. And this is their worst nightmare, coming true. So six weeks later, they were relieved to find out that I didn’t have CF evidenced by the fact that I sit here and talking to you at 46 years old. Because it was really a death sentence back then. By the way, what I had was asthma compounded by pneumonia. And then they tested me for allergies, which was one of my formative memories. They put you in like a papoose or like a straitjacket for toddlers, where your back is exposed, but you can’t really get out of it. I can still remember the smell and the whole sort of sensory experience. Then they draw a grid on your back and test you with these antigens. And my dad said that I look like a ladybug, just with a big red swollen back with dots all over it.
And so I essentially tested positive for every single thing that they tested me for. So it was grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton. So my clothes were itchy, my whole childhood. Soybeans, and I grew up on a little hobby farm, where we had rescued animals. And I was surrounded by all those things in very high concentration. Farms all the way around us. So it was grass, wheat, corn, haix, dogs, cats, cotton soybeans, I was awash in this stuff. And so I essentially lived on inhalers until I was about 12. And my folks split up around that time, which is a benefit to everyone involved. And I moved out of that old damp farmhouse, and all of my symptoms went away. And it wasn’t really even discussed, except my recollection was that it was chalked up to what they call spontaneous adolescent remission, which is what my grandfather went through with his asthma as well. And I just moved on.
I could skip over a couple of things, but this is kind of relevant to the story, too. So shortly thereafter, my mother committed suicide. And then about a year later, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which was my second big dose of anti-biotics. They, you know, hit me pretty hard with the one I had pneumonia when I was four as well. And the antibiotics are an important part of story, which we can circle back to. So Lyme disease and my mother’s early demise led me to miss a lot of school. And I was already kind of a recalcitrant teenager. I really did. I frequented school, I didn’t really attend. I think probably I stopped taking school seriously in like fifth grade or sixth grade, honestly. And so around that time, my mom died, I was nine. And then, Lyme disease was 10.
And so the combination of those two events essentially led me to being forced out of high school. So I dropped out. Gleefully, honestly, but I would not have been sort of empowered to do that head and up and for the circumstances. And I went to go work at the local gas station with full time hours. I was already working there part time. And I met a guy there I fixed his tire and that’s kind of a longer story for maybe, you know, another podcast. But, in essence, I fixed his tire and we started talking and he recruited me to come work for him on Wall Street. And I was 16 at the time, and I had no idea who he was or what that even meant.
But I ended up going to work for him, you know, within a couple of weeks of our of our initial meeting, and I ended up, within a year getting my series seven stockbrokers license, which knowingly made me the youngest licensed stock broker in history with a Guinness World Record. And that was completely accidental. I mean, I failed Algebra One and then two years later, I was the youngest licensed… I’m no math whiz, I’m no prodigy, you know, this is just completely, fairy tale kind of stuff. And I did that for nine years, a really nice career, I took to it sort of naturally, I really loved business. And I love people. And I had to make 400 phone calls a day, so you better like people. And in that experience, I learned a lot about adversity, I learned a lot about tenacity, I learned a lot about, you know, in order to be successful in that field, you had to make 400 phone calls a day. And if one person said yes to you, that was a path of success. So that means if you do the math on that, that’s a quarter of a percent success ratio, in order to achieve great success. So you have to fail 99 and three quarters percent of the time to succeed in that business. And just never stop. So you had to make those 400 phone calls every single day.
And so that embedded a lot of attributes into me that were already there, there was already sort of this buoyant optimism, which again, we can dive into where that comes from, and where I think it comes from, and the work ethic, but it was always an empty thing for me, always empty. I mean, you know, I was making a lot of money when I was just a young kid, and more money than any 18, 19, 20, 20 something kid should ever make. And I’m making all the mistakes that come with that, doing all the irresponsible things, and all the self destructive things that come along with that. Easy moneycan do that to you.
And so I struggled to find meaning. And one of the things that I would do when I could was volunteer for Operation Smile, which is, you know, the international medical organization that travels around and fixes kids with cleft lips and cleft palates. So I did some international volunteer work there. And I always came back from those experiences, very, very fulfilled. And I tried to weave that into Wall Street, such that the last few years that I was on the street, I owned my own firm, and we were working on environmental and social responsible investments. And back then, that wasn’t really a thing. That was, we call that green investing now. But that wasn’t really even a thing back then. And then the dot com bubble burst, and everything kind of went to hell in a handbasket. And I woke up one day, and I just wasn’t having fun anymore. And I knew I wasn’t gonna have fun for a while. So I decided to go on walkabout
Freddie Kimmel 12:39
Remind me when was the dot com bubble?
Jason Earle 12:44
Up to 2000 it was just-
Freddie Kimmel 12:45
Up to 2000? I was gonna say 99.
Jason Earle 12:47
Yeah, it was up to and then through, actually. And then Greenspan started raising rates. And there were some weird transactions in the, you know, AOL was bought by Time Warner, which changed the digital, you know, sort of eyeballs metric into like cash flow, you actually have to make money. Oh, that’s a weird concept. So dot com faced, you know, financial metrics, right around that time. And I started, by the way, interestingly. I started on Wall Street a month before the first bombing at World Trade Center. And I quit a month before the last one in August of 2001. Book ends. And I went through that building every day for most of my career.
Freddie Kimmel 13:30
That’s incredible. I moved to the city right after. I mean, the tip of the island was smoking. Just to give you scope and driving into New York City into Manhattan. I remember thinking, wow, is the sky always lit up like fireflies just helicopters going across the skyline at night. It was it was incredible. There was this energy and activity, which was undeniable and just felt like you were in a little bit of a war zone. But like also life had to keep going. And it was so surreal driving in there and coming from upstate New York, which is like I grew up in a farm and coming into the city. But I actually worked in this place… there was a little bit of like a boiler room where Wall Street was shut down, if you remember. So everybody was looking for work. And I was in a room, at one time I had found this job. I don’t know how I found it must have been in the newspaper, where it was a bunch of out of work stockbrokers, because the exchange was like, under rubble. And it was a high pressure sales job in which we were calling people for leads for like, you know, a paper company. Well it’s called boiler room, right? Have you seen that movie? Ben Affleck?
Jason Earle 14:39
Yep. I lived it.
Freddie Kimmel 14:40
It’s like, always be closing kind of spin off. Glen Gary.
Jason Earle 14:45
Freddie Kimmel 14:46
Yeah, I know. But I was in this and there was like, a guy had just $100 bills tacked up on the end of one wall and he was like, whoever closes the most sales today walks out with this stack of cash. And everyone was screaming in the morning and get on your phones. You’d call people all day looking for the you know, just cold calling people. And they had a script. And they were like, you know, literally you have this big mafia guy walking around. He’s like, “Yo, buddy stick to the script. What are you doing? You’re going off.” And so it was this nuts thing. I was in there and it was, you know, like two or three weeks and eventually, luckily, I booked like a Broadway tour. So I got out of there. You’re telling me this and I’m imagining where you said, “I made a lot of money.” Jason, what was a lot of money at that time? What were you pulling in? I’m just fascinated to hear.
Jason Earle 15:30
I mean, it was 100 grand a month was kind of standard.
Freddie Kimmel 15:34
No. 100 grand a month?
Jason Earle 15:36
Yeah. And by the way, it would also be such that, you know, a month later, I could be scrapping because my book would blow up because the stocks would take a crap. And next thing, you know, I’d be starting over essentially, because most of my clients just got smoked and so did I. And so you next, you know, I could make 100 grand in one month, and then make like, 5000 the next month.
Freddie Kimmel 15:55
Jason Earle 15:56
But more often than not, it was on the higher end of things. But you know, you had to restart all the time, though, I always used to say it was like there was a hole in the bottom of the bucket, because we were doing a lot of hybrid… We weren’t managing all of someone’s money. We were doing the more aggressive stuff and a lot of IPOs a lot of early stage companies. So we were the risk side of the portfolio. My clients had lots and lots of available capital. And we were the risk. We were the 5 or 10%. So it was for lack of a better term. It was their way of having Las Vegas by telephone.
Freddie Kimmel 16:23
Jason Earle 16:24
You know what I mean? That’s what they got that out of it. And you know, we also invested in really important companies that have gone on to do important things at the early stages. And, you know, those are the unicorns of the 90s, if you will.
Freddie Kimmel 16:38
The unicorns totally.
Jason Earle 16:40
And back then, it was a public venture capital. We don’t have that now. So the whole financial system, basically, in the interest of getting rid of a lot of the scumbags that were that… you know, the Jordan Belfort’s and the guys who were on the firm where I worked in the beginning because it was a bucket shop, notorious bucket shop where I first started. But I didn’t know the difference and it was just my way of getting on the Wall Street. I mean, I was getting recruited out of a parking garage. Believe it or not, I do really well in garages apparently. But I got recruited out of a parking garage to go work for Mario Gabelli. Gabelli funds, who is a self made billionaire, and he beat the S&P 500 every year for like the past 40 years or something crazy.
Freddie Kimmel 17:13
Jason Earle 17:13
Yeah. So like, you know, I went from bucket shop to Blue Chip and white shoe and that whole industry was really geared towards small companies that were seeking small fun. And we did IPOs sometimes that were 2, 3, 4 $5 million IPOs. Tiny, tiny, tiny deals, but those are now regulated out. So now, it’s harder for small companies to raise capital because the question about how your investor is gonna get their money out. That opportunity, that window closed because of HIPAA regulation got rid of a lot of the bad characters. But it also, what it did, I think it also made it more difficult for early stage companies to form capital. And then now all the IPOs are multibillion dollar juggernauts. You know, they were already way too big. And the investment public isn’t going to see that much upside out of it, you know, the venture capitalists sucked all the air out of the room. Saw that opportunity and just said, Oh, see that? I’ll take all of that. And then here, you can buy my stock.
Freddie Kimmel 18:06
Yeah, it’s wild. I wanted to go back and frame that just to get people scope, because there really is this wild, which we’ll get into. In the world of chronic illness, which I’ve lived in for 20 years. Or let me say this, I played in that container not identified. But you often experienced people that are just they’re trying to scrape together money for electricity, or basic food because they’ve spent so much on their journey to be well, and you hear these numbers, you’re like, oh, yeah, $100,000 a month, it’s wild. It’s wild, the energy, what money can allow us to access these different experiences on the planet? Man, what a gap. It’s incredible to me.
Jason Earle 18:44
Huge gap. And by the way, we’re adding no value to the world, right? All these stockbrokers. And some of these guys I was working with, were making half a million a month. No joke, right? I mean, just like insane. These are 25 year old kids. But they’re not adding any value. I always say that the only people that benefited from my success are the people who owned the stores where I shopped. And so that always bothered me. And that gap. I mean, my mom had really impressed upon me the idea of contribution to the greater good when I was a kid. She was a nurse. She ran a hospital down in central New Jersey, that was a rehab center, but physical and occupational rehab, so people with brain trauma, with amputations, and things like that, right.
So I would volunteer there in the summer, she would take me in there to volunteer, because she didn’t want me to stay home and burn the house down. And I got this bug in me about, you know, seeing people that were not doing as well as me, and finding inspiration in their stories, too. So many of these people were buoyant. And you could also see the people that had already given up. And so it was interesting for me, I didn’t really articulate it mentally, but I could see the difference and I admired and aspired to be like the person who had lost both limbs, and yet you never saw them with a smile on your face. Right?
Freddie Kimmel 19:57
Jason Earle 19:57
And I was worried about something minor in my life. I have all my limbs, fingers toes, you know, both eyes, both kidneys. And I was you know griping about something and probably just completely…
Freddie Kimmel 20:08
Yeah, bring us back up to your story, not to bring us off how much money you made on the stock market, but we’ve kind of got to the point where you had left, right after the dot com bubble had burst.
Jason Earle 20:21
Again, I had been struggling with purpose. And I woke up to the realization that the stock market was going to be dead for a while. And my prediction was about 10 years. And by the way, from the date I quit until the 10 years, the chart was such that actually it was a down decade, it was a lost decade and date to date, from quit to 10 year exactly. The Dow Jones was within 100 points. So my intuition about that was scarily accurate. And by the way, my intuition when it comes to stock market predictions is not generally that accurate. So don’t start following me for stock tips. So meaning was missing from the the work on Wall Street, and my mom had impressed this idea of contribution to the greater good upon man and my summertimes.
And so I decided that I wanted to do something meaningful in my life. I had reached the end of that road. And evidenced by again, the book ends that happened when it came to the, you know, the terrorist attacks and all these things. I just said, you know, this is very clear to me that I need to do something different. And so I put 20 pounds of stuff in a backpack, and sold a bunch of stuff. And I bought a train ticket in New York and went across Canada. I basically took a train from New Jersey, to LA through Canada. So I went up to Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Churchill, hung out with the polar bears. Then I went to Jasper and Banff and spent some time there in the glorious beauty of the Canadian Rockies, and then Vancouver and Vancouver Island and ended up in going down the coast, Seattle, and Portland, and San Francisco, and LA, and then I flew to Hawaii. And by the way, it was a great deal. It was like $400 all for a month on Via Rail. It was a special promotion between Amtrak and Via Rail. And it was just it was so awesome. I mean, I got the chance to see North America in this glorious way.
Freddie Kimmel 22:02
Do they still do that?
Jason Earle 22:03
Yeah, last time I looked, there was still a really nice package. You have to go in one direction. The key is you can’t go backwards. But it’s a flat fee. And you end up sleeping in the regular car, you don’t have like a sleeping car. So I made friends with all these people, a lot of older folks that I still keep in touch with get. And we would protect each other, kind of, you know, because sometimes there was some riffraff would get on the trains and stuff. And we ended up in like a pod, you know, and we ended up seeing each other in these different towns. And it was a really, it was a really beautiful experience. And back then I only brought my journal and my CDs. Because you know, there was no digital way to do this. Am I still getting the drum, the emphasis with the drum?
Freddie Kimmel 22:40
A little bit, but that’s okay. You’re future podcasts interviews. They’re gonna like thank me. They’ll be like, “I gotta I gotta thank Freddy Kimmel.” I say only when when shit goes sideways on a podcast. I’m like, “yeah, it’s all good.”
Jason Earle 22:54
100%. Yeah, no, I agree wholeheartedly. Authenticity is great. In fact, my father used to say, “the key to success in sales is authenticity. And once you learn how to fake that, you gotta made.”
Freddie Kimmel 23:05
Jason Earle 23:07
So, jokes aside, when I ended up in Hawaii, I had a lot of time on my hands. And I was reading a lot of the local newspapers. And one story jumped out. In fact, there was a recurring theme, I kept seeing the story about this big mold problem at the Hilton Kalia tower in Waikiki Beach. I happened to be in Waikiki at the time. I knew nothing about mold. It was just being I kept seeing, but a story had jumped out at me. And it was about this gentleman who had worked that hotel. And he had developed adult onset asthma, and all these allergies that he had never had before. And you know, at 40 years old, this is unusual stuff. And he blamed the mold. And I immediately had like this deja vu moment. And I thought, geez, I wonder if that was what was going on with me as a kid. I wonder if we had a mold problem.
So I called my dad from a payphone, which probably isn’t there anymore, and asked him if he thought we had a mold issue. And he just laughed at me. He said, “of course, we had mushrooms in the basement. Why do you ask?” And it was just so flippant. And so like dismissive. In that moment, a lightbulb went on that has only gotten brighter, right? Which is that this is a blind spot. You know, the idea that buildings can make us sick. The buildings that we live in work in. So I became fascinated in that moment with the concept that, not so much about mold at the time, although mold is fascinating, and it’s infinitely interesting the more you look at it. But really that that idea that these buildings that we live in.
These boxes that we live in and store stuff in are actually a functional part of our of our immune system. Really, if you go deeper really are the buildings that we live in work in are really our XO skin or our exoskeleton. And if we don’t take care of them properly, they won’t take care of us and when we take care of them well, they provide a foundation for healing. So I didn’t articulate it that at the time, that took about 20 years. But, at the time, I immediately knew that that was where I wanted to spend my time, my energy. So I spent a lot of time on internet cafes in Hawaii while I was waiting to go home, and reading about looking at mold asthma, and it was incredible how little there was out there about this at the time.
And then, I came back to New Jersey armed with a whole lot of curiosity took a job working for a mold remediation company was actually a basement waterproofing company that was doing mold remediation, but they weren’t really doing mold remediation. They were selling people on fear of mold and spraying chemicals, and just doing all sorts of, you know, sort of thuggish mold treatments, if you will. But there was no standard at the time. This is a wild wild west. People were just starting to talk about this. And the mantra within the contractor trade was mold is gold. So they were just, you know, all these people were coming into the trades to try to make money off of it.
By the way, a lot of medical research came out since then. So it’s been fascinating to jump in at that time. And see this whole thing really mushroom, if you pardon the expression. But I quickly saw that these guys were not doing the right thing by the consumer. And I thought, jeez, if I want to make a lot of money by hurting people, I can just stay on Wall Street, you know, I’m here to try to make the world a better place. How do I do that. And so I started offering free inspections at night to help people navigate this, and so that I could learn. So I was just figuring out what the tools were. And I was reading building science books at night. And you know, I had literally like the moisture control handbook in the magazine rack in my bathroom, because I would literally read that stuff. Like anytime I had a few minutes, I would just be looking at, you know, these books on moisture control, and building science, and biology, and what little there was on functional medicine and things like that. And so just trying to get a better understanding on this, because there was really no no central resource for this. And there were no real trainings of any repute. And there was certainly no certifications, or there was no academic track, you know.
So anyway, I ended up taking this job and saw that these guys were thugs and started this inspection thing and heard about a guy who had trained dogs to sniff out hidden mold in buildings. And I thought, man, that is just crazy enough to be brilliant. I gotta get check this out. Because I had grown up with dogs. And you know, you just know that they’re smarter than most people. And they’re certainly more trustworthy. And so I wanted to go down and see what this guy had done. And he had trained bomb dogs, drug dogs, termite dogs, you name it, he trained so many different kinds of detection dogs. Dogs to find endangered species in the desert, you name it. So mold is kind of easy. It’s a static thing. It’s just in one place. It’s not moving around like bombs or drugs in a car. And so just intuitively made a lot of sense to me. And so he introduced me to this lanky little black lab mix named Oreo who was one of his first trainees. And so I ended up coming home with this mold sniffing dog. So I went down to goes just kick tires and came back with a $14,000 dog. My family thought I had gone crazy. Everyone goes, here’s the youngest broker in history with a mold sniffing dog, right? So Jason really lost his mind.
But within three weeks of being in New Jersey with Oreo, the waterproofing company, thought it was interesting to try to get some press, because they thought they were gonna get some press out of it. And they contacted channel 6 news, who instead of sending over like a crew to do like a piece on us, they actually sent a consumer alert crew trying to debunk me. And I was just totally naive to it. And they set up a house and they hid mold in the house. And we went through and found it in like three minutes. And instead of debunking us, we got an endorsement. And I hadn’t even started a company. I had no idea where… this is just like completely nascent. And well, I started getting all these calls from doctors in the area that had patients that they weren’t responding to traditional treatments for whatever they were experiencing, and those turned out to be very powerful, we had a significant impact on a few families right off the bat. And then that turned into Good Morning America episodes. And then we got invited to Extreme Makeover Home Edition. And it just kept going and going and going and going and going. And we did 1000s and 1000s of inspections without ever having to advertise, just based upon this idea of that we used rescue dogs to heal sick homes. And so we were really fortunate to have gotten that way. But what really happened there, was that because of that incredible volume that came in so unpredictably. And that company, we called it Lab Results, by the way, because we use Labrador retrievers and laboratory testing, and it was.
Freddie Kimmel 29:09
Jason Earle 29:10
And people loved it. But I got sort of a trial by fire type of education. Because I didn’t have the chance to really, I just got like thrown into these hundreds and hundreds of homes that were mostly driven by medical concerns, because they were… I was getting a ton of referrals from doctors. And the dog Oreo, who was my partner, she was like the greatest thing that ever happened to me at the time. She taught me where the mold was hiding. I got an education from her. I was trained on where buildings leak, where buildings fail by a dog. It was the coolest thing. So we were able to find these hidden issues and then get them remediated. And so all these families just healed incredibly. That company became 1-800-GOT-MOLD? And so I’ve been running that for 20 years. And over the years, what’s always bothered me is that despite all of the satisfaction that you get from helping families, individuals, it was mostly driven by a sick kid or, or someone with a really mysterious, a lot of autoimmune stuff. The satisfaction that comes from that is powerful.
But what I noticed, we were really only helping affluent people. And you know, the people who can afford $1000, $2000, $3,000 inspection, and then the resulting remediation, because it’s all cash. Insurance doesn’t pay for this stuff. So we were servicing people in Manhattan, Short Hills and French Connecticut, and Princeton, New Jersey, and we turned away 1000s and 1000s of people, or they opted out, because they simply couldn’t afford it. And that always bothered me. My parents could not have afforded the hire 1-800-GOT-MOLD?
Freddie Kimmel 30:39
Yeah, I mean, I’m aware that you might have the data quicker than I do. But it’s like, most people are living in credit card debt. Actually, most people are in the negative. Like, when we look at these things it’s like an elective spend. It’s just an extra. And I’ve had so many people say to me, “Well, I don’t have the money to test for mold.” And it’s certainly, one could rationalize, well, you have the money. You’re having the money to manage your long term chronic illness. You know, and from my lived experiences, it’s very possible mold could be playing into that. Or at least a big driver of your inability to get better. So it’s something that, until you understand its impact into the human body, I don’t think you understand the gravity. So only to go up on a little soapbox of like, you know, expensive, right? It’s an investment. What else are we spending our money on that’s worth it?
Jason Earle 31:31
Yeah, no, in terms of ROI, there is no greater investment than investing in your indoor air quality. You know, we spend 90% of our time indoors, and we breathe 13 to 15 times a minute, which, if you do the math, is 20,000 times a day. We breathe 20,000 times a day. I mean, that’s insanity. And so, what else do you do that much? I mean, the only thing that you can think of is your heartbeats more than that. But biologically speaking, in terms of, you know, what we do repetitively, if your indoor air quality is either nutritive, and healing, and energizing, or it is energy draining, inflammatory and leads to disease. There’s no neutral, this is a really important point. Just because you can’t sense it, that there’s something wrong, doesn’t mean it’s neutral, there’s no neutral, it’s either giving you life, or it’s leading to illness. And so it’s very binary. And of all the things in this world, if you really look at it, we don’t have control over anything, really, I mean, we have so little control, if you’re humble enough to admit that. It’s very hard for the biohackers and the people who are, you know, the type A people to recognize this, and I definitely fall into that category.
But if you’re humble and honest enough to recognize that you don’t control most things in your life, you have to look at the things that you do have control over. And one of the things that you do have a disproportionate control over is your indoor air. It’s the thing that you can invest in and move the needle on and a really significant way, and you can measure it, too. So this is not a squishy thing. This is not a nebulous thing. There is a nebulous nature to it. And it’s difficult sometimes to get the data, but it can be done. And so I always argue that you know, if you can exert control over something like this, which has such a huge impact. I mean, the American College of Asthma Allergy and Immunology, stated that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality. That’s insanity, right? 37 million Americans with chronic sinusitis, according to the Mayo Clinic, that’s a mold issue. That’s 11% of the population. You know, asthma, 24.6 million asthmatics of which 10 million are kids, and that number is up 100% in the last 10 years, you know, autoimmune diseases through the roof. There’s just all these things that are directly correlated to or caused by poor indoor air quality. And yet, we have a blind spot on that because, well, it’s the law of familiarity.
Whatever you’re exposed to long enough, eventually you take for granted. And you know, can you think of anything that you’re exposed to more than air? Right? I mean, it reminds me of the David Foster Wallace commencement address where he begins. He calls it this is water. He talks about these two young fish swimming along and they pass an older fish who says, “Morning boys, how’s the water?” And they kinda, “Good.” And a couple of minutes later, they look at each other and they go, What the hell is water? And that’s our air. And so we’re swimming around in this stuff. And we just take it for granted. We don’t realize that this is our water, right? We can’t live without it. And of the four basic human needs, you know, air, water, food, shelter. Shelter, we can live without for a while.
We don’t do well forever, but we live for a while. Food, you can go a few weeks, no problem. You know, some people do that electively. Water you know, you can go a few days. Air? A few minutes. And yet of those four things, the thing that you think about the least, is air. Right? The thing that you plan around the least, is air. The thing you invest in the least, is air. And yet it’s the thing that we can live without, for the shortest period of time. And so it’s that blind spot that motivates me every day is to get people to shift their perspective, because I believe that once you shift, you know, it’s like the quote that, “a mind that stretched to a new dimension never regains its original shape.” Yeah. So like, the idea of showing people this is something that they eventually hopefully can’t unlearn. But you can’t unsee.
Freddie Kimmel 35:41
Yeah, it’s a brilliant new level of awareness around air quality. And I think once you hear this information, it’s hard to look away. Sometimes that information comes in the form of a horrific mold exposure for people in which they experience a decrease in functionality, energy, you know, the myriad of different symptoms that you just mentioned, I think most things are tied to mold, or it’s at least a part of it indoor air quality. When you said you walk through the homes with a Labrador that was trained to identify mold, and that the animal had taught you where mold forms in the home. What did you learn from the dog? Like, where does mold grow and why?
Jason Earle 36:20
Well, I mean, it grows wherever buildings fail, or where the defects in their original construction were present, right? So typical things are around windows. Windows leak, you know, they all leak to some degree. Where the roof meets siding, there’s a very typical place because they don’t flash those. A lot of contractors forget to put in flashing. There’s also typical sorts of, you know, split level homes where the basement is not really the basement, the living room is kind of subterranean. And it’s not really, fully a basement. Also, finished basements, notorious. You can see by the lay of the land where buildings are built into a hill, and you can just see that well, that back wall is going to probably be a problem. The one that’s built in. And so you just see these patterns emerge, right? Crawl spaces are a problem, you don’t even need a mole dog for that crawl spaces are a building defect. All crawl spaces or building defect, if they’re not built correctly in the first place. And I’ve never seen one built correctly in the first place.
So if anybody wants to chime in on that, and send in a note, let me know if you built a house with a crawlspace built the right way, which means sealed to the outside, and actually heated and air conditioned. Believe it or not your heating, air conditioning your crawlspace just like you do your living room, because you’re gonna put your mechanical equipment down there. You’re gonna put your HVAC system down there. And a lot of people put HVAC systems in dirt crawl spaces. Why would you run all your air through a space that’s a too hot, too cold or too humid, and then also dirty? It just doesn’t make any sense. But yet we do this at scale. We build developments like this. It’s just insane. So, you know, just common sense, eludes so many builders, architects, designers, all of them all the professionals altogether, don’t even see. The building code officials, nobody sees it. It’s just insane. And I agree with you that mold is the underlying cause of much illness. But I would even argue broader than that. It’s just poor indoor air quality. And so if you look at the statistics on this, and this is really fascinating. Since 1965, to about 2014, respiratory illness is up 165% In America since 1965.
And during that same period, roughly the same period, deaths related to respiratory illness is up 30%. This is in a time of great innovation in the healthcare field, right? Like why is this happening? And not only that, in that same period of time, smoking is down, right? You think respiratory illness, well, it must be smoking. Smoking is down dramatically and that same period of time. And so you say, well what is that? Right? What can be possibly going on? And in that same period of time along the same timeline. I’m working on a visual for this, by the way, you see that what we started building was in the 40s and 50s. We started building very quickly because we had the baby boomers, we needed to build fast and cheap housing. So the introduction of new fast and cheap building materials made its way primarily sheet rock, drywall, gypsum wallboard, which is paper and a very absorptive mineral in the middle, so it gets wet, stays wet, and paper is a great nutrient source.
But we’re also started building with a lot of petrochemicals. We started using a lot you know, the our paints and finishes. And, you know, even like the hardwood floor finishes. We started using a lot more industrial solvent based building materials. And in the 60s, we started building much tighter to save energy during the oil crisis. So we started building with faster, cheaper materials. And then we started closing these things up. A lot more plastic. So we built these chemical boxes. And when water gets into these chemical boxes, it can’t get out easily the way it used to because we have insulation in the walls now which we didn’t have.
So now we’re comfortable. But now we’ve got this sealed unit that when water gets in it can’t get out and then build with very, very mold friendly materials. In fact, we build out of paper mache. You know, I mean literally, I mean sheet rock is like paper mache. And my mentor likes to say we built self composting homes, just add water. It’s insane. We used to build with plaster, stone, brick, you know, these things, old growth, timber, this stuff would last, stand the test of time. Buildings now, if they’re not occupied, they’ll collapse in a very short order. I mean, like, within, you know, half a year, you’ll see the roof cave in, if it’s not lived in if it’s not loved. So we built these boxes that are, essentially, and then we don’t leave the house, you know, technology has given us this luxury to get anything we want energy and information and goods and services. People just come to us. And so you know, Rob Dunn, who wrote this beautiful book called never home alone, which I highly recommend. It’s all about the critters that we live alongside. And he advocates to encourage diversity biodiversity in your home, because there’s a direct correlation between a higher biodiversity, in other words, more microbes, and lower incidences of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disease. And lower biodiversity, you know, blast critters in the house actually leads to higher incidences of asthma allergies, and autoimmune disease. So the building materials that we’re using are very, very mold friendly. And so, this is a primary problem is that we’re building houses out of mold food.
And then we’re also building lower quality houses, the construction quality has gone down. We’ve lost the artisan. So the flashing is missing, and things are slapped together more quickly. And so when that fails, the first thing that happens is moisture intrusion. The buildings are designed to shed water and wind. That’s what buildings are for, to shed water and wind. When they fail, they fail to shed water and wind. And when they fail to shed water, the water gets in and things get moldy. And here’s the key, and this is really an important takeaway for your audience. Mold is the predictable byproduct of stuff getting wet, and staying wet for as little as 48 hours. This is very important. People think about the timeline is this longer term thing or this thing that happens like lightning striking or an earthquake. It’s not like this, it’s not a random thing. It’s very predictable. Stuff gets wet and stays wet for 48 hours, between 24 and 48 hours, mold can start to grow. At 72 hours, according to the industry standard, everything that got wet, that’s porous, should be treated as mold and should be disposed of. And why why is that important? Because in the first 24 to 48 hours of a water damage issue, you can remove that stuff, it’s free or cheap, you can do it yourself, as long as there’s not a pre-existing mold problem there.
Because then you’ll make it airborne, and cause all sorts of problems. But if it’s a new issue that just happened, you can tear that stuff out yourself, you don’t have to wait for the insurance adjuster or for the contractors to come in. But we have 24 to 48 hours. And by the way, insurance will pay for that to an almost unlimited degree, I mean, up to like the replacement cost of the house for Water Damage. But if you wait those three days, and you decide not to take action, because you’re waiting for advice from your brother, or your uncle, or the contractor, or the insurance agent, or whoever you’re waiting for. Paralysis of analysis, whatever it is, if you wait, at the 72 hour mark, everything changes. And now you have to hire a mold remediation contractor, which means you have to find a qualified one that you trust. But you have to get involved in mold remediation, and insurance doesn’t cover it and the cost just went up tenfold or more. And so now you’re in a cash pay situation, and you’re on your own. And it’s now a health hazard. Now wet mold remediation done perfectly, it takes about a month, between the assessment and the report and getting the contractors. If everything goes perfectly, mold remediation takes about a month.
So you’ve just gone from free or cheap and fast, to completely disruptive, budget busting, potentially insurmountable, because of the fact that you wanted to wait and see, or because of the fact that you weren’t sure what to do next. So it’s very important that people act quickly with this, because it is literally a matter of days or hours.
Freddie Kimmel 43:55
Yeah, when I went through this with my insurance company, you know, what they were looking for was when they initially sent an inspector out, it was like looking for some type of a damage associated with an event. That event could have been a storm, a branch, a hurricane, some type of a leak, but if it was water damage, and there’s no date and there’s no incident, then they’re like, “Oh, buddy, that’s that’s all on you.” So I learned that the hard way. And it wouldn’t have mattered either way with the home that I was living in. But it was really interesting. Really, the only thing the insurance company cared about was like that storm or the branch falling.
They’re like, “show us that and you’re good. We’ll cut you a check.” That wasn’t the case, so mine was actually out of pocket. Jason, going back to air quality. And you know, you had mentioned a couple times, the only thing we have power over is really well power over we have a little bit of control around choice of air quality. So what I’m hearing is possibly, there is an ability to manage that better through the moisture we allow in the home, because it sounds like building materials since 1950 or 1960 are all problematic. Most of the homes we’re living in, we’re dealing in these paper mache boxes. So where do we have the control point? What can we do?
Jason Earle 45:10
Well, there’sa few things on so I looking more broadly at air quality, mold is a super important part of it. But the gases that are produced or that emit from building materials, as well as our furniture, and our cabinets and the finishes that we put on these things and, and our cleaning products, our personal care products, that our desire to use air fresheners which don’t freshen your air, by the way. And there’s a $2 billion market of carcinogenic chemicals and the people buy every year to make their house smell good.
Freddie Kimmel 45:43
Guys, don’t don’t spray stuff in your air to make it smell better. Public Service Announcement. Yeah, we’ll save that for another episode.
Jason Earle 45:51
Yeah, seriously. I mean, it’s so fundamental. But people are just amazed by that, you know, scented candles, stop that stuff. This is bad news. You know, bad, bad, bad. Yeah, bad humans. Again, because we build super tight homes, we don’t have air exchange, you know, residential construction, there’s no regulation saying that you have to have air exchange. Commercial buildings have these regulations because of sick building syndrome in the 90s. But that never made its way down to residential. One of my missions, by the way, and anyone listening who wants to join in on this with me, one of my missions is to get all chemicals that are carcinogenic, or otherwise affect human health adversely, removed from building materials used for construction, and buildings, whether being a home or workplaces.
Seems like a no brainer, right? But unfortunately, the chemical companies are who run the show, especially on the building material side. Building material companies are chemical companies, mostly. And they’ve got powerful lobbying. They’ve also trained all the contractors, so the contractors only know how to do one thing one way. So what can you invest in?
Freddie Kimmel 46:51
Yeah, let’s go to that.
Jason Earle 46:52
Invest in your awareness, first of all. And so, looking at what are the issues in your home? Moisture is number one. And so whenever you’ve got a mold concern, a musty smell. So I always say if you see something, smell something or feel something, do something. And so you’re looking for odors, and that odor can be the new house smell, by the way. This achievement actually, it’s actually I smell cancer, when I smell a new house smell. The new car smell, by the way, similar. So you want to be aware of the fact that odors are often a pollutant source in your building, even if it’s an odor that you like. The building should be odorless, okay, except for wood and the natural aromas that come from construction and healthy building materials. Moisture is super important. So you’re looking for any indication of moisture.
So that would be condensation on windows, blistering paint discolorations of any sort of kind, especially the kind of geometric discolorations, because that can actually be mold growth itself. But also things like water bugs. You see the corner of your basement, you see those little round guys. Or if you see spider webs, by the way spiders, they need water just like we do, except they get it a little bit differently. So spider webs in your indoor environment are a dead giveaway that you’ve got moisture condition somewhere. Again, if you see something, if you smell something, the musty odor is the dead giveaway. Many people look at the musty odor as an aesthetic nuisance is just this thing. It’s just the basement smell. But the emerging medical research shows that this is actually neurotoxic. Fruit fly studies done by my friend Dr. John Bennett at Rutgers University show that exposure to the musty odor in animal studies causing them to stop making dopamine. So they get depressed, they stop reproducing, they start flying down instead of to the light and develop Parkinsonian like symptoms. Further studies have shown that the musty odor can cause mitochondrial damage. And so, this is really powerful stuff. And so, if you smell that smell, this is not something to ignore.
This is a very powerful message being sent to you by your building, by the mold. My building needs attention, this area needs attention. So you should follow that the same way you follow pain in your body, inflammation in your body. I look at mold as inflammation in the building. Acute inflammation is an acute message. Chronic inflammation is its own disease. If you ignore acute inflammation, it becomes an opens up a whole host of other opportunities for disease, acute dampness in the building, a moisture problem. If it’s not dealt with, it will ultimately become chronic. And that chronic dampness is where you start getting the toxigenic molds by the way. They’re late stage colonizers and so they come in to kill all the other molds and take your building to dirt. And also, you know, late stage, that stuff is really kind of like cancer for the building. It’s like necrosis. The tissues of the building decay, right? Mold is the precursor to rot. So it’s not just health, it’s also the longevity and sustainability of your building. Okay, so the musty smell is very powerful. And also these are chemicals that are industrial solvents. Many of these are group one carcinogens. So it’s not just neurotoxic. I mean, these things are bad news, and we’re breathing 20,000 times a day. This is a repetitive stress if you will, right? And they accumulate in your tissues. It’s very powerful stuff. And so the VOCs from the building materials compounded with the VOCs from the microbes is a serious problem and it causes all sorts of issues, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, our schools are loaded with mold problems that are causing our kids to not be able to learn. Okay, you can’t learn if you’re breathing and VOCs. People drink VOCs alcohol, and it causes you to get disoriented.
If you breathe VOCs, you can have that same sort of experience. And then feel something. If you feel something, if you’re having any symptoms, especially if they abate when you when you go away. So what can you do about these things? Well, obviously, you need to manage moisture, so you need to monitor humidity in the building. I like to put flood sensors in areas which are prone to leaks around hot water tanks and corners of the basement where you know, you’re getting an occasional moisture intrusion. You also want to be proactive, if you know your basement leaks, you shouldn’t have carpet in it. Like little things. Just be aware plan for the leak. Be aware of the fact that mold is a fact of life, it’s up there with death, taxes and gravity. If stuff gets wet, it gets moldy. So just be aware of that. Be humble enough to recognize it has mold precedes us. And it will be here after we’re all gone, you know, mold is the survivor.
It’s the top of the food chain, honestly. And also, you want to invest in air purifiers. And this is very important. HEPA filtered air cleaners are super important. They have to be true HEPA, which means that they’re a sealed unit, there’s a gasket that prevents air from bypassing the filter. You also want to make sure that there’s activated carbon, and a sufficient amount of activated carbon because that removes the VOCs. HEPA filters only take up particles. So the spores and other airborne debris. But the VOCs, which are super powerful, and are a major part of this of the whole mold issue, they’re not taken out by HEPA filter, so you need to use the activated carbon. The other thing you want to do is make sure that youstopped bringing in chemicals. So that means if you’re going to do a renovation, or if you’re gonna do a repair in your house stop using VOC based paints. Really look at these things and examine whether they have a emission issues.
And so you can look at websites like greenguard.org. And that’s a place where you can look for building materials that don’t have these attributes, these negative attributes. So it’s really just investing in that awareness and raising your game to recognize just like you would not go, and many of the people listening to this podcast won’t go to a conventional grocery store and just buy sprayed berries. You have to treat your indoor air quality, and the building materials that you use and even the stuff that you buy the furniture that you buy? With the same sort of discernment that you do with the food that you eat. It’s the same thing. You wouldn’t drink dirty water, right? These are obvious things. But because the air is so not obvious, it’s hiding in plain sight right under the tip of your nose. And yet you don’t even notice it.
Freddie Kimmel 52:58
Yeah, Jason, what about humidity levels in the home? Because what we’re saying is, again, building materials are problematic. Moisture happens. This is just where we’re at. Does managing your humidity levels assist with what problematic molds may develop?
Jason Earle 53:15
Yeah, so thank you. When I was saying you manage your moisture, what you want to do is you want to get the humidity gauges, with the remote sensors. And you want to put them in in the place that they’re out of sight out of mind. Crawlspaces attics, basements, you know, rooms that are unoccupied. Of course in your bedroom and the kitchen as well. And what you’re looking to do is is maintain relative humidity, which is the most common output for these sensors RH. Between 40 and 60%. Below 40% You start to get uncomfortable dehydrated, you’ll wake up kind of, you know. And also your mucous membranes will dry out and you can actually get sick from that.
The microbes can get through. And that’s why people get sick in the winter, by the way. It’s not because it’s cold, it’s because it’s dry. And then, above 60%, you end up with a high likelihood of condensation. So you end up with small water droplets on surfaces that you can’t see in many cases. Sometimes you can see them on, you know, pipes and windows if you’re in a cold climate like I’m in Minnesota, right? So we have a lot of condensation. But you want to maintain that between 40 and 60% all year round. And so dehumidifiers are very important, also running air conditioning, but running air conditioning consistently and not having it just be on, off, on, off, on, off. So, you know, being vigilant around maintaining a healthy humidity range is super important. People love to humidify their kids rooms, but they don’t have a humidity gauge in there. So I like to say don’t modify what you don’t quantify. Don’t be adding water to air if you don’t know what the baseline is in the first place. Because you’re humidifying the air for your kid’s room and you could be creating a mold problem in their room.
Freddie Kimmel 55:02
Yeah. Again, you go through your head, you’re like, oh my god, remember what my grandparents used to do that every time I was sick, let’s add humidity. It’s wild, there’s so many things we regurgitate as something that could be good for our health, beneficial for our health. And we just don’t have a deep understanding around what we’re doing. So a lot of what I’m hearing from you is just to deepen our education and awareness about how the body functions, how important air quality is, how important the environment that we culture for ourselves that we’re in every day, all day, especially everybody from working from home right now, post pandemic, I’m intuiting, there’s gonna be a lot more people experiencing the symptoms of mold toxicity after working in their homes.
Jason Earle 55:46
Freddie Kimmel 55:46
Because as you said, the regulations around industrial buildings are different than what we do for our bedrooms. So it’s a deeper level of awareness. And I think really important for people to understand. Where does mold testing come in, which it’s a huge broad topic. There’s so many different ways to go about it. I’ll personally give you just my experience, like I have tiers that I tell people like there’s always a weigh in for everybody.
We’ve got those really affordable little dishes that we can put out and look and see if something grows. And if something does, maybe we want to do another level. Level two. And so typically, it would have been something like an ERMI test and environmental medial mold index test, which I would send away and have, again, a deeper level of awareness. Okay, there’s a lot of stuff going on. Now I gotta start looking for the water damage. But you provide a different solution for people, because I think what we said at the beginning was, not everybody can have that team come in with the Labrador seeking mold and a deep evaluation. So I’d love you to speak to the solution that you provide.
Jason Earle 56:50
Yeah, I mean, we at 1-800-GOT-MOLD? Again, this sort of like, picks up where we left off before, which is that most people couldn’t afford that service. So that always bothered me. We would get calls from people all over the place. And they would ask, you know, if we could do an inspection, because they were either outside of our coverage area or was at a budget. They would say, well, then if Is there a do it yourself test kit or anything like that on the market that you can recommend.
And so I went on a search to find something that I could actually recommend, and I couldn’t find anything. The petri dishes are almost always false positives. They tend to be confusing to people, too. And you know, I always joke around that the first thing you want to do if you’re concerned about a mold problem is not grow more in your house. And so the petri dish encourages you to do that. Right?
Freddie Kimmel 57:31
Jason Earle 57:32
You know, of course, I have professional equipment that we use petri dishes occasionally, in professional air testing, and it’s you draw air through a pump, and it’s metered, and it’s calibrated, and you bring in the air and you slam it onto a Petri dish. And so, you know, the idea of a passive sampler didn’t make sense to me. And, you know, the research on that has shown that the results are inconsistent with the actual conditions in the building environment. So they tend to not necessarily correlate. And then the ERMI test, which is, you know, something that I hear a lot. In fact, I got so many people coming up to me at the conference, “So how is this different than ERMI?” That was like, the most common question I got. Actually, the most common question is, “Is this for the building? Or is this for my body?” Is the mold test for me, or is the mold test for my building. And I’m like, “Well, it’s for your building, but it’s all that also is for your body.” We’re not testing your blood or your urine.
The ERMI test is also a bit of an issue, because it was designed by the EPA as a research tool 20 years ago, and it looks at 36 molds, 26 of which are considered the primary identifiers of water damage, and then 10 are background. But it was based on a study of 37 homes in Ohio. That’s it. 37 homes. They don’t tell you that they actually, if you look at the literature, it talks about a 1000 home study, but they use the data from the 37 homes to make the ERMI index, which is what that is. And then, they used it in a 1000 homes. So they leave out that 37, that tiny, little geographically limited study. And they have not updated that index since. And so in a world where we have the DNA base technologies have done incredible things, you can now collect the sample, a dust sample, and I’m working with a lab to develop this, where you can, for the same amount of money as an ERMI, which looks at 36 species, we can find all known microbes.
We’re talking tens of millions, and get a report that shows the whole gradient scale of all microbes that are in that dust with the spikes and concentrations of the ones that are of greatest concern. Because of the high… In a perfect environment everything is balanced. If you have high concentrations of certain microbes, that means that there’s an environment conducive to their growth. So what you want is diversity not concentrated. What we want is these microbes in our environment. We don’t want them growing in our environment. This is a big distinction.
Freddie Kimmel 59:46
You’ve said that a couple times. Jason, you’ve said you know, modern day construction that I would have in my home doesn’t allow for like an air exchange. I happen to be in a home where the builder is very intuitive. He’s very smart and understands working with the land. So there is an exchange with outside air. So the home is actually breathing through the membrane. It’s not this hermetically sealed box, which I think that until you’ve gone in it. And until you’ve been one of those lucky people to get lyme or mold, you understand, after enough failed attempts, that sterility in the body or blasting away microbes doesn’t always make you feel better or healthier. There’ll be repercussions from going in and waging war in the human terrain, which we’re outnumbered, microbes to human cells. So can you speak to that on a little deeper level. The idea is that we don’t want these sterile boxes, but we we might want them to have like an ecosystem. And how do we develop the good ecosystem?
Jason Earle 1:00:47
Yeah, so that actually brings me to where I wanted to go when you were talking about the sort of like the wives tales or the you know, the things our grandparents and parents have told us over the years about mold and air quality and stuff like that. And one of them is that we need to kill them all. The bacteria gotta kill it.
Freddie Kimmel 1:01:02
Gotta kill that you just pour bleach on it, Jason
Jason Earle 1:01:04
Bleach, just put bleach on it, just go get a bucket of bleach, what are you worried about? Why are you dealing with all this mold remediation stuff, all these guys had asbestos, just spray some bleach on it. I’ve been dealing with it for 20 years. And there’s a lot of lots and lots and lots of stuff that’s wrong with that. Number one is that bleach is it will bleach the surface, but it leaves behind dead mold. Dead mold is still allergenic. So killing mold actually leaves behind dead mold. But with bleach in particular, it’s kind of funny because it’s 97%, water and 3% sodium hypochlorite.
The sodium hypochlorite is the bleach smell that evaporates quickly, leaving behind what? Water, right, so you’ve just added water to a water problem. And you’ve killed the mold that’s on the surface in the sense that you’ve rented those spores, non-viable, they can’t reproduce. But you’ve also left an environment filled with dead mold. And so mold spores are always in the environment, they land on that wet surface and they eat the dead mold, you actually get something called competitive release, where you actually get a more aggressive, the more aggressive molds will actually rise up because you’ve wiped out all of the the normal background microbes, and now only the strongest survive. And that’s where you end up with resistant organisms, like we see in hospitals. Like Mersa, things like that. That’s caused by this, kill it all scorched earth, kind of antibiotic weapon of mass destruction mentality that’s so pervasive in American culture, our American cultures, America’s ingenuity, or human ingenuity, for hundreds of years has largely revolved around our ability to efficiently kill things. Whether it be the beginning, when we first threw a rock at an animal, right? That was a big win a spear, and then a gun. And then, we learned antibiotics. And then fast, you know, bigger weapons and then nuclear, right, like our ability to kill things is like, that’s where humans thrive. But that pendulum is swinging now.
And we’re seeing that that doesn’t actually work in healthcare. It doesn’t really truly because it creates all these resistant organisms, such as the antibiotics are not gonna work soon. Antifungals are already starting to not work. This is a real problem. So in our indoor environment, what you want to do is you want to stop using antimicrobials in general. There is no place, by the way, infrared mold remediation at all. In fact, the industry standard very clearly states not to use them unless there’s a concern about sewage or something like that, where there’s a bacterial issue, but yet most contractors will still use them, and they leave behind a chemical legacy. So you don’t need to do that. All you need to do is remove the building materials that are affected, and then clean the surfaces, just clean. HEPA filter, vacuum cleaners, wipe down, get rid of all that dust.
Freddie Kimmel 1:03:33
Yeah, I have these images of mine, you know, we had stripped up the wood floors. And we had we had torn down all the drywall and then it had like these air scrubbers in there for like a week. I had luckily, it was such a Kismet story where I had had a guy walking down the hallway. And while they were doing some work on a wall, and he happened to walk and he was like, he’s like you gotta get out of here right now. He’s like, grab a bag, get out. And he knew, he had been through a mold remediation. And he came in and he ended up doing my entire remediation for me. Like I had these guys opening up a wall and I was like, there’s water back there. Let’s seal it up with like bricks. That was my idea. I was going to have literally build a brick wall. I was like, “we’ll will stop the water from coming in.” He was like, “you gotta leave.” And so that started it, you know, for me, but I believe they used a chemical called benefect. Does that sound right?
Jason Earle 1:04:24
Yeah, it’s time oil based. It’s got a very strong smell that really can cause problems for some people. I’ve had clients who can’t move back in, not because of the mold, but because of benefect. So you know, but again, using it to kill stuff. So the thought process is mold only grows if there’s moisture. So people like to use the chemicals as prophylactics that kill it and then but you’re still going to have to vacuum and remove everything. So why are you doing that? Why are you killing it and then removing it. We don’t need to sneak up behind it and stuff it out to make it easier to pull out of the building. It’s not like it’s gonna fight you. So you don’t need to kill it, you don’t need to weaken it, you just need to cut the building materials out and and clean the surfaces.
But contractors think that it’s gonna help them clear. In other words, pass the clearance testing, which is not true, because we’re looking for airborne spores. And we’ll get back to the mold testing in a minute, because that actually kind of dovetails into this. How we verify a mold remediation being complete, and also doing the initial testing. But the chemicals being used during a mold remediation are a real problem. And they add another expense, they add another line item, they add more time, and they add no value whatsoever. And again, they leave a chemical legacy, you can get rid of the mold, but you can’t get that chemical back out of the house. You can’t get rid of that benefect smell. There’s no way, it’s just doesn’t happen. It has to off gas over time. So it’s just it doesn’t make sense. And then it also destroys the microbial diversity in your home. And so when that happens, you end up in that same camp where again, you know, the higher microbial diversity, more spores. The reason this is the case, but let me back up, because I already said that, when you breathe, if you inhale right now, take a nice deep breath.
In a healthy home, you’ll be inhaling hundreds or even 1000s of different species. Right now, in that breath that you just took, you’re inhaling hundreds or 1000s of different species of microbes, bacteria and fungi and archaea, all this other stuff. And with no ill health effect. In fact, on the contrary, what’s actually happening is your immune system is being trained in a hormetic way. These are hormetic stressors. And so these little tiny exposures actually strengthen your immune system to train your immune system that this is what’s in your indoor environment. If we live in a sterile place, or where the diversity is so low, and again, we spend 90% of our time indoors, and we breath this. We’re training our immune system, that this is normal, and we go out into the world, and whether it be outside, or whether it be another building, or even our own building where we develop a moisture problem, our body is unprepared. And then you end up with either an allergic or an inflammatory or a toxic or a combination thereof, response. And so that’s when you end up with all these other things coming to the surface, whether it be your latent allergies are an auto immune disease or cancer or whatever weakens you, mold is the accelerant.
Mold brings it to the surface. But the training ground for this is a healthy indoor environment. So what do you do? You use HEPA filters, you use HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners. But we’re not using those to kill micro… By the way, I also don’t advocate filters and things like that to have a kill claim, that zap stuff, that oxidized things and all this, because it creates other compounds. And what we want to do is remove these things, but we don’t need to kill them. What we want to do is we want to remove pollutants from the environment, not kill them. But a lot of the pollutants you’re gonna want to take out are building material pollutants. Like the paint chips, the tiny little microscopic paint chips that come off the wall that make you have to repaint. Where did those paint chips go? Well, they go into your dusts, and then you know that you can retrain them. There’s something called incidental ingestion, incidentally, where the average person can actually, through their mouth, especially kids and pets, this happens all day long, up to 100 milligrams of household dust you eat every day, just on your hands. 100 milligrams. And so most of that dust is human skin cells, which is lovely, but also it’s tiny little particles from the paint, like I said, and also from like your flooring finish. Like the polyurethane flooring, that’s not good stuff to be eating or breathing. And so the filters that you use are mostly really to get rid of that kind of stuff. Now you’ve taken the microbial diversity down. So you have to open the windows, you know, humans, the word human, the root is humus, which is Earth. So it’s we’re dust to dust, Earth to Earth, ashes to ashes. And so we’re born from it, and then we were supposed to go back to it. But during our entire lifetime, we’ve disconnected ourselves from this.
We’ve disconnected. And the microbes that we need, in our environment are in the dirt, you know, they’re in the earth. These are powerful for our own digestion, your soil microbes are super powerful. And many of the moles that are floating around in the air are benevolent, or at least neutral. You know, out of all of the bacteria in the world, by the way, only about 100 actually cause major human disease 10s of millions of different bacteria. No, but people don’t think about that they think kill it all. Bacteria is a bad word. Mold is bad words. It’s not true. We need to cooperate with our environment, and recognize that we’re a small and important part of it, but we can’t control it that way.
Freddie Kimmel 1:09:35
Yeah, that symbiotic nature that you’re speaking to is it’s followed these principles of nature, with light with temperature differential, you know, we’ve seen this big uprising and people getting in and out of ice, or saunas, but to expose yourself to some of these extremes, which you would, they’re not extreme in nature. Those things exist in the desert and then the polar caps and in cold climates and in Minnesota. And there is this hormetic benefit that’s come up a couple times on the podcast. But this idea of this again, this hyper sterility, I intuit, I don’t know. But I would say many of the people who have committed and are still committed to wearing a mask every day, all day, I would intuit that your propensity to have an autoimmune condition would rise.
It seems like that would make sense to me, I can’t quantify that. That’s not a claim. I’m not a scientist or a doctor. But I would say, what you’re doing is you’re not following the laws of nature, not only in energetics, and a fear based mindset. And you’re just exposure to all these things that you just talked to me about, which are in training my immune system to be better equipped to deal with disease. Just a thought.
Jason Earle 1:10:44
Yeah, no, 100%, and what you Intuit there is backed up in science. We really do need to be breathing in our environment. And the environment should be as close to the outdoor environment, provided that you’ve got nature nearby. This is the other problem with tests like ERMI, which is probably a good segue to go back into that. But you know, ERMI is a static index, that doesn’t take into consideration the age of the building, the location of the building, the setting of the building, whether or not there’s any sort of history.
So in other words, an ERMI test collected in my environment where I’m surrounded by these old growth trees and stuff in Minnesota, I have a lot more spores. I mean, a lot more than I would have had if you pulled an ERMI out of my New York City apartment. But ERMI doesn’t consider that it doesn’t look at that. So you want to use a test that has an outside reference sample, as a baseline, so that you can make a determination as to what’s normal, based upon where you are, not just where you are geographically, but like, the time of day, and you know, you’re mold spores in your house should come from outside. If they’re inside, if they’re coming from inside, then you have something growing. And so this is the whole thing, you want the microbes, you just don’t want them growing in your house.
And so what does that mean? That’s again, it goes back to moisture control. So most of these tests, whether they be the petri dishes, or their ERMI tests, are accessible to the consumer. And so they tend to be very popular, but they also tend to be false positives. I’ve gone in behind an ERMI to maybe a couple 100 inspections, where I was unable to verify the conditions that were predicted by the ERMI. So in other words, going in with living dogs, I mean, going in with the infrared thermal imaging cameras and laser particle counters, and these all sorts of mold detection equipment, and unable to find the problem. And that’s because ERMI capitalizes on the idea that you’re going to pick up a piece of dust in the corner and that that’s going to give you this broad picture of what’s going on in the environment. What it’s really showing you is what’s accumulated in the dust. And that can be coming from lots of different places, especially from outside. And then it concentrates. And so the doctors like to see the ERMI, because it’s clearly that you see what there’s, you’ve got a problem. And remediators love ERMI, because it’s clearly there’s a problem.
But you can’t always find the problem. Because there may not be a problem. The presence of spores in your environment is not a problem. The presence of spores in your environment is normal. That presence of growth of those spores in your environment is a problem. But there’s no correlation between ERMI test and the presence of mold growth.
Freddie Kimmel 1:13:29
Yeah, it’s great. So how do we quantify growth?
Jason Earle 1:13:32
Yeah, so what you want to look for is, there’s a couple different things. Again, if you see it, smell it or feel it. So the smell part is super powerful. So if you smell it, you almost invariably have it. Now there are cases where mold can grow and you won’t smell it. So that’s specifically with stucco construction, and synthetic stucco construction, where it’s in a wall, but it’s outside. The airflow won’t actually make it to you. But most cases where there’s a mold, prominent building of any significance, the odor is the first key.
The other kind of tests to look at is the one that we use, which is what we use professionally. So through 1-800-GOT-MOLD? and mold inspection companies worldwide, use spore traps, which are these round, specially engineered cassettes. Air is drawn through these. If you want to have a professional come over, they’ll bring a pump and a tripod and they’ll collect these samples. And they’ll do an outside sample, again to look at what’s going on in your outdoor environment. And then they collect these samples in the areas of concern.
Freddie Kimmel 1:14:30
Can I just walk back to like the mental awareness around that? I never had a bell go off because I had people do that in the past where like, we got to do your hallway, we want to do outside. You know, we want to see what’s going on in the building. I lived in an apartment complex. So they said that you know the guy who is really holding he’s like, we gotta compare and contrast what’s outdoors. What’s in your hallway, what’s in a vestibule. We even want to look within your parking garage and then what’s in your home. Because we want to make sure that we can, I think use the word culture, like the normal spores that are in the area.
Jason Earle 1:15:04
Yeah, I mean, listen, in apartments in particular, and people hate this, because why am I testing the hallway? Why am I testing the lobby?
Freddie Kimmel 1:15:12
Here’s what I had Jason I had, “why am I paying for this?” Because I was already experiencing I couldn’t live in a home. So I’m already freaking out. I’m like, “Can we skip that one? Does it save me 500 bucks?” Because I’m thinking about like food and bills and rent. So that’s why I had that response, scarcity mindset around money. Calling myself out.
Jason Earle 1:15:30
And this is extremely common. People, they always resist on the outside air sample, because they’re like, “How much is that? Why am I doing now? Can’t you tell from what’s inside?” Well, you can’t because sometimes you have huge sporulations outside and if your building is doing what it’s supposed to do, letting some air in and letting… That will infiltrate and so you need to be able to delete, essentially, what you find outside, from what you find inside. And sometimes especially in apartment buildings, elevators act like pistons to actually go up and down, right? It’s a piston. And they’re lined with sheet rock for fire code. And what also is, you know, specific about elevator shafts is that they go down really deep, right? And so that means that they tend to get water in them. And so they often have sump pumps in them, but they also have sheet rock, it goes all the way down to the bottom. And we already know sheet rock is mold food, right.
So I always joke around that with sheet rock. I mean, if a laboratory runs out of petri dishes, they can go cut a piece of sheet rock out. It Grows mold just as quick. I mean, it really is that mold friendly. And in fact, there’s a study that was done out of the Danish Technical Institute, Burgeon Anderson, she’s fascinated with building materials and mold growth. And she found, through a number of studies, that all the sheet rock that she tested, which was basically all the big brands, they come pre inoculated with mold spores in the paper. In the paper. Not just mold spores, but staphy, bacitracin and chaetomium, and the most aggressive, late stage colonizers, probably because of the way they’re manufactured with recycled paper, and you know, like the slurry and all the dampness associated with the production process.
But the bottom line is that you’re not going to be able to get away from the spores. They’re in the sheet rock already waiting for the right amount of moisture, and enough time to just do what they do. It’s incredible. So the indoor samples, outside of the areas of concern can be very, very important. You want to have a cross section, if you can, as great as you can, of what that gradient looks like outside, you know, where air is coming in the building hallways are notorious, you know, but I mean, they’re closed spaces, there’s not a lot of air exchange and might have a common heating and air conditioning system. So it’s not uncommon for the source of a problem in an apartment to not be in the apartment. You know, like I said, elevator shafts are a common issue. Parking garages, potentially, you know, path of least resistance the air flows right up in. And then, also air gets into your apartment and into your building through every time you turn on your bathroom exhaust vent, or your dryer, the air is going out, right? Well, so we live in boxes. And if air leaves a box, air has to come in the box, otherwise, the box will crumble.
Right? You know what I mean? So there’s a fixed volume of air in a box. Fixed air leaves, one cubic foot leaves, a cubic foot must enter. Think about this. So where does it enter from? Well, nooks and crannies. So if you’ve got bad building materials like formaldehyde, insulation, things like that, it’s also filtering through that. But also air is coming in that is not being conditioned. And so maybe coming into nooks and crannies and maybe healthy air, maybe unhealthy air. If you’re in the city, maybe not so much. If you’re in the country, you might be bringing in some biological diversity. But the bottom line is, every time the air leaves the building, it has to come in. And so oftentimes, if you’re in an environment, that air is coming in from common spaces, right? And so that’s why it’s super important to be able to look at those things.
Freddie Kimmel 1:18:54
Well, yeah, at the time of my remediation, what we found out was that of the 28 units that seven were under remediation. And my guy told me, this is like, dude, I’m gonna redo this home. It’s your first home, I know you love it. You gotta get out of this building. I wish I could tell you that it was all gonna be good. And it’s not because you don’t have control over other people’s apartments, their living habits, their building materials, it’s just apartment buildings are problematic.
Jason Earle 1:19:26
They are and this is why the people who really suffer from mold and air quality issues are the people on the lower socio economic spectrum. And it’s a shame. In fact, mold and air quality perpetuates poverty, because kids can’t learn. And by the way, schools get less funding. If they got low scores. Well guess why they have low scores? Because they’ve got poor air quality. And so they get less funding, which means they have less budget for repairs, and so they end up with worse scores. There’s a vicious cycle there. And the same thing goes with apartment buildings, you know, where these people are living in substandard conditions, they have substandard access to health care. They have substandard education on the subject of air quality because they’re worried about… they’re not at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs they’re at the bottom, they’re always worried about their next, you know, rent payment or their cell phone bill.
So they can’t be thinking about this stuff about organic groceries? Forget it. They’re worried about, like, is there going to be enough at the bodega to have dinner tonight? You know, like, what are we gonna have ramen? You have to think about, this perpetuates. And so these kids who can’t learn and the kids are missing school, and they’re going to the ER for asthma attacks, and the parent has to miss work. And next thing, you know, crime is a necessity to pay the bills. And so this perpetuates poverty and crime in a really profound and significant way. And so it is a haves and have nots kind of thing.
Freddie Kimmel 1:20:45
Yeah. Crime can also just, the need to be seen. You know, the need to be heard when you’re really, really struggling. Yeah. And, Jason, I want to get to your test. Really what it does and the value that it provides.
Jason Earle 1:20:49
Yeah. So we at GOT MOLD? decided to look at what prevents people from getting testing done. What prevents people from taking action, because the number one impediment to getting stuff done, when it comes to mold, is fear. There’s a lot of fear, you know, like, how am I going to find and hire someone who’s qualified, how do I know who I can trust? How do I know if they’ve got a conflict of interest? How do I know if they’re also doing remediation and repairs? Or if they’re gonna manipulate me? And what if they find a mold problem? How much is it going to cost?
Then there’s all this guilt. What if this happened? What if this has been a long time, and now I’ve made my family sick? So they just put their head in the sand, right? This is the most common issue. In fact, that study I talked about, Brown University who found a direct correlation between mold and dampness indoors and depression. They looked at 6000 people self reported that the people who said that they had a mold problem, and also were depressed, they weren’t aware of whether there was a causal link. Or in other words, whether the mold chemically caused depression. We now know that it does in sensitive people from the animal studies. But also, whether there was a disempowerment there.
This is super important, right? They know they have mold problem, they can’t fix it. Well that’s depressing. And then there’s the chemical part of it. So what we wanted to do was create a tool that would allow people to collect their air samples without any of the fear that I just described. How to find and hire someone, and then you know, what if and do I have to get permission from my husband or my wife to do this, right? Because it’s gonna be 1000 bucks are gonna sit on the credit card. Or my landlord, you know, I can’t get someone to come in, because I can’t afford it. But also, I had to get permission. So what we did was we took the spore traps, which is the go to sort of the most common form of air sampling amongst professionals. And we created an air sampling pump that allows these cassettes to be used without having to hire a professional. And so our air sampling pump is this guy. People say it looks like a minion.
Freddie Kimmel 1:22:52
Totally. Something off Star Wars.
Jason Earle 1:22:55
So these cassettes, you take the tabs off, and then you place them on on here, and it runs for five minutes. You’ll notice this is an outside air sample. And then when you’re done, you put the cassettes back into the box from which they came, which is a prepaid return mailer, they by the way, each, each sample is five minutes. So you get a five minute outside sample, five minute inside samples. We have one, two and three room kits.
And once at the lab, the turnaround time is two business days. So the results are fast. Our lab partner was the number one microbiology lab in the country. And then they got acquired by the biggest microbiology lab in the world. So the results are defensible, to say the least. And the report that you get is a really nice color coded green, yellow, orange, red. So you see immediately whether or not you’ve got anything to be concerned with. And then there’s the full lab report itself, which has all the species, specifically the genus level identification. So we can identify all known spore producing fungi. So that covers 75,000 species or something like that. Whereas you know, other tests that we’ve talked about before, like ERMI, cover 36. So there’s a huge, there’s no comparison really.
Freddie Kimmel 1:24:09
Jason Earle 1:24:10
And so we equate this though, to a pregnancy test kit, in the sense that it doesn’t replace the need to go to the doctor. Or if you have a problem, it doesn’t replace a professional in some cases. In many cases, we say they’re not actionable by themselves except for the next step you take. So in other words, what you want to do is use test results from any do-it-yourself test. As a way to inform your next step. There is no do-it-yourself test, whether it be a human diagnostic test, or an air quality test, that you can then take to full action. So like if you have high cholesterol and you get that result. You’re not going to schedule heart surgery or start taking statins, you’re going to go get a workup. Same thing goes with the do-it-yourself test kit, you’re going to want to first of all find the moisture problem. If you have a problem that’s found in the test. Find the source of the moisture and fix that and then find where the mold is growing and to what extent. And if those two things are outside of your area of expertise and experience, then that’s when you want to engage a professional. And that professional is not a remediation contractor. The professional you want to engage at that point is an independent environmental consultant that specializes in mold and moisture issues.
And to use the health analogy, again, you know, high cholesterol test, you don’t schedule surgery, you go to the doctor, the doctor gives you a physical. That’s what an inspection is. An inspection is like a physical for your building. And that physical, that workup, will then give you the information, you need to determine whether or not you actually need to go through surgery, which is what remediation is for a building. It’s like surgery for a building. What we encourage people to do is move quickly when it comes to mold or moisture issues. But most intelligently and methodically when it comes to diagnosing them. Right? And not run into the free inspections, which are very expensive, ny the way. Anyone who’s going to do a free inspection is actually there to sell you something. And then you also want to make sure that you’re not walking into a situation where people are selling you on chemicals, and zappers, and things that are inexpensive, because there are no shortcuts here. This is all hard work. It’s all expensive. And done properly, it’s going to cost.
There is a value there, and there is a cost there. But it should not be something that’s dismissed as some sort of superfluous thing. Because, at the end of the day, your home is your health. If you don’t make that investment in your home, then we will suffer the consequences. It’s a very, very powerful thing. And it’s a cumulative thing, too. This is the most important aspect of this stuff. These are acute symptoms, when you first have mold exposure, the symptoms are acute. They tend to go away when you leave the building. Chronic exposure leads to chronic symptoms that don’t necessarily go away.
Freddie Kimmel 1:26:56
Yeah, Jason, because you had such a long mold exposure as a child, I think you said four to 10 years old. Do you, today, experience sensitivity to mold. You also, as you were walking me through in our initial like, first 30 minutes you were talking about going into these homes and learning from the dogs and where mold exists? Did you ever experience additional symptoms from being in all these moldy homes?
Jason Earle 1:27:20
You know, it’s funny, I get dermal reactions, and sometimes itchy eyes. So I get hives into my fingers when there’s a really bad mold problem. It’s kind of like, I always say the best mold test is you, your senses. Your sense of smell, your sense of intuition. I always encourage people to trust your intuition, but then get the data, you know, like test, don’t guess. But trust your intuition. Because most of the time, we’re right. Our intuition around mold and air quality is pretty powerful. I think it’s a survival trait. I think it’s an evolutionary thing.
Especially women, they have a very good sense of smell. They can pick up a dirty diaper across the room. That kind of sensitivity is actually, I think, is in our DNA. But my experience, in terms of symptoms, is interesting because, again, I mentioned that I was on antibiotics when I was from Lyme disease. And when I was a teenager, I learned that if I eat simple carbohydrates, I would have out of body experiences. I would ferment whatever was in my gut.
Freddie Kimmel 1:28:11
Yes, you would.
Jason Earle 1:28:12
Because, for Lyme disease, I was like on 30 antibiotic pills a day. Biaxin and some other stuff. It was in the early 90s. It was still very experimental. And so I took on a no sugar, no grains diet early. I’ve been doing that for like 25 years. And by the way, most mycotoxins, we didn’t even talk about mycotoxins, most mycotoxin exposure, we could do a whole show on that, is actually through food, it’s not through air.
Contrary to popular opinion. 60 to 80% of imported grains are contaminated with mycotoxins and this is also a very serious problem with wine by the way, beer because these things are left. Tomato sauce, all the crappy tomatoes are piled up in. Applesauce, all these crappy, the apples they can’t sell at the store, they pile them up and they get moldy. So we end up with a lot of mycotoxins through foods that we love. Dried fruits, dried nuts, spices, things like that. So a lot of mycotoxin tests that people get back and they’re worried that their house is the problem. Sometimes it is sometimes it isn’t. But almost always there’s a food source also.
Freddie Kimmel 1:29:07
Yeah, I’m always amazed with how people try to justify that the inability or lack of compliance with changing food sources. I was deeply aware, this kind of happened at the same time when I was like, in the lime and the mold, went through cancer. It was kind of like I was looking at ideal food sources. And basically, my simple one was like, shop from the outside of the grocery store. Don’t eat food from a box. If food goes bad, right? If it’s made to sit on the shelf for a year, it’s not on the pallet. So I just had that agreement. And so I haven’t. 15 years, I don’t diversify. That’s all I do. It’s like I don’t deviate from that plan. That’s kind of the roadmap.
Jason Earle 1:29:48
And that’s perfect.
Freddie Kimmel 1:29:50
Yeah, I mean, listen, it works. I have a reduction in joint pain and symptoms and inflammation and I have good hilarious brain clarity. Obviously not, but I do experience just better living as a result of of eating that way and understanding that those things do ferment. And I actually, you know, I grew up on a farm. And I saw like the hay and the straw and the things that were fed to the cattle were not clean foods. These are mycotoxin heavy foods and then come to find out years later that, you know, one of the first medications that Dave used to talk about with was cholestyramine or welchol, you know, these environmental binders to pull mold and mycotoxins out of the animals just so they could make it to market. And that’s like a whole nother podcast.
Jason Earle 1:30:39
Literally the mycotoxins are literally a whole nother podcast. But to answer your question about my symptoms is that I am not allergic to anything, anything. And I believe that my exposure to buildings going in and out of moldy buildings was like allergy shots. I go into them and I’d leave. I didn’t have chronic exposure. So I’d be in for an hour, maybe two hours. But I’d be outside a lot. Mold Inspection, a lot of this is in the outside of the building, by the way. You’re looking for how things are built and how things can leak. And then, the also the no sugar, no grains diet, allowed my body to not continue to toxify and it allowed it to detoxify. So when I look back at it now, I’m super grateful for all that stuff. We talked about, you know, the podcasts, Beautifully Broken.
The greatest things that ever happened in my life, were, believe it or not, my mother’s demise, because it taught me optimism and showed me a perspective that I couldn’t have learned any other way. And then also, Lyme disease, which showed me how to live no sugar, no grains by forcing me into that. And then of course, the mold exposure, because it’s given me a way for me to reach out and improve the quality of millions people’s lives. You know, that’s the game here is to mine my history for future gold, if you will. I believe there’s a book title that keeps bouncing around in my head, which is No Adversity Wasted. You know, no adversity should be wasted. So no, my health, thankfully, is robust. But I believe it’s actually because of those exposures.
Freddie Kimmel 1:30:44
I love that. I love that reframe. It’s not the narrative of people that go through mold. You know, there’s even these sites that like the mold avoiders, that they’re going to live in some climate where mold doesn’t exist.
Jason Earle 1:32:04
Does not exist.
Freddie Kimmel 1:32:18
Yeah, yeah, that does not exist. For the line read. It’s wild. And I understand you have to work with the body. But I think we also need to take a little bit of ownership. And something that’s helped me in my path and many other people in the mold container, is this idea that the brain after that trauma response from the mold can be wired on a loop. So these small little exposures sends the brain into fight or flight or freeze, and the body is generating the response.
It’s not actually the mold, right? So we go back to the thing of what do we have control over? Nothing, aside from our response to outside world. And that might be a bully, but it could also be mold. And that’s very real. And we’ve shown that through modern day science, self guided neuroplasticity. That’s a viable tool that I think everybody should explore.
Jason Earle 1:33:11
Yeah, no doubt, I met Ben Aaron’s of origin at the conference. And yeah, there’s another group, also DNRS. Dynamic neural retraining system. So there’s a few different purveyors of these technologies out there. And they’re powerful, because you know, that loop, that fight or flight loop, is not recognized in modern medicine as a pathway of mold symptoms. So it’s typically, you know, allergic, toxic and inflammatory. But that fight or flight thing is a really big deal. And this might be a nice way for us to sort of like land the plane. But a lot of people who are listening to this probably have sensitivities. Chemical sensitivities, mold sensitivities, in general, food sensitivities. And I would argue that… and many of them have shame around that. It’s difficult with their relationships.
And of course, there’s fear around that, which causes a lot of that fight or flight loop to exacerbate. But I’ve come to the conclusion that these sensitivities are an actual superpower. That the things that you’re sensitive to are unhealthy for everybody. And it just so happens that you get the memo before them. And so you can then take action. Again, you only control in life, how you respond to the world. So you’re empowered with a message before them that you can reduce exposure. You have the ability to remove yourself and live a healthier life. This is a superpower. This is not a weakness.
Freddie Kimmel 1:34:35
Jason Earle 1:34:38
Overwhelm your emotion, and then you can take action. Then you can start taking steps, empowered steps towards living a healthier life instead of fearful steps away from something, right? You can start moving towards what you dream of and what you desire instead of away from the things that you’re afraid of.
Freddie Kimmel 1:34:55
Beautiful. Jason, where do people go to find your test or more information on your company?
Jason Earle 1:35:02
So we made a welcome page for your listeners here.
Freddie Kimmel 1:35:06
Oh my god. No way.
Jason Earle 1:35:08
Yeah, we sure did, because we have an ebook that we like to share, which has lots of inspection checklists and FAQs and a lot of the myths that we like to debunk all sort of codified within those pages. And so we have a link there for your listeners to download that. We also have a coupon code that we created for your listeners in case they wanted to get a discount. Buy a test kit and get a discount. And so you will find all of that at gotmold.com/beautifullybroken. And then, if you don’t want to go to that page, but you’re interested in a kit, and you’d like to take advantage of the discount, the code is BEAUTIFULLYBROKEN10.
And that gives you a 10% discount on all the kits. And one thing I should mention also with a kit, once you buy the kit, and you submit your samples, you get to keep the pump and this is a tool, that you can use infinitely. And you can reorder supplies for $50 less. So for each one, two or three room kit, which is 149, 199, and 249. You can reorder supplies for $50 less for each configuration, or you can share it with a friend who also is concerned. So people like to do that in apartment buildings, they’ll give it to their neighbor, and they can all test and so this is a way of paying it forward and sharing and enable people or empower people with the tools and knowledge they need to make better decisions about the air they breathe.
Freddie Kimmel 1:36:27
Incredible. I love that idea. Guys, let’s test for mold, I’m definitely going to be using the kit, and testing the space I’m in now. Which, I’ve been back and forth on Instagram with the petri dishes and the ERMI and fogging and having cleaners come in and wipe everything down. And it’s a wild adventure. And it’s something that because I’ve got my history and my awareness, I always want to keep looking at my space to be sure I’m optimizing. Like Jason said, those 20,000 breaths we take in every single day, which is so much. Man, I know that stat, I know that figure. And I think if you got to also consider Jason, if we’re living in an environment with this imbalance of these opportunistic spores that are not our friends, those 20,000 breaths, we’re slowly poisoning ourselves, we’re choosing to do that. Not only that, but like whole families live in homes, right? It’s the whole family that suffers. So it’s just such a great thing that like such an affordable price point. I celebrate what you’re doing. It’s absolutely amazing, like that price point for the data that you get. You know, we talked about what the ERMI gives you, we talked about the numbers, or the insight that we can get for something like this. It’s better information to move forward on hands down. Like nobody really has an excuse at this point.
Nobody has an excuse to be breathing shitty air. I also want to add that just the idea of having a kit that doesn’t just go to waste, this is something that we can turn around and we can use again and again and again, with a cartridge. I love that for the environment. So again, I celebrate your design points. And we’ll definitely do like four or five episodes. I have, in my notes, written just the drywall episode, just the humidity episode of the remediation episode. The remediation of our bodies, right? How do we get these things out of the train once we’ve been poisoned to some degree, which people definitely struggle with. So Jason, thank you for being a guest on the episode and we’ll do another one.
Jason Earle 1:38:33
Freddie, thank you very much for having me. This has been great.
Freddie Kimmel 1:38:35
Awesome. Bye, guys. See him. Thank you for creating a wave of momentum that is driving season five of the Beautifully Broken podcast. My heart thanks you for tuning in. And if you enjoyed today’s show, head over to Apple podcasts. And now Spotify. Spotify is new, and you can leave a review. Five stars if you loved it. And before you go, I have something really important I need to offer. There are two ways we can build this relationship. The first is to join my membership program at buymeacoffee.com/readysetgo. You get early access to all the podcasts, bonus episodes, discounted consults and free webinars covering all the wellness technologies. The second is to support beautifullybroken.world. That’s right. I have a brand new website and new store beautifullybroken.world.
Listen on here are all the wellness tools, supplements, educational courses and products that I absolutely love. Most of them offer significant discounts by clicking the link or using the code. Please know that they don’t cost you anything extra. And at the same time. They do support the podcast through affiliations. What? What’s that? I just got a message from my lawyers, my internet team of lawyers. They wanted me tell you that the information on this podcast is for educational purposes only. By listening, you agree not to use the information found here as medical advice. Do you agree? Yes, you agree. To treat any medical condition in yourself or others. Always consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. Finally, our closing. The world is changing. We need you at your very best. So always take the steps to be upgrading your energy, your mindset and your heart. Remember, while life is pain. Putting the fractured pieces back together is a beautiful process. I love you. I’m your host, Freddie Killam.