Jason Earle 00:00
The point of mold remediation is to restore property to a normal condition where it does not cause ill health effects to the occupants. That’s the goal. Right is a normal fungal ecology not mold free, but free of conditions conducive to mold growth, and that it does not aggravate mold related symptoms or underlying illnesses, that mold will generally aggravate or cause. So, chemicals are a big deal and it’s the entire industry is educated by the chemical companies, unfortunately.
Samantha Gilbert 00:31
You’re listening to Eat for Life, the show that aims to help you identify the root causes of what ails you, so you can heal and live the life you are meant for. I’m your host, Sammie G. Mold and mycotoxins are hot topics these days. After watching several of my clients get taken advantage of by so called mold experts, I decided to dig deeper into my suspicions about this industry and as a result, I met today’s guest who has become my go to expert for all things mold and understanding how remediation actually works. I really appreciate his honesty. He doesn’t hold back and will blow your mind with his vast knowledge and understanding. In fact, we ran out of time, so I decided to bring Jason back on the show for part two airing in two weeks.
We’re talking about what the real enemy is, what the best testing methods are, and what is junk science. Jason also shares how to find a qualified professional and what questions you should be asking if you are considering for mediation. Jason Earle is a man on a mission. He is founder and CEO of Mold Inspection Company, 1-800-GOT-MOLD?, and the creator of the GOT MOLD Test Kit. The realization that is moldy childhood home was the underlying cause of his extreme allergies and asthma led him into the healthy home business in 2002, leaving behind a successful career on Wall Street. Over the past two decades, Jason has personally performed countless sick building investigations, solving many medical mysteries along the way, helping 1000s of families recover their health and peace of mind. He has been featured or appeared on Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, the Dr. Oz Show, Entrepreneur, Wired and more. Thanks for being with us today. Here’s the first part of my conversation with Jason. Welcome to the show. Jason. It’s such a pleasure to have you.
Jason Earle 02:32
Well, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you, Samatha.
Samantha Gilbert 02:34
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the show, because as you know, the topic of mold toxicity is often very confusing with lots of conflicting advice. So today, I’m excited to bust some myths with you to better help those that may be struggling with a mold issue. Before we dive in, I’d love to know what led you to become a mold expert.
Jason Earle 02:56
Well, once again, thank you for having me, this is a genuine pleasure. I’ve listened to your show, and I’ve found some real gems…
Samantha Gilbert 03:02
Jason Earle 03:03
…for doing so and so
Samantha Gilbert 03:04
Thank you Oh, Goodness!
Jason Earle 03:05
…it’s a privilege to be here. My story of awareness around mold was largely accidental. And I think most of the people that I know that are doing great work in this space, come at it from a very personal experience. There’s no academic track for for mold expert, really, I mean, unless you might be a mycologist, which is a whole different ball of wax. My interest really is not so much about mold per sale, though I’m fascinated and, and I know probably more than more than I should about it, but more about how buildings impact our health, right, and the buildings that we live in working and, you know, we spend 90% of our time indoors.
So this is something that everyone’s always worried about the outdoor environment, which is great and we should I mean, it’s clearly that’s a priority, especially for future generations, but but we spend 90% of our time indoors. And that’s just like hiding in plain sight. So my experience that brought me to where I am today began actually when I was about four years old, when I suddenly lost a lot of weight in a three week period and my parents brought me to the pediatrician who said that they should take me to Children’s Hospital, which is renowned respiratory clinic, but I was having a hard time breathing, and again I had lost 30% of my body weight in a very short period of time.
So, Children’s Hospital’s initial diagnosis based on family history and symptoms that I was presenting with was a cystic fibrosis, which was devastating for lots of reasons. Back then it was it was a death sentence, but also because my father had seen four of his cousins perish before the age of 14. It’s a genetic predisposition in my family. So six weeks later, after, you know, my parents cried for six weeks while they were waiting for the second opinion, thankfully, and evidenced by the fact that I stand here at 46 years old, they concluded they did not have cystic fibrosis but rather asthma compounded by pneumonia, which is when I got my first big dose of antibiotics by the way, and also I was allergic to every single thing they tested me for. So, they put me in a papoose or like a straitjacket for toddlers, which is one of my formative memories.
Samantha Gilbert 04:57
Oh gosh that’s traumatizing
Jason Earle 04:58
…how to draw a grid on your back back, and I still kind of smell the smell of the room even it’s really interesting. And then they do this antigen tests on your on your back and my dad described he said I looked like a ladybug, just with a big red swollen back with dots all over it. So it was grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton, soybeans. So like cotton, I was allergic to my clothes, my sheets, things like that. It was a very itchy childhood. And I ended up spending a lot of time outdoors because of unknowing and you know, not not really connecting the dots at that point. But I found that I was just I had more energy when I was outside. I also spent a lot of time with the animals, we had sort of a nonworking farm. So I was surrounded by all the allergens that were on my list. But my parents were really kind of like a tough love type of scenario. They lived on inhalers and my mom was a nurse. So if I wasn’t bleeding from a major orifice, it was never it was not an emergency. And so she just figured I would, I would suck it up.
And I would I would grow out of it, which in fact, when I was 12, my folks split up and we moved out of that house, and all my symptoms went away. And no one said anything about it. In fact, I do recall them saying that they thought I grown out of my asthma as my grandfather had when he was adolescent. And I didn’t think about it again. Until fast forward, I became a stockbroker at a really young age. And I did that for about nine years. And then when I decided to do something meaningful with my life, after the Dot-com bubble burst, I decided to go on walkabout. And while I was in Hawaii, I was reading some local newspapers and some local magazines. And there was one particular story that was all over the news. It was all over everywhere. And it was about the Hilton Kalia tower, which is Hilton’s flagship property on Oahu. And I happen to be there right when this was all happening. And the building had been shut down for about six months at that point because of a mold problem. And this is something I’d never even heard of before. But we’ll call my attention was a story about this gentleman who worked there who claimed that the building had been making him sick.
And that had caused him to develop adult onset asthma, which was something I’d never heard of before, as well as all these sensitivities to foods and other environmental exposures that he had never had a problem with. And so it was like a deja vu moment, like a light bulb just went on. I immediately thought, geez, I wonder if that was the issue with me as a kid. So, I called my father from a payphone which I’m sure isn’t there anymore. And I asked him if he thought there was a mold problem on Trenton road and he laughed at me. He said, of course there was there was there were mushrooms growing in the basement. Why do you ask?
Samantha Gilbert 05:00
Jason Earle 06:03
Nobody wore helmets, you know, it was just, you know, it was a very amazing, we all survived. But I immediately in that moment, it was kind of like, an epiphany, if you will, like, I mean, that’s not an exaggeration, that’s not hyperbolic at all. Because I immediately realized that this is where my interest, this is where my heart was, which was not again about mold, but but the fact that the buildings can make people sick. This is something this is a completely foreign concept to me until that moment. And then I thought, jeez, this is probably an epidemic.
And the more I began doing research, I mean, I went right to the internet cafe, because this is, you know, 2001 2002. And I went to the internet, and I started researching immediately, and I could barely get off that computer. And I just couldn’t find a lot of research. But there were people talking about this. And I began following these people. And I came back to New Jersey armed with curiosity, I began, and I had time on my hands, right, looking for my next career, I began going to universities to talk to the scientists. And I began, you know, getting the books and the textbooks and the building science manuals and to see what was wrong with these buildings. And I ended up taking a job with a mold remediation contractor to learn the ropes from there was no such thing really, as a pure play remediation contractor. They happen to be doing mold, in addition to like, basement, whatever
Samantha Gilbert 06:24
Oh my gosh, wow.
Jason Earle 06:24
And so it wasn’t really much more of my and that’s typical of my father, he very flippant about those things, because they smoked indoors, they smoked even in the car with asthmatic kid not for lack of love, but because of lack of awareness. And that was just the 70s and the 80s. And it was just like, you know, we rode the back of the pickup truck, there was no seatbelts. You know, it was just like, it’s just the way things work.
Samantha Gilbert 08:59
Jason Earle 09:00
And so I rolled up my sleeves and quickly saw not only how things were being done, but how they were being done badly, how the consumers were getting completely taken advantage of, how they’re using chemicals instead of cleaning, and causing other harm as a result of that. And it wasn’t long before I realized that what I needed to do was become an expert in buildings, and understand how these things really worked and how they don’t work and where those points of failure are. And so what I’d started to do was do inspections for free.
I would offer my services to various people, including physicians who thought that their patients were getting sick from the buildings that they were working in. And it just snowballed from there. And next thing you know, I was able to charge for services, and that that Mold Inspection Company, which we called Lab Results, because we use specially trained Labrador Retrievers, to sniff out the hidden mold and buildings, which is a whole nother podcast about that. Then that ultimately became 1-800-GOT-MOLD our Mold Inspection Company.
Samantha Gilbert 09:53
Wow, I just, I mean, thank you for sharing your story with us. I think that’s powerful and I can so relate to that because I, for myself, really struggled with a lot of more mental health challenges when I was younger, and I kept searching, searching, searching. And it’s always fascinating, and I love meeting other people that, you know, kind of turn their pain into purpose, and use that as a force to help other people. And in your line of work, as you shared, and we talked about before we started recording, there are people that are taking advantage of the vulnerable, and those that are really hurting and suffering. And that was one of the reasons that in addition to your vast knowledge, one of the reasons that I wanted to bring you on because I want to talk about the nitty gritty of what mold really is, and what really are the aspects that harmless and so forth.
I really loved it when you said, you know, we’re indoors 90% of the time, and you know, I never really thought about a number, but 90% gosh, that is a lot. And I know, I tried to always open my windows, especially even in the summer just for a little bit to get some fresh air circulating throughout the house. But gosh, you know, if you think about that, how often we are indoors working and behind our computers and artificial light and so many things going on there. So that’s really, I think, significant for our listeners to hear. So Jason let’s dive in. I’m curious, what is mold and and how does it really harm us?
Jason Earle 11:23
Oh, by the way, I rewind for one second, the number 90% is actually a low number. Many of us if you include transportation, or in really extreme climates are in the much higher. I mean, Dubai, there are 99% Right,
Samantha Gilbert 11:34
Jason Earle 11:35
And so yeah, that’s a very, in fact, there’s a great book called Never Home Alone by Rob Dunn, which I highly recommend to anybody who’s interested in the subject matter. It’s eye opening to me, and I’ve you know, I mean, I steeped myself in this stuff. And he refers to us not as Homo sapiens anymore, but homo endurace. Clever, you know, because we’ve really, we’ve really gone from you know, of the Earth to human, the bluebird is humus, which is Earth. And so we come from the Earth and then go back to the Earth. But we are so disconnected from that.
Samantha Gilbert 12:05
Yeah, it’s fascinating.
Jason Earle 12:06
And you know, and we wonder why something like mold, which is a normal part of your environment is such a harm to us when, because we’re disconnected, right? Because we’re disconnected from it. And because of we created these synthetic environments, mold does different things indoors than it does outdoors. It shouldn’t be growing in your home. If it’s growing in your yard, it’s doing its job. If it’s growing in your home, it thinks it’s doing its job. Right. But it’s, but it’s really not so.
Samantha Gilbert 12:29
Fascinating. Yeah, I’m glad that you shared, I definitely I have not read this book, but I will definitely check it out. Well, we’ll link to it in the show notes as well.
Jason Earle 12:36
Absolutely. So we’re where we are, what is mold? Is that weird?
Samantha Gilbert 12:38
How does it harm loss? How does it really harm us?
Jason Earle 12:41
Yeah. So mold is in its simplest form is nature’s great recycler. Its job is to take stuff that was at one time living, particularly plant matter and turn it into dirt. And again, if it’s doing that in your yard with sticks and leaves, it’s doing its job. But if it’s doing that to your sheet rock, or to your carpet and carpet padding, or to your you know, your clothing and upholstery furniture that is probably, you know, not welcome. You know, it’s a seemingly simple organism of highly complex and actually very intelligent. And, you know, mold is part of the Kingdom fungi, which is, you know, 30% of the Earth’s biomass. I mean, it’s, you know, we’re on a mold planet. In fact, mold is so ubiquitous that can fungi produces 50 Mega tons of spores every year, which is the equivalent of 500,000, blue whales. So we’re awash in spores, there’s no such thing as getting away from this stuff. But you know.
Samantha Gilbert 13:31
Glad you said that.
Jason Earle 13:32
It’s a balancing act, as are many things, right. So, you know, mold generally causes us harm. Well, first of all, people that are highly sensitive to it, because they’ve either got a respiratory sensitivity, they’ve got an allergic sensitivity, or they’ve got compromised immune system, mold, even outdoor mold can cause those people harm. Indoor mold the biggest problem with it is that it produces while it’s growing. The spores themselves are specifically harmful to the people that fall within that sensitive population, because you’re breathing in and out right now, every inhalation, you’re breathing in 1000s and 1000s of different kinds of microbes, believe it or not, without any effect. In fact, we need those that keep us healthy, they’re hormetic, they challenge our immune system to stay on on alert. If you lived in a place that didn’t have those, you’d actually probably not do so well, your immune system would not be nearly as abundant. But when it’s growing indoors, this is where you have problems.
So the mold spores, if they have the right comb…, it’s like a combination like the right temperature, humidity, food source, which is basically what we build buildings out of these days, and oxygen, of course. When the right things line up and moisture is the activator, then suddenly you have the spore which sends out a little shoot like a root, and then that starts to send out enzymes and those enzymes begin to digest the material that is going on that it seeks to eat, and you know, dust, sheetrock, paper, you know, all these things, anything that was made of plant material. And when that happens, the byproduct of that digestion is a chemical factory. And so there’s chemicals that come from the digestion, just like our digestion creates gases, mold produces gases. These are called microbial VOCs or MVOCs. And that’s the musty smell that most people equate to the presence of mold growth that used to be considered an aesthetic nuisance.
You know, it’s a basement smell. It’s just, you know, the way grandma’s house smells. The current science has revealed and we can talk more about that later on, about the fact that that is actually a health hazard. The musty smell has a massive impact on people’s immune system, it can cause mitochondrial dysfunction. There’s evidence that it’s correlated to depression. So it’s a powerful, powerful chemical, potpourri, if you will, and essentially it’s the byproduct of decay. It’s ideal for us not to be inhaling the byproducts of decay. Right. And then you also have the mycotoxins, which gets a lot of attention in the news.
Samantha Gilbert 15:51
Jason Earle 15:52
But the reality there’s a lot of misinformation around mycotoxins, only a few of the molds in all handful of molds out of the 100,000 or so that have been identified describe, produce mycotoxins and even those only produce them intermittently. They generally when it they’re threatened, or when they start to go into starvation mode, right. So it’s a chemical weapon that they use on a competitive basis. This is chemical warfare on microscopic level, we get caught in the crossfire.
Samantha Gilbert 16:14
Right? Well said.
Jason Earle 16:15
It’s really interesting.
Samantha Gilbert 16:16
That would make sense. Yes.
Jason Earle 16:16
In fact, some of the chemical weapons that have been used in Iran and Iraq and stuff like that are actually fungal derivatives, like T-2 mycotoxin is actually very similar. Yeah. And they create these in these bioreactors and it’s nasty stuff. But, you know, the amount that we’re getting exposed to indoor environments, generally speaking, is not directly correlated with most of the illness that is blamed for the most of the illness, as it turns out, that the mold produces is actually related more to the microbial VOCs.
Because all molds when they’re growing produce the microbial VOCs, only some of the molds, and even those, again, only produce them intermittently, only some of the molds produce the mycotoxins and so oftentimes, people are chasing the mycotoxin, it’s like chasing the tail, right? You’re missing the point. And so there’s typical allergic sensitivities. And then you’ve got the sort of toxigenic stuff where you know, you end up with a high toxic load, that toxic load can come from mycotoxins and from the VOCs, right? VOCs can make you toxic. And I’ll tell you how, you know that alcohols are voc.
Samantha Gilbert 16:18
Jason Earle 16:18
Right. So just an example, formaldehyde is a VOC.
Samantha Gilbert 17:16
Jason Earle 17:17
So these things are highly toxic. And then also there’s an inflammatory response. And this is typically what a lot of the doctors who treat mold talk about, which is this chronic inflammatory response syndrome, or CIRS. Again, it’s a bucket diagnosis, that doesn’t really there’s a lot of controversy around that. But the inflammatory part is is not is not controversial. So, in fact, what’s fascinating about the inflammatory part is that we’re working with a psychiatric clinic, a high volume psychiatric clinic, that has found inflammation to be present in all of their intake.
In other words, all of their patients come in, with the exception of the ones that have that are coming in for relationship issues, have an underlying inflammation. And there are scientists now they’re saying depression is an inflammatory illness. And I can see how they…
Samantha Gilbert 17:59
I can certainly see that, yes.
Jason Earle 18:00
Yeah. So Brown University did a great study in 2007, connected mold and dampness indoors and depression. Dr. John Bennett, Rutgers does beautiful work in this area, she had a personal experience where she was sickened by her own moldy building, and then she’s a mycotoxin expert, but she knew because she was wearing a mask that she wasn’t getting exposed to the mycotoxins that she was getting exposed to the musty odor. And she went back and started testing the musty odor on fruit flies, they’re genetically modified to glow when they produce dopamine. And when she tested them on them, by exposing them to the musty smell, they stopped producing dopamine.
Wow. So they got depressed. And then they also stopped reproducing, because then of course, they’re depressed, right? The first thing you do is you lose your right, you lose your mojo. And they stop flying towards the light, they started flying hours. And they also develop Parkinsonian like symptoms. So nervous system disorders. And then a subsequent study, on the heels of her work found that they developed mitochondrial dysfunction. So you’re talking about real real problems from one of the chemicals that are found in the musty smell. It’s called a 1-Octen-3-ol, which is a mushroom alcohol. It’s the kind of like the truffle smell.
Samantha Gilbert 19:03
Oh, right. Yes! It is an expensive one!
Jason Earle 19:04
Yeah, you can buy it on the shelf, the shelf. This is like a food additive, right. But… But but again, balance right in life. You know, it’s not what you do some time that matters what you do all the time, when you’re getting exposed, indoors. You know, what people don’t realize is that you breathe 13 to 15 times a minute. And if you do the math, you’re breathing 20,000 times a day. And if you’re doing that, with the same air, you’re not exposed once you’re exposed 20,000 times a day to the same toxins. And so the cumulative nature of indoor air quality because we build tighter buildings these days than we ever have.
Samantha Gilbert 19:43
Yes. I’m glad you brought us the buildings. Yeah, it’s a huge challenge, right?
Jason Earle 19:47
Yeah, so we don’t ventilate enough. We also build buildings out of materials, off gas also. We’re also adding to it. We don’t get enough outdoor air. And so essentially, we’ve created these chemical boxes, where even if you don’t have mold growing, it’s unhealthy. But then when you actually have a moisture problem and mold is doing its chemical production, you know, it’s a literally it’s like an industrial chemical factory. It’s doing this in an environment where that accumulate, and then that’s where people develop a toxic load, right?
Samantha Gilbert 20:19
Right! Yes, yes. I’m so glad you mentioned the newer homes. In fact, I’m looking, I’m house shopping and I specifically said, I don’t want a new home. I mean, I don’t want something from the 40s. But most likely, but I don’t want something that is new, because they fall apart in five years. And they have so many of these issues that you’re, you’re sharing with us, which is, I mean, so many wonderful pearls here, Jason. And I know, we could talk about this, on and on, and the VOCs specifically, you know, and when we think about how many children have asthma these days, how many children struggle with allergies. And then of course, there’s things like ADHD, and OCD, and then how autism is, you know, has exploded, it’s all fascinating how we can bring that back down to environment, but also these, again, newer materials and things that don’t last as long aren’t as well made, and how they start to develop these, you know, challenges. I love how you frame this, you know, in terms of what is actually the enemy. And we’re told that all the mycotoxins are the enemy.
But But again, there’s a lot of nuance to that. And I think that that often can send people in, in a different direction down another road that might not be in their best interest. So again, I’m just so grateful for all this valuable information that you’re sharing with us. I’m curious, can we segue, I mean, I know where it will kind of go back and forth a bit here. But I’m curious in terms of testing now, this is another huge, huge area, as you know. And I love again, that you’re so well versed in this, but testing methods and junk science, how can someone avoid a scam? Like you said, the spores aren’t really, you know, always the issue? What guidance can you share with our listeners about that?
Jason Earle 22:12
Well, first of all, junk science is probably 90% of the marketplace out there, unfortunately and…
Samantha Gilbert 22:18
Jason Earle 22:18
If you want to have your house tested and you hire a professional, you will find that they’re not using any of the stuff that you buy on Amazon, you know, or at the hardware store. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because it’s just not scientifically valid. I define junk science by scientific devices used in an unscientific way, right. So petri dishes are used in science all the time. In fact, they’re used in proper indoor air quality assessments, but you have to have a special kind of pump that pulls air through at a fixed flow rate. And then you have a fixed volume of air. So you, and then you have an outside air sample. And so you do something called a volumetric Comparison, where you compare the indoor air to the outdoor air and the different air in the different rooms. But if you take just one of those elements out, you’ve negated the entire methodology, right? It’s just so a lot of this stuff looks sciency.
But really, it’s more like a sixth grade science fair experiment, right? It’s almost to demonstrate the, you know, basic science, yes, mold grows, you know, like petri dishes of the most prominent, there’s about a half a billion dollars a year with the these things, so they are completely worthless. The all they do is, first of all, the first rule about mold is try not to grow more indoors. And that’s exactly what they encourage you to do, by collecting it and then letting it incubate. But also, those particular dishes only grow fast growing molds, and they only grow the ones that are actually viable or alive. And so they spores that have been our dead are still allergenic and potentially toxigenic. And also, you’re not, gravity doesn’t work equally on spores, right, the light ones stay aloft for days, and the heavy ones are generally don’t even get trained up into the air very quickly.
And so basically, these things are sold to people who have little to no understanding of the way things are done on the professional side. And so as a result, they get taken for their 10 or 20, or $50. And it’s just, and they discard it, because they just realized a lot of people get confused by it. And a lot of people panic when they see, Oh, my God, I’ve got this mold, or I’ve got that mold. But you know, if you want to have your house tested for mold, the first thing I always say is the best test is your senses.
Samantha Gilbert 24:20
Right? Yes, that musty smell.
Jason Earle 24:23
Yeah, if you see it, smell it or feel it. Or if you see something, smell something or feel something, I always say do something. And so I want people to be encouraged to trust their own senses and trust their own intuition. Generally speaking, people know if there’s something wrong with their building.
That’s been my experience. I’ve done this for 20 years, I’ve done 1000s and 1000s of in home assessments. And generally speaking, people know when something’s wrong and even know where whether they’re denial, and whether or not they’re willing to actually look at it and deal with it a whole different conversation. But generally people know. And so I always say trust your senses, but then get the data. And so you know, you’re gonna look for a couple of things. First of all, one of the junk science tests is called ERMI. Everyone talks about.
Samantha Gilbert 25:05
That’s, right! Yes, yes! Mhmm.
Jason Earle 25:07
Yeah. It’s a shame too, because it’s PCR, which is the same, same kind of technologies used for COVID.
Samantha Gilbert 25:12
Yeah. That’s how we know about PCR, yeah.
Jason Earle 25:15
And doctors, doctors love it, because it’s DNA based, and they think they understand it. And they do except for they don’t understand how it’s being misused when it comes to mold. ERMI looks for 36 molds, and out of the 100,000 plus that have been identified and described. And it’s based upon a study of 34 homes.
Samantha Gilbert 25:32
Jason Earle 25:33
Twenty years ago, yeah, it’s just so flawed. And then they also suggest that you vacuumed and dust from two rooms in your house and combine them into what’s called the composite sample, which is immediately takes it out of being able to be a diagnostic tool and puts it into simply a research tool. So they’re looking at the house, not, where’s it coming from, and, and also, the presence of those molds are potentially indicative of a problem, but there’s no context. So in other words, it doesn’t tell you if the house is old, or if it doesn’t take into consideration how old the house is, what the setting is, like, you’re gonna get a different read from my old Manhattan apartment than you would from my Minnetonka Minnesota House, right, because I’ve got trees all over the place here, as opposed to on the 16th floor in the concrete jungle. But yet the test itself doesn’t take that into consideration, the index is narrow.
In fact, it’s like driving down the highway at night using a laser beam, instead of headlights, right, you’re only seeing the one thing that you’re looking at, and at the risk of all the other stuff that you’re gonna run into. And so ERMI is just that narrow, 36 out of 100,000. I mean, it’s even more narrow than a laser beam going down the highway, right. And then the other way that that’s being misused is that people get a single numerical data point that says, you’re gonna get a reading from that. And there are lots and lots of professionals that will tell you that that number is actionable. In other words, that you need to leave the house or that you need remediation based upon that, instead of saying a test is not actionable by itself, no test is actionable by itself.
Samantha Gilbert 26:45
Jason Earle 26:55
I don’t even care about human testing. So in other words, if you get high cholesterol from a blood draw, right? Is that actionable? I mean, are you going to schedule heart surgery? Or you’re going to start taking statins? Probably not, you probably would be well advised to go to a doctor and then get a workup and say, well, what does my high cholesterol mean? Is it familial? Is this genetic? Right? There’s a million different reasons why you might have high cholesterol. But so that one test is not actionable, except for the fact that they should lean you towards taking some action. See, like, you don’t have a path from that, except for the fact that it’s forward. Yeah, right. And so the same thing can be said and should be said about all mold testing. Mold Test, just acumen tests are an attempt to find clues, to give you information to help you make the next decision not to make big decisions. Right?
Samantha Gilbert 27:29
Absolutely. I’m glad you said that.
Jason Earle 27:57
Lawsuits moving. You know, all that stuff like that is not to be those decisions are not to be made, without ideally a qualified, experienced specialist to help you navigate what the data means. And then look below or peel the layers of the onion away, like I like to say, to see what their core or underlying issues are, specifically moisture issues in the building. So mold testing, again, goes back to the mycotoxin. Looking at the tail, what we’re really looking to do is figure out where the moisture is coming from. Right. So mold, mold is not a mold problem, mold problem is a moisture by mold is the symptom of a moisture problem.
So when we’re doing testing, and we’re focused on the spores, or the mycotoxins or even the musty smell, but if you use that kind of a test, you’re still missing the point, if that’s the thing that you’re focused on. The moisture problem is the problem that needs to be diagnosed, corrected, and then the byproduct of that are the damage that was caused, both in terms of the damage to the materials that have gotten moldy, and the contamination that has caused because mold spores, like the fire round are designed to break free, and then go forth and prosper. Right, that’s the mold has done that very well. That’s its evolutionary advantage is that it flies anywhere, you know, and it comes along with us. It gets on our clothes, it’s on your glasses like mine, that’s on the face of your watch, just waiting for the right environment to reproduce. And so testing should only be used as a way to get closer to the root cause, which is where’s the moisture coming from? And then what’s the extent of the contamination that might have been caused, so that you can then include that in the overall scope of work? In other words, the cleanup efforts, right.
And then you might also find from testing that you know, that you’re not exposed to as much in that area versus this area. And this might give you some peace of mind, and it might give you a chance to, you know, maybe you’ll spend more time here while the work is being done over there. And there’s lots of reasons to do testing, but it’s you know, is this mold so you might do a surface sample if you’re not sure that it’s valid, but not what kind of mold they’ll kind of mold doesn’t really matter except for to figure out what kind of moisture problem you have because product moisture create different kinds of mold.
Samantha Gilbert 30:00
Yeah, so no challenges. Yeah, I, I’m remembering I had a specific client that I worked with a few years ago. I said, can you because she was having making progress, but not as much as we wanted. And still having just kind of a subset of bizarre symptoms, and other family members weren’t being impacted, but her daughter was as well. I said, can you just move out for a week or so maybe stay within in law, a friend and let’s just see how your body responds. Well, everything cleared up and like a week.
So I said, okay, well, we know this is an environmental issue. And now, let’s start to, you know, do some of this deeper work of figuring out what was actually going on in your environment. And, and that’s when they she and her husband, you know, brought some people in they ended up having to move, unfortunately, but just a simple, you know, something free, you can do, go stay with a friend for a week, see how you feel, see if the, the symptoms are changed in any way. And I think that right there can be a good starting point
Jason Earle 31:04
Samantha Gilbert 31:04
Just to yeah, to get some kind of assessment along the lines of having to hire someone, Jason, I’m just really curious, how can someone find a qualified professional? What questions should they be asking? How can people start this process?
Jason Earle 31:21
Well, one thing I would encourage people to do is realize that, when you’re looking for a qualified inspector, you should really think about this as if you’re looking for a doctor.
Samantha Gilbert 31:31
I love that.
Jason Earle 31:32
It can have an even greater impact on your health, quite frankly, you know, again, we spend 90% of our time indoors and and mostly in our homes these days post COVID. Yeah, and so, your indoor environment, again, going back to the 20,000 breaths, and the breathing, and you know, the constant exposure and reexposure, really understanding the impact of your indoor air quality, and the quality of your indoor environment has is probably, you know, they used to say food was the primary cause of chronic illness. And there’s enough evidence, and I’m working on meta study where we’re taking a look at all the different and it looks to me, like we may actually be seeing that air quality is the leading cause of, or at least an aggravator of most chronic illness.
Samantha Gilbert 32:11
Yeah, I would agree. Yeah.
Jason Earle 32:12
I mean, you that it’s very close to food, or it’s right above it. And so it’s profound, because this is the this is the pollutant. This is the stuff that’s hiding in plain sight, right under the tip of your nose, right, you know, of the four basic human needs, if you think about it this way, you know, air, water, food, shelter.
You know, food we do a few times a day, maybe if you’re intermittent fasting, maybe less, but you can live for three weeks without food, you can do three days without water, you can do three minutes without air, but people spend so much time worried about their food and their water, and they aesthetics around their house but the air is this is an afterthought. And it’s like many things, you know, you don’t think about it until you don’t have enough of it. It’s like money. You know, it’s one of these things that it’s so impactful. But it’s like, we’re like fish in water. Fish don’t know they’re in water, right? They don’t know until they’re out of it…
Samantha Gilbert 32:58
Jason Earle 32:58
…that they really need it. And so we have a similar sort of blind spot when it comes to our air. So when it comes to finding a professional, one of the best ways to do it is if you can if your doctor actually some some professionals are really good at marketing through physicians, that was actually what really, that’s what we we’ve always done. So ask your doctor, if you’ve got a specialist especially. But a lot of times, unfortunately, the mold doctors are really firm on ERMI. And they’re sending people to inspectors that are using, yes, and then you’re in a really bad spot, because ERMI that whole thing if you’re one of the questions you want to ask, and I’ll get into that in a second.
Actually, let me first of all, your local Department of Health is also a place to look, they will often have a list of environmental consultants that specialize in indoor air quality. I know that’s the case in New Jersey. And once you find one, you should obviously check you know, BBB and Department of Consumer Affairs and stuff like that. Definitely. The other resource that’s good is ACAC.org, which is a certifying organization for indoor air quality professionals. And they have various different designations, you can find a certified mold inspectors and things like that. But there’s a certified indoor environmentalist certification that CIE and CIEC is an advanced one, I tend to find I’m not one of those, but many of my friends are. Those are generally well rounded professionals that have a deep interest in this.
Samantha Gilbert 34:16
Jason Earle 34:17
And so in terms of questions, you know, you want to obviously ask what’s it going to cost. And so the big red flag is free inspections.
Samantha Gilbert 34:26
Like that you said that.
Jason Earle 34:27
You know, in also, there’s the flip side of this is you also don’t want to spend too much. And what I mean by too much is the average mold inspections probably going to cost you $1,500, including lab tests. If people are quoting a lot higher. Again, those people tend to be using ERMI and other tests that are not just questionable, they’re actually harmful, and that tend to skew highly towards false positives. I can’t tell you how many ERMI tests I’ve been called into investigate where there was no underlying cause and I’m using mold sniffing dogs and, you know, like, if we can’t find it, no one’s gonna find it right.
Samantha Gilbert 34:27
Jason Earle 34:27
We’re using it for a thermal image. Trying to find moisture issues. And we spend a lot of time at home. I mean, it’s not uncommon for us to spend half a day during an inspection. And so that’s another question is how long is the average inspection? You know, how long are you on site, because you want someone who’s going to take the time, because if you show up to our house, every single inspection I’ve ever showed up to, I felt like I was starting fresh. I have to get familiar with this building.
Samantha Gilbert 35:24
Jason Earle 35:25
You know, there’s a certain degree of sort of acclamation for the inspector, you know, he’s gonna walk in with his own senses, or her own senses, and, and sort of immerse themselves into this environment, and then follow a protocol, hopefully, that will mean a methodical way, lead them around to become aware of where the problems are in the building. And so that comes with experience, which is the next sort of couple of questions, which is, how long have you been in the business? How many homes have you done? How many remediations have you been involved in?
How many have been successful? What’s your average pass rate? And what’s your average fail rate. We fail about 30% of remediation projects, then we come back and we just keep contractors accountable. But on the first pass, we fail probably about 30%. Nobody likes to hear that. But guess what, that’s the value that a qualified inspector will bring is that they will keep the contractors accountable. First of all, they’ll help you find a contractor, they should at least, but not one that they have a financial relationship with, right, which is a big deal. So like independence is another big deal. You want to make sure that they do not do remediation. So do you also the remediation repairs? And do you have a financial relationship with now they may may lie about that? Right? I mean, if they’re…
Samantha Gilbert 36:37
Certainly unfortunately, there’s… yeah. Sometimes it’s hard to know. But and there’s certain affiliations, right. And some of them seem to be a little questionable.
Jason Earle 36:47
The certifications and the…
Samantha Gilbert 36:48
Jason Earle 36:50
…the you can buy a certification, you can take an open book test. And so the certifications are kind of not even worth the paper they’re printed on. But if people rely too heavily on their acronyms, I let all my certifications go a long time ago, because I refuse to play the game with that and said.
Samantha Gilbert 37:05
Yeah, I’m so I’m so glad you said that. Yeah.
Jason Earle 37:09
It doesn’t, it doesn’t validate me as a professional, what validates me is we have…
Samantha Gilbert 37:11
Jason Earle 37:12
…20 years and 1000s of homes. And I can tell you that how many remediations we’ve done and you know, and I can show you the testimonials and the doctors who you know, we’ve got evidence of success, but as opposed to –
Samantha Gilbert 37:22
The database, basically.
Jason Earle 37:24
Yeah. And we specifically specialize in dealing with sick homes, which is another point is that a lot of remediation, a lot of inspectors and this is a good question, too, is how much of your business is insurance based and how much of its health based?
Samantha Gilbert 37:35
Jason Earle 37:36
Home inspectors need not apply, by the way? So, you know, is this your full time job? is a real question, you know, is this all you do? Or is this are you also doing home inspections? And are you also doing, you know, roofing, and what I mean? Yeah, how much of your indoor air quality work is, is mold specifically, and how much of its commercial versus residential? Commercial inspectors are common Environmental Consultants, but residential, they’re hard to find, and, you know, the quality ones, because a lot of residential inspectors and remediators are, you know, snake oil salesmen. And hey, you know, I hate to say it, but…
Samantha Gilbert 38:09
Well, it’s common, unfortunately,
Jason Earle 38:11
It really is. So, you know, and to your point, certifications are mostly junk. So you really need to ask the questions like, you know, your experience, how many houses? Have you done all these questions that have been asking? And then also, what kind of testing do you do, and if they say ERMI is a primary, I would say that that’s a red flag.
Samantha Gilbert 38:27
I’m so glad you said that.
Jason Earle 38:29
And I would also say anyone who says swabs is also a red flag, because swabs, all they do is tell you what’s on the surface. And by the way, you can swab any surface and find mold spores, that means you can culture mold off of any surface. So what does that tell you, it tells you the same thing that petri dish should tell you, which is the mold is ubiquitous, and that it will grow in a petri dish as it’s designed to do.
Also, the kinds of testing you don’t need to know what kind of mold you have, it does not change the way you get treated, no matter what it’ll tell you even though people tell you about the binders, and all this stuff, you truly don’t need the kind of mold you have does not change the remediation protocol, it does not change anything, it’s information that’s useful to understand the nature of the moisture problem. Because some molds are indicative of a chronic dampness, and some of them are not. And so that’s more of an understanding that the consultant should be aware of so he can help to correct that and really understand the depth of it. But again, you know, like, I look at buildings as an extension of your immune system.
Samantha Gilbert 39:22
I love that that is so true.
Jason Earle 39:24
They’re exoskin exoskeletons. And as you start to realize that, you know, we’re depending on the building, but the building depends on us. Buildings actually don’t have an immune system. They’re kind of a system of systems. You could even argue that the HVAC system as long as in this circulatory system is a plumbing, and you could go like, you know, anthropomorphize this a little bit and have some fun with it. But when you realize that the building doesn’t have an immune system, and then you realize wait a second, though it ties it to you.
You’re the building’s immune system. And so then when the building develops aches and pains, by the way the building has a birthday and potentially a death day and its longevity is largely driven by your the way you care for it. So and then when it goes aches and pains, the first thing usually is a moisture issue. And that moisture issue shows up as mold quickly, by the way, within 24 to 48 hours of a moisture problem, mold will begin to grow. And at 72 hours, you’re pretty much cooked. So you have to act quickly with these things. But the thing that’s interesting to me is that when I started thinking about the building as a body like this, and you realize that we’re the immune system, and you see the aches and pains develop, and the first thing that shows up is mold. The mold sends a signal which is the musty smell.
So maybe mold is not the enemy, maybe mold is actually sending you a signal that something’s wrong. Maybe there’s a benevolence there, right? It’s actually giving you a warning and that first round of molds are actually generally just allergenic. These are called primary colonizers. And they all released this musty odor. And so it’s a lot like inflammation in the body will get mold as inflammation in the building. And, and so you’re getting the signal and just like if you don’t listen to your inflammation in your body…
Samantha Gilbert 40:56
Jason Earle 40:57
…that becomes chronic inflammation, which is its own disease. And so if you don’t listen to the signals, the musty smell that comes from that acute moisture issue, that first round of inflammation, you will end up with chronic dampness, which is leads to these toxigenic molds. Stachybotrys doesn’t show up until the very end. That’s the one. And the toxins are used to kill the original molds. It’s a very, it’s and so that’s the chronic dampness. And so that’s chronic inflammation. And again, that’s its own disease. And so there’s a philosophy here, which is that there’s a symbiosis really between you and your building. Absolutely. And when you recognize that, you know, people love to need their cars and their boats and stuff. What about your house, you know, like it’s got its own doesn’t do well without us. And we don’t do well without it. And so recognizing that mutual dependency, I think is something that we would all benefit from.
Samantha Gilbert 41:43
Yeah, and that care being so critical. Thanks so much for being part of today’s show. If you’re concerned about mold in your home or workplace, you’re not alone. Moldy environments are a common problem. And something I see frequently in my clinical practice, there’s no shortage of mold testing products available. But sadly, the vast majority are junk science and almost always come up positive for mold, even in normal, healthy environments. Something Jason and I talk about extensively in today’s show. If you’re interested in testing your environment and getting the answers you need, Jason is offering my listeners 10% off your gotmold.com Test Kit purchase. I’ve personally used this kit and really like its ease of use, and the data I received was really helpful. Go to godmold.com/eatforlife, and use coupon code eat for life 10 at checkout. As an added bonus, Jason is offering his step by step handbook, how to find mold in your home, and inspect your home like a pro. Not everyone needs a professional inspection or can afford one.
This easy to follow guide will show you where to look what to look for and if you find something what to do next. It’s got inspection checklists, FAQs, and lots of other great resources. You know, I loved when you said in the beginning the difference between different types of cleaners and, and what was really viable and what really isn’t. And you know, the toxic chemicals that are used and how those can create their own sets of problems. But when I think about what we can do on our own, as homeowners, or you know, even if you’re you’re renting, but just in the care that you take the types of you know, cleaners that you use, how you in that sense, take care of the environment, that dust and so forth, you know, what dusting versus dry dusting and opening windows and so forth, there’s a really small minut things that we can do that just like with a healthy diet, right?
Take care of your body with a healthy diet, exercise, take good care of yourself, and you’re gonna get more mileage out of your body. So it stands to reason that that is going to also applied to your home, and how well you take care of your home. So can we talk about some of the chemicals that are used just briefly, I mean, I’m always, whenever I’m around some of these things, I immediately think of, you know, what’s going on with my endocrine system. And, you know, how is this going to impact my hormones? And, you know, it’s just, that’s always my big concern. And I think that there’s a lot of confusion in that in that sense as well. Don’t you think? Yeah, for the consumer.
Jason Earle 44:21
Yeah. So I’ve got kind of a way I’ll go there. I’ll go by way of there are a couple more things I wanted to mention about professional and that also dovetails into chemicals. So one of the things you want to ask is what remediation standards you follow. And that goes into the chemical thing, and that’s why I bring it up. So there’s one standard, there’s lots of different guidance, EPA and New York City Department of Health and but really, there’s the IICRCS520.
Unfortunately, you can’t find out what’s in it unless you buy it and then it’s like very dense, professional language. Okay, but the contractor should be certified and trained in that and not just the firm But you should actually make sure that the foreman if you ever have to go through remediation, the foreman and the workers have been trained. And that’s not a given. So that’s very important when it comes to the inspector side of things. And then we’ll get into the chemicals, very important that you ask if you’ll get a full written report with observations and recommendations. So I mean, like, I want to know what you found. And I want to know what you suggest I do in terms of repairs? And then will I get a scope of work, which is a detailed step by step plan on what needs to be done. And then that includes clearance criteria, all the inspectors are hating me right now. But this is the way it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to get… Yeah, you’re supposed to get that’s…
Samantha Gilbert 45:36
That’s what you’re paying for.
Jason Earle 45:38
That’s what you’re getting into clear criteria says, How do I know when the job is done? You know, what, what are the standard, you so you know, for us, it’s no visible moisture, no dust in the work area. And, you know, normal fungal ecology, in other words, you know, not sterile, not, but also no, no visible mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth.
Samantha Gilbert 45:56
Jason Earle 45:56
And then you also wanna make sure there’s a written interpretation of the lab data, because the lab data is written, you know, it’s for scientists, by scientists. And then you also want to ask kind of what lab they use. If they’re using labs like pro lab, then I would say, you know, that’s not going to work. There are a bunch of labs that I would say don’t work and lab P and K, your event homerun, you want to make sure that they’re spending money on good analysis, because not all lab reports are created equal. But so that’s in terms of how to find a qualified professional.
Samantha Gilbert 46:23
That’s important, yeah thank you.
Jason Earle 46:25
Chemical Singh. So chemicals…
Samantha Gilbert 46:28
That’s another huge topic.
Jason Earle 46:29
Huge topic… And it’s a bone in my craw and a drum that I found all the time. And essentially, in short, there is no place for chemicals in mold remediation, zero, except, and this is very shocking to most people, except in the case where you are concerned that there might be bacteria, because of a moisture source that has contamination, for example, sewage, if you’ve got a sewer burst, or a toilet overflows, or even in cases where your washing machine overflows, there’s a lot of nutrients in a washing machine that would support funky stuff. If river river water gets into your house, that’s going to have potential bacterial contamination that could proliferate ocean water.
And so the the industry standard for that it’s called the S500 Water Damage standard. It’s also by ICRC. And they break that down into clear water, gray water and black water. And so you know, clear water anytime you got clear water, you know, there’s really no place for but even so it’s still sanitizing, you’re sanitizing to kill the bacteria, you’re not doing it to kill mold. Killing mold is not necessary. It’s not like something you sneak up behind it and snuff it out before you wrestle to the ground and drag it out the door. You know, mold remediation is removal. So you remove the affected materials that can’t be cleaned sheetrock, carpet, carpet, padding, ceiling tiles, upholstered furniture, things like that…
Samantha Gilbert 47:49
Jason Earle 47:50
Clothing, yeah, you remove those things. But you do that in a very special way you do that what you containment and negative air pressure. So you do this in a bubble kind of like ET right et phone home, it should look a little bit like NASA isn’t like there’s plastic and guys and Moon suits. And they’re taking precautions to keep contamination from occurring beyond the work area, but also to protect themselves. And so you know, the root word of remediation is remedy, right. And so if you really think about what that means, that means you’re fixing something, that means you’re fixing the water problem. It doesn’t mean if it were if it were mold killing, then it would be eradication.
And that’s not the term of art, right? The term of art is remediation. So you’re remedying the underlying cause, which is always the moisture. And so it’s cleaning, not killing, no chemicals, no chemicals, no chemicals, no chemicals. And by the way, I talk to contractors about this all the time, and they are insistent well, the what are you going to clean with? Well, I mean, put it this way, there was a study done recently with COVID. And they use the surrogate virus because they’re not testing this stuff with live COVID viruses, but they use a surrogate virus on a non porous surface. It was marble tabletop right marble counter, and they cleaned it with a damp cloth, just a damp cloth like a microfiber cloth with just water versus various different antiviral solutions. And you know what they found out? No difference.
Samantha Gilbert 49:10
I know you were gonna say that. And I’m so glad you did because in my gym they’ve got the little spray bottles everywhere and they’re spraying them in the air and I hate them. I hate them. I cannot stand them. I’m like, get that thing away from me.
Jason Earle 49:22
It’s bad news!
Samantha Gilbert 49:22
It is bad news. And I want to know if people understood please, please, please.
Jason Earle 49:27
We’re creating chemical lightsabers.
Samantha Gilbert 49:28
Yes. Thank you for saying that.
Jason Earle 49:30
Yeah, especially the hotels. I want to I’m having a hard time staying in hotels now. Because I know what they do every single time someone walks out, they walk in they spray wide spectrum. Let me tell you something, read Never Home Alone or even a fabulous book called The I Contain Multitudes by Ed Young.
There’s a inverse correlation between the microbial diversity in your home and asthma and allergy. So houses that have more microbes. I’m not saying it’s not growing just a diversity. Have a lower incidence of asthma and allergies, especially With children, and so the clean does not equal sterile. This is an important point, right? Clean means free of debris. Sterile is free of all living things, right? It’s your killed everything.
Samantha Gilbert 50:14
We wouldn’t have our immune systems if we did that.
Jason Earle 50:16
We are microbial. We are hola biotics, we are we are a super organisms, we are 38 trillion human cells, they used to say it was like 99 to one, but the numbers have been refined. It’s more like one to one or 36 trillion human cells. You know, you have more microbes in your stomach than there are stars in our galaxy. And so but we do a wonderful job humans, our primary skill set is learning how to kill things.
So whether it’s antibiotics, or nuclear weapons. This is what we’ve specialized in and it’s coming to roost. Yes. And this is showing up in autoimmune diseases and the prevalence of severe allergies. Yes, again, we’re human humus from Earth. And we’re disconnected from this. And so there is no need to kill stuff in the process. And by the way, these chemicals, you clean up the mold, you spray the chemicals, you can’t get rid of the chemicals, they do not…
Samantha Gilbert 50:25
Amazing. That’s the thing, right?
Jason Earle 51:06
Yes, you can’t remove those, you’ve just now added in many cases of toxin. And I don’t care if you’re using thyme oil based stuff, there are remediation, chemicals that are used that are supposedly mold killers that the smell like thyme oil, and those cause all sorts of problems for people that are sensitive, because a lot of times molds are chemically sensitive, and they’re sensitive to fragrances too. So you know, the house becomes unlivable. But you’ve gotten rid of the mold. And so you know, what was the point of this, the point of mold remediation is to restore property to a normal condition where it does not cause ill health effects to the occupants. That’s the goal, right is a normal fungal ecology, not mold free, but free of conditions conducive to mold growth, and that it does not aggravate mold related symptoms, or underlying illnesses, that mold will generally aggravate or cause. So chemicals are a big deal. And it’s the entire industry is educated by the chemical companies, unfortunately.
Samantha Gilbert 51:07
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Jason Earle 51:29
Yeah, it’s the same. It’s the same kind of thing that contractors are educated by the Building Material companies, which by the way, are chemical companies, right. And so that’s how we learn how to build buildings. And that’s how we learn how to how to do remediation. It’s by the chemical companies. And so that’s a big part of what I try to do here is raise awareness about that very thing.
Samantha Gilbert 52:24
Yeah, just so loving this conversation, because we’re not told this, you know, unless we have someone with your expertise and your many years of knowledge and skill, we’re going to think, you know, the opposite is true, we need to get in there with all those chemicals. But the chemicals are what are causing the challenge. And I liken this to like you mentioned antibiotics a couple of times, I have so many people come in my clinic, that have been given massive amounts of antibiotics, and other medications, and the vaccine schedule that’s so high now and children, and they’re really struggling.
And it’s heartbreaking. Because there’s this, again, conditioning by the pharmaceutical industry, that we have to have these things to be healthy. But actually, you know, we need to be in balance with our environment, like you so wonderfully stated. And that balance comes with not trying to just get rid of everything and get rid of the bacteria in your gut. But, you know, understanding that there is this important relationship that needs to occur. And this also reminds me of things like chelation therapy, and, you know, so many things that just stripped you and then you just feel I mean, your hormones are impacted your neurotransmitters. A lot of the ladies that I work with, they say yeah, I just feel kind of dead inside, you know, I just don’t have any real feeling. Because everything has been, you know, sanitized basically.
Jason Earle 53:54
It’s absolutely true. And you know that your gut brain, right three pounds of three pounds of microbes in your gut, you strip that out, your you know, your serotonin is produced there, your GABA is produced there. And so you know, you can’t and by the way, a lousy diet will throw that off balance too. So you don’t just have to take antibiotics, you can just live on a high glucose or a high glycemic diet. And you’ll have all sorts of wacky stuff going on with your serotonin in your GABA, and it has nothing to do with your brain. It’s your gut, the microbes produce that stuff, your B vitamins, you know, like, these are our friends. And if we keep getting in there and trying to clean house, you’re unqualified, you know, and the doctors are unqualified. These are weapons of mass destruction.
Samantha Gilbert 54:32
Jason Earle 54:32
you know if they truly are and thankfully that awareness is now coming to the clinic, but it’s scary still how liberally these images showing up in our water supply? Because we’re, you know, because there are there. GE just recently released a water filter and one of the bullet points is removes antibiotics, removes pharmaceuticals. Why would we have that in our water except for the fact that we’re taking too many of them, you know, and are affecting our wildlife and, you know, it’s just really unbelievable.
Samantha Gilbert 54:57
So many downstream effects too. Something that doesn’t have to be there to begin with.
Jason Earle 55:03
Totally, I mean, you know, and we’re also eliminating our body’s ability to do the normal things it’s supposed to do and fight the fight. You know, if we keep leaning on a crutch like that, eventually, you know, your body’s not gonna be able to do what it’s supposed to do on its own.
Samantha Gilbert 55:15
Yeah, and unfortunately, I do tend to see that as well. That’s why we always encourage parents, if you notice a challenge in your child, you know, please bring them in as soon as possible. And I don’t mean, the conventional kind of system protocol. But, but if you can find a really good holistic practitioner that understands what we’re talking about how the body comes into balance, again, our connection with nature, you know, real food, not food that comes in a box, you know, your child can be a completely different individual. It’s really fascinating. I’ve been able to see that I’ve been blessed to see that so many times.
Jason Earle 55:55
100 percent. Yeah, we could do another podcast on that my son was born with no microbiome, and we’ve been supplementing him with frozen, B infantis. went from being able to barely hold his head up to being completely robust, and he’s transformed. So that was that was it supplementation of a very specific micro. And the doctors all said you shouldn’t give a baby bacteria what, you know, like just the…
Samantha Gilbert 56:16
What is in the vaginal canal when a baby comes out of the vaginal canal. I mean, I mean, it’s insane. What’s in mother’s milk? Yeah, I mean, you know, the whole recall, you know, the formula, the recall of the formula, or maybe it wasn’t a recall, maybe it was more, it just wasn’t available. And people were going online and saying there are other options, if you’re not able to breastfeed, and there was such a backlash. And I thought, wow, this is really sad. We’re talking about whole foods that are coming from healthy animals that can nourish our children.
And we’re saying it’s a crime, farmers are now being threatened with jail time and fines, because they are selling direct to the consumer, their own animals and their vegetables and growing them in a way that our ancestors did at one time, so that they’re really truly healthy animals, and they are being prosecuted for that. And it’s really sad. So…
Jason Earle 57:16
It is it is, but I’m optimistic because I think these conversations, you know, good news travels fast, bad news travels fast. All news travels fast these days. And I think that the awareness, people who are pursuing this, people who are thinking about these things, are thinking more and more about them every day. And so I’m gratified by the fact that people seek us out for this kind of this is it? You know, I can’t keep up with it, quite frankly. And that’s not always been the case. 20 years ago, this is a push market, I had to get out there and let people know what was, you know, that we were around?
Now, man, I’d have to, I could hide in a cave. And people would find me, you know, like, it’s so that’s a transformation in our culture that’s remarkable. And again, I maintain a buoyant optimism about that, even though, you know, you still see the the ignorance, this seems to be a black cloud over at all. I do think those clouds are passing, I think this will be common knowledge soon.
Samantha Gilbert 58:07
I agree. I agree. And that’s why the show is so important to me, and bringing on experts like yourself, and, and being able to share information that is kind of sorta out there, but not, you know, mainstream, so to speak, like we want it to be so that people can make healthy choices for their families, and really know what they’re getting into. And that’s why this whole concept of mold and the home environment and so forth is so important. Jason, is there anything else you want to share with us? You know, do we want to revisit VOCs? Or is there anything else you want to share? Um, did I miss anything? I mean, obviously, there’s so many different topics, we could go into another time. But..
Jason Earle 58:46
Yeah, you know, I think we’re here on Eat for Life. Right. And one of the things I want to talk to comes to mind right now is that people will always ask me about detoxing, and the first thing I always say stop toxing. That’s the first step. You know, so remediate, filter or relocate just to, you know, get yourself some space. But also, this is a really important point because we’re on a food podcast, and that is that most mycotoxins don’t come from your air. They come from food. They come from food. Yeah. That’s true. So everybody’s worried about their mycotoxins. They get their mycotoxin test from whatever practitioner they’re using. And they think immediately well, it’s got to be my house, it’s got to be my workplace and they go on this wild goose chase. And fascinating study United Nations a while back said 25% of foodstuffs are contaminated with mycotoxins and so a very well intended group of reputable scientists went looked at this and said, is this true? And they found that at Port anything that’s especially international foodstuffs, so about 10 10% have mycotoxins, but upon receipt between 60 and 80%, wow, and specifically on grains, and so this is another good reason to consider a no sugar no grains diet.
Samantha Gilbert 59:13
Amen to that.
Jason Earle 59:18
Especially if people are struggling with this because is a you’ll find it, you’ll feel better anyway. And that was a powerful thing for me in terms of my detoxing, I believe in retrospect, I did this not knowing any of this, but it was super powerful. And so when people are worried about their mycotoxins, they should start looking at their corn chips and their been their stuffs in boxes and bags and their cabinets. You know, it’s Yeah! And especially anything that’s International, domestic is much lower concern. But the international stuff that’s coming over and shipping containers, man that’s 30 days on ocean, you know, like, that’s a long time to be in a non in an unconditioned environment.
And so, you know, people often ask about supplements and binders and stuff like that. And I always say, you know, they’re different for everyone. And they should be done only with the care of a specialist and not always necessary. If you can change your diet and remediate your house, you enable your body to do this on your on your own, a lot of people do much better without having to mess around with ioannes. And these kinds of things. You know, the other thing is that the VOCs are a real issue, manmade VOCs, as well as mold VOCs. And there’s evidence that is pointing to the idea that, you know, 40% of the US population has asymptomatic non alcoholic fatty liver disease. Did you know that?
Samantha Gilbert 1:01:09
Yeah, it’s crazy.
Jason Earle 1:01:10
It’s insane. It’s insane. Right? And you have to ask where that’s coming from? Because it’s pride. A lot of diet.
Samantha Gilbert 1:01:17
Diet. Yeah, it’s gonna say processed foods. Yeah.
Jason Earle 1:01:19
But VOCs too, right, you think about makes how we process VOCs, we excrete them, you breathe them in, you scrape them, there’s some interesting work being done for voc exposure, which would be a urine or a blood sample, to see what you’re exposed to occupationally, for mold and for VOCs. So you’re filtering this stuff out, you’re concentrating this stuff, so so it’s not just mold, you know, broader on a much broader basis, you know, being aware of your air, you know, and the impact of it, it’s not just your upper respiratory, it’s not just this general malaise or the fatigue, or this is potentially impacting your liver. You know, it’s a really big deal. And this is something that’s, you know, just under the radar for most people. So, anyway, I think that…
Samantha Gilbert 1:02:01
I’m glad you said that, thank you. I just, I’m always telling the people that I serve, especially regarding grains, if we can kind of go back to that a little bit, what you just shared, but also, oh, the glyphosate and now they use it as a desiccant. And, I mean, it’s just used in every stage of food production. And then there’s all this cross contamination with other things. And I just say, if you can get rid of that, live on organic vegetables, find a local farmer, get yourself, you know, really good quality meats, you’re gonna do great, and you’re gonna feel great. I agree with you. It’s just fascinating what we can do, just simply by changing the diet changing, you know, having proper water filtration, you know, again, we talked about filtering the air. Now, these things cost some money. But as you know, when you spend the time actually focusing on prevention, and making that a part of your lifestyle, you certainly save yourself a lot of time and money down the road.
Jason Earle 1:03:03
No doubt. No doubt about it. It pays huge dividends. Huge.
Samantha Gilbert 1:03:07
Absolutely. So I’m, I’m just so glad that you’re, you know, you’re touching on all of these things. And, you know, now they’re pushing, I’m sure you saw this Jason, and now they’re pushing insects as a food source. And they’re full of parasites and bacteria, and they’re full of things that aren’t good for us. And there have been studies already that were done. I didn’t realize how long this has been pushed for. But some studies that had been done, I don’t know, maybe five or six years ago, maybe you saw this already regarding the potential challenges and illnesses that they’re seeing with insect consumption. But now because you know, eating meat is supposedly so bad for us and so bad for the environment. They want people to start eating insects.
Jason Earle 1:03:55
Right. And the same thing with pea shoots, or pea protein. These could be on bird this is, you know, yeah, the vegans are so concerned. And and listen, I think there’s something to be said philosophically about eating less animals and all that stuff. But, you know, if you want to create monoculture, mass monoculture, you know how many animals have to kill in environments you destroy? You kill a lot more animals eating a pea protein based burger than you would eating a cow. Absolutely right. And then also all of the nonsense that comes with what you have to do in order to maintain a monoculture in terms of, you know, homogenized, you know, all of the chemicals, and it’s just you can call it organic all day long. But that’s also kind of a
Samantha Gilbert 1:04:34
That’s a trap.
Jason Earle 1:04:35
Yeah, it’s a trap. And so, so yeah, no, I mean, this is the you know, the unintended consequences of living out of alignment with nature. You know, nature will generally try to redirect us but at our peril, right. I mean, you know, this is we need to all recognize that we have to live in buildings, but we don’t need to live in them 24/7 and we need to get closer to nature and also respect the fact that, you know, molds not always the enemy mold may be telling you something’s on whether you’re building, right, you may actually be getting a signal there. You know, fungi is the Earth’s communication system, you know, under the ground, and it’s also the Earth’s immune system. Look at the power of mushrooms, right? They’re incredible at whether you talk about medicinal, every kind of medicine, right? Every single mushroom has a medicinal quality. And so fungi in general is actually probably our friend. And if, if you can embrace that idea and not vilify the mold and recognize that it’s our imbalances that we’re creating an environment conducive to its growth, we’re inviting, it’s already here.
Samantha Gilbert 1:05:12
Jason Earle 1:05:34
And so if you look at it that way, then when the signals come up, you can have less fear and more motivation. And recognize that, you know, there’s benevolence to all this stuff. This is not just this is not a we don’t need to kill everything, right? We need to embrace these things. I think there’s more, you know, I hate to say sounds so woowoo. But, you know, you got to learn to love these things. Because…
Samantha Gilbert 1:05:55
Jason Earle 1:05:55
Mold is a fact of life. We live on a water planet, you know, like is that 30% of the Earth’s biomass? And if we can embrace that, then I think we can, you know, first of all, more love in the world would go a long way. Absolutely. Even towards mold.
Samantha Gilbert 1:06:07
Absolutely. Well said well said. Well, thank you so much, Jason. I again, I… So I appreciate your time and your knowledge and your wisdom and sharing all of that with us today.
Jason Earle 1:06:17
Thank you for having me.
Samantha Gilbert 1:06:19
I trust today’s show was an eye opener for you. It sure was for me. Please join us in two weeks for part two, we’ll be talking about VOCs air purifiers, how you can test that the problem has cleared and so much more. I believe sharing is caring so I have a favor to ask. If my show is helpful to you. I would be so honored if you would leave me a review in iTunes so more people can find me. It is through sharing that we create community. Eliminate guilt and shame and bring about healing. Thank you in advance for taking five minutes out of your day to support my show so others can find me. Don’t miss an episode of Eat for life. Make sure you hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast player.