Wed, Oct 19, 2022 1:27 PM • 47:34
Summary from the host:
Human beings have 4 basic needs — air, water, food and shelter. Food and shelter have long been commodities. Water is joining the list with the wealthiest people in the world acquiring underground water rights to ensure they have water to drink for their family. What happens when air becomes a commodity as well?
This idea didn’t strike me until California was besieged by forest fires on an annual basis. Two years ago, I was invited on a VIP trip to China. I brought a mask to wear while visiting one of the most polluted cities in China. Fortunately, I didn’t need it. However, I returned to the worst air quality in the world in the SF Bay Area.
Join me for an important conversation on the air we breathe, what impacts it’s quality, and how it impacts our health with esteemed guest, Jason Earle.
Allergic to nearly everything in his environment as a child, Jason’s asthma was so severe that he was initially diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Absenteeism due to a battle with Lyme disease, and his mother’s suicide, ultimately led him to drop out at 16 and get a full-time job at the local gas station. This is where most stories end, but in an almost miraculous turn of events, from a chance meeting, in mere months, Jason found himself working on Wall Street.
Within a year he had unwittingly become the youngest licensed stockbroker in history at age 17, resulting in a Guinness World Record, going on to enjoy a nine-year career. It’s a story you will have to hear for yourself.
mold, people, building, thought, problem, air, called, big, moisture, pessimist, kid, life, world, left, home, jason, couple, mom, caveman, parents
Welcome to the evolved caveman podcast. I am Dr. John, the guide for your heroic journey towards greater health, success, and most importantly, happiness. And now on with the show. Hey everybody, this is Dr. John back with another episode of the evolved caveman podcast.
And I’m not really sure how this one is gonna go today, I can tell you that I’ve spoken with Jason several times. I really like his story. And so I was kind of thinking that for all of you, amateur epidemiologists, or beginning MDS or, you know, psychologists or health, those of you who are interested in health, can you solve the case, as Jason shares his story? So, Jason, I’m not going to give any bio because that would give it away. But why don’t you just go into telling us about your story?
Sure, John, first of all, thanks a lot for having me on the show. Here, my pleasure. So usually, the best place to start is in the beginning. So let’s, let’s rewind a bit. When I grew up on a small non-working farm in central New Jersey, just outside of Princeton, about five acres and we had a bunch of different animals, my mom likes to rescue unwanted animals of various sorts and kinds. And, around the age of three and a half, almost four years old, I suddenly lost a lot of weight. And I was having some difficulty breathing, and also the reactions to various different foods, and it was just sort of an emergency.
And so they initially brought me to the pediatrician who said, You need to take him to the hospital, in his children’s hospital. And my mom being a nurse knew that wasn’t a good, a good sign. And so initially, based upon my family history, and the symptoms that I was presenting with, they diagnosed me with cystic fibrosis, which was devastating to my parents, because back then, it was a death sentence. And my father had lost four his cousins to the poor for the age of 14 to see if so it was very, very, very close to home. And that’s, I think, largely why, they jumped to that conclusion, but so my parents had spent the next six weeks crying while they waited for the next appointment for the second opinion.
And they were relieved to find out that I did not have cystic fibrosis evidenced by the fact that it’s here 45 years old. But, but actually, what I had was asthma, compounded by pneumonia, which by the way was my first big dose of antibiotics a tangent we could take if we so choose, and then and I they did it at Battery a battery of allergy tests on me I don’t know if how they do it now. But back then they did it with a straitjacket for toddlers they put your boots on, you know with an open back and prick your back with prick. Your picks are different substances, all these antigens and my dad said I looked like a ladybug. Just a big red swollen back with all these dots on it.
And so I tested positive for every single thing they tested me for every single thing. And so they concluded that I was a bubble boy. And that, you know, I was going to have to strip my sheets on my bed and a plastic whole thing. You know, so I was allergic to grass, we call it this is the shortlist grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton soybeans growing up on a farm surrounded by all those things and more including soybean fields and cornfields flanking the property. You know, like I was a Washington stuff. And so I lived on inhalers. And by the way, my parents both smoked too. And so And back then, of course, this is the eighth I’m 45 So that was 176 And so the 80s there wasn’t a very high-level awareness about these things, but
I remember smoking in the cars with kids in the car, remember? Yeah, and when the windows down what’s your problem?
It was a different world. I mean, parents would be brought up on charges for what was normal back that either so you know quick stop kid hits the windshield or the dash Oh, sorry, Bobby, shake it off.
Exactly. It was interesting. Now we’ve gone the pendulum has swung pretty far the other way now. I think we were our daughters have seat belts. Yeah, and we replicate and bubble wrap you know we cry or get a bruise or you know, it’s unbelievable. And so I was basically told to suck it up. I spent a lot of time outdoors which believe it or not even with all those allergens around seemed to be better for me. I spent a lot of time actually you know I don’t like trying to get away from the house.
So the property and Russia in retrospect, I thought that was because of the family dynamics but maybe there was something else in Do it if my body was telling me, but anyway, I, through a series of events that happen in the following years, including my mother’s suicide when I was 14, which was not a surprise, and was, which was a truly transformative experience for us. But most people probably wouldn’t think I look back at that now as, as the thing that made me who I am. And in many ways, and it’s hard to explain this to people who haven’t been through it or haven’t, haven’t really had the time to look at it, I think her suicide was the greatest gift that she gave me.
And, of course, I would give anything to have her back now. But I wouldn’t want to rewrite history. And you know, I think that I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, who talked about success. And he said, You know, I don’t even know what that means anymore. And I said, Well, Artie, I think about this a lot. My feeling is your success is when you wouldn’t want to be anybody else. wouldn’t trade your life mission, anybody.
And it’s interesting to me, Jason because you said that, you know, your mom’s suicide was a gift. And that immediately made me think of post-traumatic growth as opposed to post-traumatic stress. And I love that thought that paradox that emerges from post-traumatic growth, which is, you know, my struggle is produced something of value by being more vulnerable, and at the same time, I’m stronger and more resilient.
I’ve never heard that term. I love it. Thank you. Thank you. Post Traumatic Growth. Beautiful. Yes, no. And I think that that in many cases, I think that that can be a decision. I think sometimes it can be so overwhelming and may or may not be something you can decide.
Well, I think it’s the difference between why me versus what am I supposed to learn from this? Yes, there’s, there’s a mindset there. And I’ve always wondered whether that’s innate or not. My parents were both pessimists. If I thought my father still lives, and if he’s listening to this, he would agree. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, and I think sometimes you rebel or emulate and I certainly rebelled against my mom was obviously a pessimist.
And there would be a defendant saying, I’m not a pessimist. I’m a realist. Right, right. Right. Nora and it’s true.
Yeah, yeah. And then they do actually have to be more accurate I’ve read enough Seligman to know that pessimists are actually more accurate in their assessments of things. But, but but but I’d rather live a longer happier, more fulfilled life than optimists. Yeah, so call me delusions, but not a choice. Exactly.
So it’s a choice that I make willingly. If I’m going to be delusional, let me be delusional. Happy. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So that that that happened, and at that time, actually, I had my parents had just divorced and I had just moved out of the house. And, and I no longer have many of those, those issues. Suddenly, the heavy breathing and a lot of the wheezing, abated, and I was having less trouble with food. And my energy was improved. I was thinking more clearly, although I still had difficulty with brain fog. When I ate refined carbohydrates.
I think it was a byproduct of the antibiotics. Well, I now know. And then about a year after that, I got Lyme disease, or at least I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, another big thermonuclear dose of antibiotics. And, and so because of my mother’s death, I was also a pretty recalcitrant teenager. At that point, I was pretty pissed off, I had been I’d gotten pissed at the world for a while. But in the interest of full disclosure, I was also experimenting with quite a bit of psychedelics.
And, and I think during that time, that incredibly concentrated periods of tumult, the divorce of my father, leaving my mother for, for my most recent accent, mother, and all these other things, you get the point. And, so, I had been fortunate enough to be, like I said, you know, experimenting with psychedelics, and I had witnessed the magic of the universe and the connectedness of it all. And I was able to have a glimpse into, that perspective, enough times, to recognize that that was more true than the lies in the shares that were being that I was that was permeating my reality. You know, and
I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways, the biggest positive takeaways you can have from psychedelics is that visceral realization and understanding of the interconnectedness of all things.
And it truly stays with me to this day, it is the thing I remember having some epiphanies during that time, right after my mom died when I was still dealing with a lot of Lyme disease stuff and the despair and you know, all that stuff went away. And you know, I can tap back into that now and it’s one of the great gifts of that kind of trail. It’s gratifying to see that the world has opened up to that it’s a useful tool for medical use. So, so my disease, suicide, you know, all this stuff.
My school basically pulled me in and said, Hey, listen, you miss too much school, you’re gonna have to repeat your junior year, I was in January of my junior year, and they pulled me in to tell me I was gonna have to stay for the rest of the year and then come back and do it again. And I was like, Hey, listen, let’s just look at the facts. Your folks, you don’t want me here? I don’t want to be here. Why would I do that doesn’t make any sense, right? Like, let’s do something after. And so the conclusion was that I was going to drop out. And I was, I had at that moment realized that there’s no greater revenge, the massive success.
And so I decided I was going to get my GED a year early and go to community college, I was a very poor student because I did not care about what was going on at school. But in this particular case, the motivation rose up in May. And so I called my dad from a payphone which probably isn’t there anymore, and said, Hey, listen, you know, I’d like to drop out. And he said, Well, I’ve been waiting for this call, you kind of knew that was coming. And I told him what my plan was. And he said, Well, in that case, I will support that. He came down, and sign me out. And I was walking across the parking lot with him on the way to the car.
And he said, Where are you going? I said, Go home with you. He was like, well, you are, you’re a man that you’re going to work. So I turned 90 degrees, and I walked to the gas station where I was a part where I had part-time hours and told the owner that I needed some full-time hours. I told her why. And she immediately fired the guy that was on the pump. And she gave me that shift. She thought that was inspiring enough to say all back, yep, you know, you got she knew what I’ve been through. I’ve been working there for years. And little community gas station, you know, I start working there were two pumps. And that turned into this big bedroom community. So a cute little town.
And anyway, the bottom line is that, while I was I ended up having more fun pumping gas, because in New Jersey, you know, it’s illegal to pump your own gas. So it’s like a little bit of a gas jockey mafia. And so I was making more money on tips than I was on my hourly, whatever it was $6.25 or $6.75, I think was the minimum wage back then. And I was changing tires and checking oil and all this stuff. And that came in with a flat tire. And as BMW, really obnoxiously big, big personality, they did that roll down the window. It smells of breath, beautiful wife, beautiful car. And at the time, I thought, Man, he’s doing something right, you know.
And so anyway, he tells me the iris flat, but it was and he wanted to have some air put into it. And I said, Well, I could do that. But it’d be flat again before you know it, you know, give me if you have a minute I can, I can probably fix it for you. So he said, Well if you can do it fast. There’s some money in it. So I said, Cool. So he rolled over to the pump. And I saw a nail sticking out which I pulled out, repaired, and filled with air and then said five bucks, and he slapped some cash man and sped up. And I looked at my hand it was a $50 bill, which was a lot of money at the time I’d worked 10 hours, you know, or thereabouts. And so I thought for sure he was going to turn around and come back. Right? This is the small-mindedness of a 16-year-old. And instead, I didn’t see him for another two weeks. I approached him and said, Hey, listen, I don’t know if you remember me. And he said, Of course, they do. Jason Right.
Which is like the first rule on How to Win Friends and Influence People. So lesson number one, he remembered the kid at the gas station’s first name, you know, I didn’t remember his name. And he gave me 50 bucks. So he was you know the thing. So but then I said, Listen, I don’t know if you realize that I gave me a $50 bill for $5 repair. And he goes, Let’s because I didn’t have 100 I was like, Okay, well, I feel like I don’t know, I feel like I owe you a favor. It’s not that he goes to get it. If anything, I would have missed a meeting.
And if anything, this is a good investment. This is a good investment I owe you a favor. And I said, Well what do you do for a living? He said, I work on Wall Street. So we’ll have a get me a job. And he said, Well, you’re gonna get in life would you ask for us or write down my number and call me by 9 am Tomorrow don’t ever bother calling me at all. So I said okay, to get a pen and start writing on my hand and he laughed at me because he rolled up his sleeve and he saw I saw stock quotes all over his arm, you know?
And he was kidding. It fits right in. So anyway, that story is kind of you know, I ended up getting recruited to what be what was one of the early 1990s boiler room, penny stock firms called Hannover, Sterling, notorious Medan in flames is very, very dramatically. I was this young kid. Lo and behold, just by virtue of a complete accident, I ended up getting my sock broker’s license there, and I unknowingly became the youngest licensed stockbroker in history with a Guinness World Record as a result of working amongst truly dead If thieves truly like the talk about the boiler room, Wolf of Wall Street, those are those guys. And Ben dumps games and yeah, it
was it a bad bunch of bad guys? I didn’t know any different I thought that Merrill Lynch I mean, it was this So how old were you when you got your stockbroker’s license? 17 Wow!
Yeah, 17 And and immediately started managing money and I had an I had a really nice career I left that firm because it’s all behind the curtain. And Nick because I was so young they let me behind the curtain they called me boy wonder when I did well and boy wonder when I didn’t but I was like their adopted son adopted little brother. You know, these guys were really bad guys really took me in and they protected me. And so they let me in and I saw enough to know Oh, that I needed to leave and I did. And I left unscathed and they all got in trouble.
And I was unscathed because I was just a kid. I didn’t have a big business. I was just figuring out what was what, what was going on there. And I ended up having a really nice career after that ended up getting recruited by Mario Gabelli self-made billionaire out of a car parking lot, which is just, I do pretty well in garages. And, then also on my own firm for two years. But I decided one day, I was not having a good time.
But after the.com bubble burst, I really lost faith in the stock market. And it traded basically down or flat for the next 10 years. But I left for other reasons I left because my mom’s voice kept echoing in my head about service. I’d done some volunteer work for Operation Smile, some international missions fixing you know, I was the youth sponsor. So I took care of the kids, who got selected from the local Operation Smile groups, and then got brought on these missions. So I was basically in the clear?
Yes, a cleft lip and palate work they do. And I’ve been involved with them for a very long time. They’re a wonderful organization, I highly recommend any operation smile.org They do beautiful, beautiful work, beautiful. It’s a wonderful family, the McGee’s that its life-changing work, beautiful stuff. And it’s one of those things that you could put an X amount of, and $750 billion was the last number I remember. And you can transform a life and then that light has met the ripple effects, which is beautiful. And you know, without that surgery, many of these kids either die or are social, you know, estranged.
So anyway, that really stuck with me because I would do these missions, and I’d come back energized, but then I take a vacation, and I come back tired. And work was no longer fun. I used to look at it as an adventure. And one day I woke up and I wasn’t having fun. So I want to walk about I just saw, I walked away from the firm. I literally pointed tons of stuff in a backpack and sold everything. I woke up one day, I was just literally not that unhappy that I just quit that day. And it was a binary thing I was going from excited to not.
And it didn’t take long for me to recognize that I needed to make a very serious change. So September 11 happened immediately. As soon as I quit. September 11 happened. And so it was a book and for me, it was actually it was just locked in that decision. And I took a train across the country through Canada, from New Jersey to LA but through Canada, and it was beautiful. Had a wonderful time with a journal and some CDs.
I’m dating myself and, and, and a collection of Emerson essays and I just thought and read and talked and met with people and stuff on the train. And it was and I was you know, I ended up flying to Hawaii from LA. And I was you know, just old enough to I could still stay in the youth hostels and not be the creepy old guy but I had a couple of bucks, you know, Wall Street so it was great. And I read a lot of time on my hands reading in local newspapers.
And there was a huge problem, a huge mold problem that was discovered in the Hilton Kalia tower, which is the flagship property, Hilton’s flagship property in Waikiki Beach. been shut down for a couple of months when I got there. But the story that caught my attention was a 40-year-old guy who was an employee there 40 something-year-old guys suddenly developed all of these allergies and adults onset asthma, adult-onset asthma, something I’d never heard of before.
And he blamed the building, he blamed the mold exposure. And for me, it was like a deja vu moment because for any of your listeners who haven’t figured it out already, right? I immediately thought geez, I wonder if the house at all on Trenton road was making me sick. So I called my father from a payphone which probably isn’t there anymore, either. And said, Hey, Dad, do you think we could be in a multimodal trend road?
And he just laughed at me. He goes, of course, we had mold. We had mushrooms in the basement. Why do you ask? And I thought she was the flippancy the way he responded like it was just a non-event. Of course, he had mold, right? He’s not thinking I had a child that was on death’s door at four years old. Well, maybe the environmental conditions in the house might have been a factor. That’s No, but again, they’re also smoking in the car with the windows closed, or falling on the way home from the cystic fibrosis diagnosis. It’s just the way it’s just the wayside for lack of love. It was lack of visits was very stressful for them. So for the cigarette,
yeah, it probably they probably stopped and had a martini on the way home with me in tow.
And then yeah, and then
they were like this, the fourth would have been too much. Yeah. Yeah. Who would want to drive like that? No.
Then I’m obviously drunk.
If you can’t find the keys you probably shouldn’t drive. Right. So, so I ended up but, you know, just immediately from that moment, I was on the phone with him. And it was that light bulb moment. You know, we’re I immediately became fascinated with not mold, but how buildings impact people’s health. We are farsighted As humans are farsighted, we are so busy, what’s worried about what’s going on in the world, somebody was going on the neighbor’s house.
So be busy and worried about all these things. But the stuff that’s right under the tip of your nose hiding in plain sight we often overlook, and air quality air in general, as one of the four basic human needs is literally hiding in plain sight. It is the single most important thing that you can focus on. You could argue in fact, CDC says that 90% of chronic disease comes from food. And I think that that’s a gross overestimate. I think I think that if you do the math, and we’re working on a big meta-study, food is major right behind it. And the data may even slightly clip it air is, is the cause or aggravator of so many chronic illnesses, all the stuff that you think respiratory illness, but also things like chronic depression have been linked. Well,
if I can jump in there for a second surely was driven home to me in the past few years. You know, I live in California. And we’ve just been besieged annually by fires. And I remember I went on a trip to China, and I bought, you know, this high-level air mask to wear in China. So I was going to one of the most polluted cities in the world. And I went there, and the air quality was pretty good. And I didn’t even use the mask, I come home.
Now in San Ramon Danville Alamo, we have the worst air quality in the world where you can like the sky is just red and orange. And you can see bits of ash coming down from a fire. It was like 100 miles away. And we actually had to leave our home and go down to Southern California near the beach for a couple of weeks, just so we could breathe.
It’s crazy that we had that in Minnesota from those fires. We were not. Oh, yeah, hours away by plane and we were getting that. Yeah, you know, I mean, it’s crazy, ominous is that it was ominous. But it was also seen that that’s one of the things I always say that, you know, you don’t realize how important areas are and so you don’t have enough of it, or if it tastes bad or smells bad. And at that point, it’s too late, right? As you know, the four basic human needs are shelter, air, water, and food. And I said it in that order.
Because people always forget about shelter being human need, it’s truly a need. This is not a luxury. We’re like hermit crabs, we don’t do well without our shells. And that interest in how buildings impact people’s health inspired me to get interested to figure out how the buildings work, and then how these things occur, and how the defects occur. And along the way, when the more I looked at it, the more I was, I was amazed by how little research was being done, and how few people were focusing on this. So I got into the mold business before there was an industry if you will, and I came back from Hawaii armed with curiosity and took a job working for a mold remediation company, which actually made me sign a non-compete.
Because I was not interested in really staying there. I was interested in learning. And I was clear about that. Right. But right around, I was seeing that these guys were just doing really shoddy work using a lot of chemicals, often leaving the houses sicker than they then they found them causing houses to be more dangerous even but disturbing these things and not not not not removing them properly. And so I thought that there might be here a really interesting opportunity to create a company and inspection company that would focus on a not no conflict of interest policy.
So in other words, we have no financial relationships with remediation contractors. And all we do is detection and remediation consultants. So we go in and we basically insulate the consumer from the scurrilous thugs that dominate the mold remediation industry. And if anyone here is listening is in the mold remediation industry.
And you’re offended by that. I’m sorry, but you probably are nodding your head in affirmation as well, because it’s pervasive. It’s unfortunate there are very few contractors that do the right thing in this face because it’s easy that it attracts a certain level of sort of fear-mongering and so the bottom line is created this company heard about a guy who trained mold-sniffing dogs, right around that time, which was just crazy enough to be brilliant.
Ended up getting one of the first in the world, but her name is Oreo and she and I were doing incredible work finding hidden mold in people’s houses when I first got her actually before we actually had any wind beneath our wings, channel six Action News descended upon us to try to debunk us I didn’t know that I thought we were getting a new feature. She was coming in to try to debunk us since the products half hit mold.
And we found it in a few minutes and instead of getting bumped endorsed us. And so we ended up with oh, I didn’t even have an LLC setup really. I just got Oreo and my phones are ringing a couple of local doctors refer some patients to me because without knowing me just because they were sick, sick, and tired of dealing with the same patients that had this recurring issue. We went in a couple of these and turned into Good Morning America episodes. We got to get invited to do Extreme Makeover Home Edition. And Dr. Oz was just been on and on and on into
Testing. I mean, I, because I think some of the listeners out there, might have some doubt about a mold sniffing dog, and yet, I mean, there are dogs out there that obviously bomb-sniffing dogs, but there are dogs that can detect cancer, diabetes, low blood sugar. Sure, um, COVID. Now, yeah, it’s, it’s amazing what they can smell and detect.
And also, they learn unlike any other tool in my toolbox, which had actually degraded over time or requires calibration, Oreo, and all dogs I end up having a number of dogs, but Oreo was my first one. And my last one actually, I haven’t had since she passed away. Six years ago, I never got another one. I couldn’t really do it. She was more of a bond than I could have ever bargained for. And so but she learned she knew what we were doing. She understood what her objective was.
And so we used to be we’d follow this pattern. And eventually, one day, she changed the pattern. So then she started taking me to the biggest problem in the house first, and then we’d start and do the whole pattern. And so she reinvented the game for me. And she was just such a wonderful one. And so it was inspiring. Also, the fun part about this was that my mom loved rescued animals and Oreo was two times on doggie death row before she was rescued and trained 3000 hours at the Florida Canine Academy.
So and actually, in a strange turn of events, I got Oreo on March 3 was the date day my mom died, it was the day it was the date that was on her adoption certificate. And, she died on January 10. My mom’s birthday. You can’t make that up, right? I mean, so literally, the birthdays that this put looking around the two most important roles in my life. And so I met that I’ve had these beautiful boys with. So so the thing about air quality that’s so important is that we spend 90% of our time indoors, and everyone’s worried about the outdoor air, which we have no control over.
And you deal with people that are disempowered, it’s the root cause so much to so much unhappiness in this world. I mean, you know, I’m a recovering alcoholic, and disempowerment and feeling unempowered or powerless, is a common thing you hear in the 12-step rooms. And, so it was interesting to me about air quality is that it’s a place where you can actually find empowerment, because, unlike the outdoor environment, what cannot control the indoor environment is your domain.
And if you’re willing to make the investment in this, and it’s a relatively small investment, considering the dividends that it pays, you will have short-term, medium-term, and long-term benefits, you will extend your life.
Okay, this is not a medical claim, it’s a medical fact, if you just look at the data you will extend your life and the quality of your life, barring any accidents, by simply investing in good indoor air quality. The opposite is also true. Your failure to invest in this particular area has consequences that are so dire and so severe and can happen on a short-term, medium-term and long-term basis, that you’d be a fool not to do the math and simply say this is something that requires more of my attention. And that’s the idea that I’m trying to bring people to to be more aware of their air, right, you breathe 20,000 times a day. How many of those are conscious, thoughtful breaths?
Yeah, very few. And it’s interesting. I mean, I, as you’re talking, I’m thinking about, okay, so this is our air in general in our house or apartment or condo, whatever it is. And yet, we can’t even get people to not pollute their lungs with cigarettes and vape pens and weed.
It’s true. And I will tell you this, we’ve had very few customers over the years I’ve been doing this 20 years, who hired us to do a Mold Inspection who smoked. So you’re you bifurcating the popular population, but people who are willingly polluting their lungs and people who are actively trying not? And it really is it’s that it’s a binary kind of bifurcate. It’s just that simple. And it’s kind of disturbing, so we don’t pretend to be here to solve everyone’s problems.
We’re here for the wheeling. And we’re here for the motivated people who come to us that already understand this. We don’t need to scare people in the mold. There’s enough there to be afraid of. We’re here to help them recognize the productive next steps they can do realize what power and tools they have at their disposal organized in a way that makes it easy for them to execute. That’s what we do. It got mold.
So so the mold inspection company that I created with Oreo, we call it lab results because we did lab we had Labrador Retrievers, and laboratory testing, we thought it was cute. But eventually it kind of grew out of that. And because of some of this success, we decided to do to build a national brand. So that’s what became one 800 Got mold. But those mold inspections are designed, you know, they’re high, they’re very high touch. The average inspection takes a few hours, six hours to create the report, and they cost $1,000 or more so out of reach for most people. And interestingly my parents would not have been able to afford it.
So here I created a company with a service offering that was out of reach for the people who I actually purported to serve, the right people parents of children Going through this. And so it was with that frustration that I decided a number of years ago to create an affordable way to test your air with the GOP Mold Test Kit, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. But this is a do-it-yourself test kit that we created, which allows you to cut air samples using the same devices that professionals use, but without the cost or hassle of trying to find and hire a qualified consultant. And, so they start at 149 for one room.
And you could do one, two or three rooms. So it’s at 149 199 and 249. And you get a nice book color interpretation and some next steps. And so we actually just began making them public. But the idea behind that was really that healthy indoor air should not be cost-prohibitive. And most of the people who were contacting us that really needed us couldn’t afford it. And that always bothered me, you know, there’s no risk. So this is the way for us to be able to at least let people know what’s their what’s in their air, so they can make better decisions about how they breathe. And so bring it full circle.
I mean, I totally appreciate the perspective that you brought to it just in terms of trying to make it affordable. For as many people as possible. I tried to do the same thing with the tools that I teach. And I knew that there were people out there that couldn’t afford it. So I made online courses, on anger management, anxiety management, and positive psychology. And I just felt like this is a good way for people to get access to the tools if they really want them.
I love it. We’re doing the same thing with malls, we’re doing some online courses and giving them away for free. Yeah, because we because the biggest problem with the mold business is that 99% of it is driven by misinformation that’s been repeated. Why of sales, you know, straight bleach on it, everyone’s worried about mycotoxins people are missing the point. So let’s talk about mold for a minute. I think well,
let’s talk about what are the what are some of the steps we can take to take better care of our buildings.
Yeah, that’s super important. So I actually just quick insert here, I look at the building, not as a box that you live and store your stuff in, but rather as an extension of your immune system. So like an Exo scan or an exoskeleton. And that’s a perspective that I’d like you to consider. Okay. And you actually truly have to look at the building as sort of an organism that’s got a system of systems, it’s got lungs, it’s got a circulatory system, it’s got nervous, you’ve got this analogy or this metaphor, if you will, of a building as a body. And so you actually, you have to look at it, there’s a birthdate and there’s potentially a death date.
And the length of that building’s life is determined by how well you care for it, right? And so so there’s, I would argue, even a symbiotic relationship, because if you’ve ever seen a building that goes on occupied, it falls down, it dies. But if if but that building requires we’re like the mitochondria inside the building, making the energy and organizing things, right?
And so we building doesn’t have an immune system, but we are the immune system. We when the building develops aches and pains, it manifests as moisture problems first, usually, the moisture problems are very predictable. So mold is unlike most people’s consent, most people think that mold is something that happens like a lightning strike or, or earthquake, but actually, it’s very predictable, wet stuff that stays wet for more than two or three days gets moldy.
That’s according to the EPA. And this is just biology, mold spores are present in every environment. Moisture is abundant, we live in a water planet, things get wet, they stay wet, and they get moldy because the most job is to return stuff. Dirt mold is nature’s great recycler. And it’s okay if it’s doing that in your yard. But you don’t want that do it in your living room. So when you have a moisture problem in your building has aches and pains and it develops and you get mold growth, that first sim signal that you get, it’d be visible. But most of the time it’s a smell that musty odor, that’s your first signal.
That’s you that’s like the body’s telling you it’s got inflammation, that’s the pain that the body or the building if you will, is sending you a message. acute inflammation is one thing chronic inflammation is a known disease. The same thing goes with mold, acute quick mold problems, small things quickly clean it up, you have to act quickly on these things. If you leave it be these things grow, they get more costly, and also the scary moles that everyone talks about in the media which I tried to talk down about to try to meet her a bit.
Those really aggressive moles, the toxic mold, and the black moles are the water damage indicators of chronic dampness. So if your chronic dampness is a problem indoors so don’t just focus on the moment that mold is the symptom. Everyone wants to kill them all at once. It’s moisture so if you see something smell something or feel something, do something if you see something visible water damage, blistering paint, speckles, unusual coloration any shifts and changes especially around windows and trim pulling away.
If you see insects, those little water bugs, spiders are a dead giveaway of a moisture problem. If you see something if you smell something if you smell that musty odor, distinctive musty odor, that’s a dead giveaway Like, there’s there are very few cases in that I’ve walked into a musty space and not diagnosed an active moisture problem mold. That musty smell is like mold farts, there is literally external digestion going on. And so it’s a dead giveaway.
By the way that musty smell. Also, it can impact your health IT can it’s, it’s the number two predictor of childhood asthma behind maternal smoking, and just exposure to that musty odor, as a kid doubles the risk of children developing asthma later in life. So it’s a metabolic thing. I argue that it’s actually a survival trait, that, you know, it’s the beginning of decay. And so our body says shut shuts down. We don’t want that right? So our body, just our respiratory system says no more that Sinusitis is very common with mold.
Mayo Clinic says about 99% or 97%, rather, of sinus chronic sinusitis, is mold-related. And so it’s a big that’s 37 million Americans, and I bet you most people don’t know it’s mold. And so, so, you start looking at, at these, these, these major illnesses, and you start realizing that, that we have to, we have to take some action on this but the bottom line is the four basic human needs, you got air, water, food, and shelter. You know, you can live for a long time without a half you can go three days without food.
You can go a long time without food, rather, you go weeks without food. And you can go for three days without water. And you can go three minutes without air, right? But everyone’s still worried about the food and their water. And they think a very little bit of bad air. And so so that the engagement that I’m looking to help facilitate here is becoming more aware of, of the relationship that you have with your building.
So if you see something, smell something, or feel something, that feels the part is where it’s a little nebulous, because a lot of mold symptoms can be tricky. Upper respiratory is pretty common, but a lot of cognitive stuff comes to so if you’re concerned about that, you can go to gmail.com with a list of symptoms and some other other other areas. And do you need it?
If I can jump in there? Jason, I mean, one of the things that strikes me is one of the things I share with my clients is that the brain runs on two things, oxygen, and glucose. And the brain is really, really sensitive to minute changes in oxygen levels in the blood. Now, what I focus on is, you know, breathing deeply throughout the day, like, you know, because a lot of these negative emotions tend to cause us to breathe shallowly.
And we tend to only use 20% of our lung capacity. But it strikes me that if the oxygen quality comes into your lungs based on your shelter, and then a mold issues, that’s going to affect the oxygen getting your brain, it’s going to create cognitive difficulties.
There’s no doubt about it. There’s also this thing that the chemistry that goes on with the musty odor leads to inflammation in many people. And I just actually got a call from a prominent psychiatric practice for 500 new patients a month. And they want to prescribe our test kits to all their new patients because they’re finding that inflammation is present in all of their patients. And so they’re investigating
inflammation we think is responsible for depression, like like brain inflammation is responsible for a lot of problems. And I think even with like the brain fog with COVID, I think that’s related to inflammation. I don’t have data to back that up. But that’s my hunch. Yeah,
it would just make sense, right? And so there are mold symptoms. It’s weird because you’ve got allergic reactions. You’ve got toxic reactions. In some cases, you’ve got all sorts of another immune you got there’s even a fear response. There’s a fight or flight response that that’s that’s that trigeminal nerve response that many practitioners work with, to help meter that visceral shutdown that happens with people, they end up with this racing heart that cognitive, it’s the panic, basically adrenal flush, if you will, from exposure to mold.
Also, a lot of people with mold exposure end up with chemical sensitivities if they’ve had chronic exposure. So the Elite’s other things also overlaps with Lyme disease, and other tick-borne illnesses because the biotoxins that Lyme produces don’t process well in people that have a hard time processing biotoxins. And so mold produces biotoxins. And so there’s this incredible overlap where the sensitivities produce fine line, and up really exacerbating the mold-related illness. And so so this is something that by the way, all the mold-related ailments, all even the foodstuff, too.
And we can talk about food and other show if you ever wanted to do that. Because it’s it comes right off with all this. These things overlap like a Venn diagram, but the air quality thing that really gets me is all this is preventable. All this is preventable, there’s no reason that we should have mold growing in any of our buildings. We’ve been living on this planet, a water planet for a long time. We should
figure this out. Yeah, I like your line that we build buildings out of mold food. We truly do.
sheetrock is the perfect mold is food. In fact, I joke around it with our labs that if you run out of Petri dishes, they could just cut out some sheet rock Art and Culture whatever they wanted to write on a piece of drywall because it’s got the gypsum, which holds the water, it’s got the paper on both sides is based at paper sent or gypsum sandwich with a paper on both sides. And the paper is, is what mold likes to eat the most. It’s basically pre-digested cellulose, and the gypsum holds the water long enough to allow that. And there’s a really interesting study that came out of Scandinavia.
And I just read this in Rob Dunn’s book called never home alone. If anyone’s interested in the critters in your house, I highly recommend it’s a fabulous read and Robin’s a brilliant brilliant writer and a brilliant scientist. And, and he worked with a woman in Scandinavia who has been studying her to one, wondering why there’s such why it gets so moldy, and has identified that Stacie vouchers, which is the black toxic mold is present in most of the sheet raw, enviable form. In other words, if you just get it wet spores are already there. Wow.
So so really, truly the only thing you can do as a human living in buildings. By the way, we have a niche market here, we only talk to people who breathe air and live in buildings. Okay, so I don’t know how much of your audience falls into that category. But I think 10% Okay, so so at least we’re on the at least we’re talking to the right people here. But but if you live in the air and breathe in buildings, you need to do one thing well, and that manages moisture. If you do that, mold is not a concern.
If you’re worried about the mold, you’re missing the mark worry about the moisture, because to deal with the moisture, the building lasts longer, the mold doesn’t come and all these other critters, by the way, when you have a moisture problem to the pool party, everyone’s invited. And so you don’t want those guys, because the guest list is like dust mites, nematodes, amoebas, cockroaches, rodents, all that stuff that all begins with a leak, because they all need water. And if you stop that you all the whole mother hug Old Mother Hubbard chain of ecology goes away, you know. So anyway, that’s that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.
All right, well, thank you for sharing your story, I appreciate it. I just wanted to make my listeners aware of the mold threat issue problem, because I thought it was just an interesting approach where you know, I’m normally looking at the individual or couples, and the multitude of systems that exist in those, I mean, just hormones and genetics and behavioral patterns. And this is kind of the next step beyond that, or a step beyond that, where you’re looking at the domain that you’re living in.
Well, and I will say this, this is because you do talk to couples a lot. And I’ve only done residential inspections on one answer about multipathing. And we do that because six little kids don’t live in office buildings. So we’d like homes, where we can really touch people and, and, and help them where it really matters most, we come into houses a lot, where there are four or five people and one person is really having a mold issue. But the house is having a mortgage, you know it presuming that there is a mold issue.
If only one person is symptomatic, that person tends to be marginalized that person that tends to be a real source of friction in the family. I’ve seen divorces, and I’ve seen all sorts of devastation to a family as a result of this, I would invite you if any of your listeners have a family member who’s going through a mold problem, okay?
And you’re suspicious or skeptical, or you think they’re being just a little bit too much about it, I can assure you that on the other side of it, if they get their mold problem fixed, they have the chance to improve, they have the ability to improve and it’s it really I’ve seen it happen so many times where like I said, four or five people in the house, there’s a mold problem, one person is the reason that we’re there.
Everyone else is there, okay, the mold problem gets corrected, the person who called who is the real, the real symptomatic the real suffering, they’re better. And suddenly the other people say, you know, I didn’t think I was sick. But now I’m sleeping through the night. I didn’t think I was sick. But I’m not as pissed off as I used to be, um, I didn’t think I was sick.
But now I can’t think straight I was able to work for an hour at my desk without having to, you know, drink a cup of coffee, you know, you know, just you see, you hear these stories all the time where people don’t necessarily attribute their level, their baseline is so low, they just attribute that
life. Well, we all tend to lack self-awareness too. So I mean, you know, Tasha Eurich’s research shows that 95% of us they were highly self-aware when it’s in fact, it seems to be about 12% on average. And so I don’t even think many of us know what’s going on in our own heads, our own hearts, our own bodies.
You almost have to say to someone who says they’re highly self-aware that isn’t and the person who says they aren’t probably is.
That’s the Dunning-Kruger effect as far as intelligence goes. You know, those of us that are smart people have less confidence in our knowledge base than those that are kind of average or less. So, in terms of intelligence, there are highly confident in what they know.
You see that all over Twitter? I mean, it’s wrong. Yeah, yeah. No dead, dead wrong at the top of your lungs. Right?
Yeah. Well, Jason, so I am aware of the time. We’ve got to wrap up here. So where can people get a hold of you if they want to find out more? Yes. Oh, thank
you for asking. So we created a welcome page for your listeners actually, on our email@example.com. And the URL is gotmold.com/evolved caveman. And on that page, we have put together, a link for your listeners to get a free ebook. And it’s called How to find mold. It’s filled with checklists, inspection checklists, and FAQs. And sort of if you’re concerned about a mold problem, and you’re not sure that you want to go the distance and do any significant, you don’t want to hire someone yet, and you’re not ready to buy a test kit or anything like that.
Grab the e book, read through it, it’ll answer a lot of your questions. The other other thing that’s on that page, that’s a resource for your listeners is, there’s a discount code, a 10% discount code on that page that allows your listeners to get a percentage off of the gospel test kit. And so, yeah, so if you throw that in the show notes, that would be great.
And then if you want to ask me questions, you can, you can go to gmail.com. At the bottom of the homepage, there’s a little, little form there, you can fill out I see every one of those. You can also go to Facebook or got a mold page on Facebook. And that’s facebook.com/scott mold and ask questions there and we’ll answer them publicly for the benefit of others as well.
Fantastic. Well, thanks for your work, and hopefully we can help get the word out.
Thank you very much, Dr. John.
And that’s it for this episode of The evolved caveman. Thanks for listening. If you love this episode, please feel free to Like Share rate, and review. If you didn’t like it, you don’t have to do a damn thing. Thanks so much. I’ll see you next time.
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