Integrative Thoughts Podcast
Wed, Aug 30, 2023 1:36PM • 1:55:06
mold, building, mycotoxins, materials, toxins, moldy, air, live, water, body, antibiotics, talking, mold spores, produce, test, build, called, problem, years, literally
Hello, everyone. First of all, I’d love to thank you for tuning in to the integrative thoughts podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kaufman. And through this platform, I plan on seeking out guests that interest me that I am curious about, and overall just living a more meaningful purposeful life and hopes that you as listeners, and I myself can grasp on to a little bit of their knowledge and integrate that into our daily lives.
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Today’s episode is the second installment of my three part series, which is all about mold. And today we have on the show Jason Earle. He is the CEO and founder of got mold. Now anybody who has been following me for a while whether on social media or on this platform, knows that my wife and I dealt with a mold issue, I will see on lots of different doctors, I was really unsure of what was going on, I was having neurological functions. And I was renting the place at the time. So what we did is we just threw everything we owned, and we started from scratch.
But had I have had something like this device for just a few 100 bucks that I could have got a better reading of what was going on. And I thought it was actually accurate. That would have saved us a lot of guesswork within that situation. And I know when you’re renting a place, the last thing you want to do is spend 1000 2000 bucks, whatever it may cost for an inspector to come out and check out your place. And so if you I could have ordered something like this right online, they have a lot of guides on their website that show you the most problematic areas and where to put the tests.
I mean, they have a really extensive information base within their website at COP mold. I’ll link that in the show notes. And this really empowers the renter more importantly, when you own your place, you’re willing to spend that money and invest and fix up the place that you have a mortgage on. But as a renter, I think this is where it’s really, really critical and crucial is for you to be able to get a little bit of information for a few 100 bucks.
So Jason, just a wealth of knowledge. He’s super passionate, I love his energy. I’ve met him in person. He’s a really stand up guy. I’m gonna have him back on the show at least a few more times because he is just such an amazing character. And he really walks the walk when it comes to mold. So enjoy the show.
Jason, welcome to the show. How’s it going?
Excellent, man. Great to be here.
Yeah, it’s awesome. It was actually so super funny. We were just talking Had you already booked because I had heard you on Friday our mutual friends podcast and I went through some mold issues myself as that he and you you’ll tell your story as well but then we
Got to meet at the conference. So it was really cool that we chatted at your booth for a while then at the networking party and everything. So now it’s a little bit more intimate. We kind of know each other. So I always like when that happens.
Me, too. Me too. Yeah, it’s perfect, perfectly cool.
So you’re just a wealth of knowledge on mold. And I’m definitely going to dig into a lot of that. But why don’t you tell us about your upbringing, your kind of mold story and how you got into this space?
Sure. Sure. Well, first of all, thanks again for for having me. And I’m really I was looking forward to this. I’ve heard a lot of great things about you and, and have had a chance to dig into some of your, your other podcasts and really enjoy the content you’re putting out.
So awesome. Thanks for listening. Absolutely.
So my story begins when I was about four years old. I grew up in a small, small non working farm kind of a hobby farm, we had a bunch of rescued animals, horses and goats and stuff like that, in central New Jersey, right next to Princeton, and
I lost a lot of weight in a three week period, I was having difficulty breathing. And so my parents took me to children’s took me to the pediatrician who said, this looks serious, you should really take him to Children’s Hospital, which was in Philadelphia renowned respiratory clinic. And based upon the symptoms that I was presenting with, and my family history, the initial diagnosis with cystic fibrosis, which back then was a death sentence, and was particularly troubling to my father, who had lost four of his cousins to CF before the age of 14.
So this was literally their worst nightmare, coming true. And so they say they cried for six weeks while they waited for a second opinion. And thankfully, and evidenced by the fact that I sit here at 47 years old, I did not have CF and don’t have CF. But rather, what I actually had was asthma, compounded by pneumonia, which was my first big round of antibiotics, which we can dig into also. And when they tested me for allergies, I tested positive for every single thing they tested me for. And the way they this is one of my formative memories to the way they test tested back then I’m not sure how they do it now.
But they put you in the kind of a papoose or like a straight jacket for toddlers and sit with my back exposed and they would grid on your back. And then they test you for, for me all these antigens. And my dad said, I looked like a ladybug, just big red swollen back with dots all over.
It sounds archaic.
Yeah, allergies, allergy testing, and allergy treatments can be pretty archaic. You know, they’re, they’re working with some old technologies, in many cases. And back then, you know, this is the, you know, early 80s, late 70s. So needless to say they were they were working with even older technologies back then. But so they, they, they essentially told me that I told my parents that they had a bubble boy, and that I was allergic to grass, we corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton, soybeans, so I was literally surrounded by all those things.
We had cornfields across the street soybean fields, to the left, we had a house full of dogs and cats. And of course, I work cotton clothes, and I was literally surrounded by all of these allergens. So I lived a very itchy existence, and lived on inhalers until I was about 12. At which point, my parents split up, and I moved out of the house and my symptoms all went away. It wasn’t immediate, but it was fast enough that now in retrospect, they can see the correlation. And it was just chalked up to what they call spontaneous adolescent remission, which is a fancy word for we don’t know what the hell happened.
And my grandfather had grown out of his asthma too. So that was just, you know, they, they thought that was kind of to be expected. And
fast forward. About a year and a half later, my mom died suddenly, actually suicide which is relevant to the conversation so we can we’ll circle back to that too. And, and then a year after that, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which was my second big round of antibiotics. And, again, that’s, that’s relevant to the story too.
And, and then, you know, I ended up having to drop out of high school, I was basically forced to, to, to leave because they wanted me I missed a lot of school due to the Lyme disease and my mother’s death. And so they, they, they wanted me to repeat my junior year while I was in the middle of it. Someone asked me to come back and I said, Nope. So I dropped out and started working full time at the gas station down the street, and met a guy who recruited me to come work on Wall Street with him. So it was a fairy tale story. Totally. I was the last that was the least likely to end up on Wall Street at 16 years old.
And I unknowingly became the youngest licensed stockbroker in history at 17 have a Guinness World Record for that.
And that dollar 50 Oh, by a half a slice of pizza, New York City, but you know, that was a small piece of the story. But so I did that for nine years. Had a great career and one day I woke up and I wasn’t having fun anymore. I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. So I went on walkabout and
While I was away, I was reading stories in local newspaper while I was in Hawaii, about a guy who had gotten
gotten sick from the hotel where he was an employee. He had developed adult onset asthma, and all of these allergies that he had never had before. And so it was like a deja vu moment, he blamed the hotel, the mold in the hotel. And by the way, side note this this hotel where he was an employee. Turns out it was the biggest mold problem in modern history. At the time, I was there in Hawaii, in the shadow of the building, that he was talking about reading the article about that building. It was the Hilton Kalia tower.
And they had been shut down for mold at that point for like six months. And initially, they thought it was about a half million dollar problem. And as they began opening the walls, as is typical with with hidden mold issues, it was like Pandora’s box. And it went from half a million to 5 million to $55 million in total remediation costs.
So that’s hence the reason that there was the articles all over all over Hawaii and all the local newspapers about this.
So anyway, it was it was like a, it was like a lightbulb moment for me, I immediately thought geez, I wonder if we had a mold problem. And we’ll try and road the house I grew up in. So I call my dad from a payphone, which I’m pretty sure isn’t there anymore. You know, all the payphones are gone, and said, So do you think we’re in a mold problem? Then he just laughed at me. He’s like, Well, of course, we had mushrooms in the basement. Why do you ask? And
if you have to know my dad is the love. So I said, Do you think that made me sick? You think that was part of the reason why I was you know, so ill and he goes, Well, I couldn’t help. So typical 1970s parent, you know, so. So I in that in that moment, I immediately became fascinated with the idea that buildings, the buildings that we live in work in, can actually make you sick. You know, mold is fascinating, and I love I love the conversation, because it’s more and more fascinating.
The more I know about it, but But what really gets me I think the thing that that I like to raise awareness around isn’t just mold, per se, but really healthy buildings. And the fact that, you know, buildings can both contribute to illness and also healing, right. So there’s no neutral, this is what I’ve learned. Buildings either make you sick, or they contribute to healing, there is no neutral. And so I came back to New Jersey, armed with a lot of curiosity, and took a job working for a basement waterproofing company, as a salesman, and quickly saw and they were doing mold treatments, and not notice I say mold treatments, not mold remediation, there’s a big difference.
So they were doing mold treatments, which essentially means spraying chemicals, and you know, doing all sorts of non standard practices. And at the time, there were no regulations, there were no best practices, there was no written standard. There was some guidance from the EPA. But but really, there was the there was it was kind of like the wild wild west. But I quickly saw that these guys were doing bad work.
And I think often leaving the buildings worse than the way they found them. And so this bothered me deeply. And so I saw an opportunity to work on the inspection side of the business. Because as with all environmental hazards as the, as the industry is mature, and I’d seen this because on Wall Street, I was invested in environmentally environmental remediation companies. And I saw that, you know, whether it be lead paint or asbestos, or even underground storage tanks, there’s a there’s a divide between as the regulations kick in, they there’s a divide between or Chinese wolf
fill lack of a better term between the remediation contractors and the inspectors as there should be because there’s room for for conflicts of interest, especially when there’s testing involved. If you’re if you’re if you’re getting paid is contingent upon you passing a test, there’s a lot of room for abuse. And so, so you have to kind of choose which side you’re going to be on. And I saw on the remediation side, I saw lots of labor issues, you know, heavy, heavy capital requirements, you know, vans and equipment, all that stuff. And on the inspection side, I saw a relative lack of, of,
of participants, but also so therefore, lack of competition. But I also saw some really interesting opportunities on the detection side of things. You know, there were new technologies that were emerging. And, and I really wanted to, to get in and really understand how all this worked and, and
really understand not just how the buildings work, but how the people interact with their buildings and, you know, the biology of the building and the biology of the human and, and the biology, of course, the, of the microbiome that’s affecting both the building and the bodies. And so, so I just took this this really deep dive, I mean, I had building science manuals in my bathroom, you know, like I was reading these books constantly. I was dating a girl. She’s like, Why do you have the moisture control handbook? In the bathroom?
You know, I mean, it’s bathroom reading for me, you know, for so I really I really enjoyed the, the, you know, learning all these aspects. And so anyway, I started doing inspections for free, late at night to help people prepare for remediation contractors sort of to protect them from from the contractors.
And over time people started saying, you know, I should really pay you for this. And so, you know, I said, Well, how much would you pay me and so I basically let them set the price. And so, around that time, I heard about a guy who had trained dogs, Labrador Retriever specifically to sniff out the hidden mold and buildings. And and I thought that was just brilliant enough to have sure crazy enough to be brilliant.
And end up going out of Florida meeting Bill wittstein of the Florida canine Academy. And he introduced me to Oreo, a lanky, black lab mix, who’d spent two times on doggie death row, who had been put through 1000 hours of training to be a mold detective. And I did not expect to come back home with her. But I did. And so we flew back. And I ended up with one of the first mold detection dogs in the country. And
within a couple of weeks, we ended up with Channel Six Action News descending upon us, I thought they were coming to feature us they were trying to debunk us, it turns out, and so they hit some mold in the house. And instead of debunking us, they endorsed us, because we found it in like three minutes. So next thing you know, we’ve got doctors calling, we’ve got people calling, I hadn’t even set up a company yet. So I got really busy really fast. And some of the some of the people that we helped, that were referrals from some of the doctors.
One particular case was Joe and Caitlin Murray, four year old little girl who’d been chronically ill, she’d been hospitalized dozens of times due to something and no one could tell what. And we went into to, to her new house, which they had built specifically to prevent mold issues, and found some issues and, and got them corrected. And that that turned into a Good Morning America episode. And then we got invited to do Extreme Makeover Home Edition a couple of times.
And so it just kept going and going and going. And so so our phone rang, rang off the hook, and that company eventually became 1-800- got mold, the Mold Inspection Company. And so I did that for roughly 20 years, literally just doing consumer oriented residential mold assessments and remediation, consulting. And it was it was a great business in a very, very meaningful and important business most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.
But over the years, it always bothered me that the people who needed this the most couldn’t afford us, you know, so, in fact, my own parents could not have afforded a professional mold inspection through their my company, or for from any reputable company, for that matter. I mean, a quality, quality mold inspection performed by an independent inspector should cost you $1,000 or more.
And so some that was out of reach for my parents and, and it’s out of reach for most people that are renting. And so you know, basically, so my philosophy is the healthier should never be cost prohibitive, right. And so, so, that concern, put some wheels in motion a number of years ago to create a do it yourself product, an at home test kit that would allow people to do the same kind of testing that we do professionally. But without all the concerns with trying to find and hire a qualified inspector. And then of course, all the costs associated with that. So last year, in March, we launched the got Mold Test Kit,
which allows you to test the Air in up to three rooms using spore traps, which again, are the most common a professional test test method available. And and it’s been it’s been it’s been fabulous. I mean, we’ve been we’ve been receiving just absolutely amazing reviews. And most importantly, we’re seeing that we’re actually really getting to the people that we were taught that we were trying to serve, you know, the people who are who were previously unable to, to afford professional or also that were living in areas where there just wasn’t, wasn’t one within a reasonable proximity. And so so it’s been it’s been fun to see that that all come together. And we’ve since we’ve since since sunsetted, the inspection business to focus exclusively on me on the test kit business.
Awesome, that was beautiful. I have so many different avenues. I want to go down with that. And I want to circle back to the antibiotics in the line. Do you think that commonly people may be misdiagnosed with Lyme who are just living in mold and antibiotics can actually make that worse? What do you think about that?
Well, so I mean, when I was diagnosed with Lyme, the testing was very sketchy. It’s still kind of sketchy.
I think what happens with Lyme and mold
is complicated. I think there’s, first of all, there’s some some strong research that shows
biotoxin related illness. And so this means, you know, this could be mold, mold related toxins or Lyme related toxins. These are processed and detoxify in the body through certain pathways, and people who have a problem with that particular pathway known as a methylation pathway. And there’s a genetic mutation called the MTHFR mutation that is, is correlated to this.
And apparently, there’s some some research, researchers say that it affects up to 25% of the American population. So it’s a big swath. And so, so people who are kind of jammed up with biotoxins, from one then may experience the other and the experience overwhelm the body, it’s your allostatic load or your toxin load.
It goes beyond your capacity. And then you end up with all sorts of issues, inflammatory conditions and toxic toxin induced conditions. And so So I think it’s more of a pylon that happens, that exacerbates the sensitivities. And so the other thing that comes to mind that I think has a lot to do with these toxins,
is the fact that with Lyme, especially back then, I had to take 30 pills a day of Biaxin, which is a very potent antibiotic. Now, it’s primarily doxycycline. But I was on a pulse therapy. So it was three days on three days off. And so I’d be sick for three days and sleeping for three days is part of the reason why I missed so much school.
But what I what I in retrospect, when I look back at this, you know, when you think about antibiotics, antibiotics are, as most people know, at least some of them like penicillin are derived from fungi. Right? So Penicillium common mold also makes certain kinds of cheese. And so it’s it’s a it’s a, you know, there’s lots and lots of different kinds of Penicillium. But this one particular kind of Penicillium no Stratham makes penicillin. And penicillin is a mycotoxin. So when people say antibiotics,
what they’re also saying, in many cases is mycotoxin. Right? And so if you’re, if you’re experiencing illness,
like Lyme disease, and then you’re taking mycotoxin pills,
and your body’s already overloaded with bio toxins, can you see how that might not end? Well? Right, so so these are mycotoxin pills, right. But what’s interesting to me about this, and this is kind of a side note, but it’s also really important because this is emerging, is that when I when I did a deep dive into antibiotics, I found out that were only a small percentage, and they’re actually derived from fungi, about two thirds of them are actually derived from a bacteria, soil bacteria, specifically called actinomycetes.
These actinomycetes also happened to occur in water damaged buildings, right alongside water damage molds. So and but we don’t test for these in most cases, although that’s changing. And so we’re actually developing a test that looks looks at all of these things in totality. But we know from the fact that these actinomycetes produce very potent chemical toxins, which we harness for antibiotics. But if they’re also producing these kinds of toxins in our building, but they’re not being measured or tested for, I can only imagine that when we start to really learn more about what that does to the toxic toxic load in the building, that is going to be an important component.
And so, so really, when I started looking at the way treatment for Lyme occurs, I think that sets the stage, often for mold sensitivities, not just because of the biotoxins, from the Lyme, but also the treatment for the Lyme. I think that, you know, antibiotics are essentially weapons of mass destruction. And unfortunately, there is no treatment that I’m aware of that actually can do. And I mean, even the people, even the the most holistic natural paths will tell you that.
That doxycycline is unnecessary treatment. In most cases, there are plenty of people that will argue with that. But the data doesn’t doesn’t support doesn’t support natural treatments, in most cases, for the recovery maybe but not for the for the initial treatment of the infection. So in any case, I’m not an Lyme disease expert.
But I’ve seen enough of it because of course there’s Lyme disease mold is kind of like a Venn diagram, there’s a big overlap with these and so so I’ve been treating these people by virtue of treating their homes and helping to create an environment that’s conducive to healing for two decades. And so you see what works and doesn’t work. I mean, that’s one of the best parts about being in my, my side of the business is that I have no horse in the race when it comes to remediation or or anything else.
I’m not selling anything else, I’m here to to guide people through a process of removing things from their from their buildings that are causing them illness, or that could potentially lead to, to illness. And then being an instant, I stay in touch with many of these people, I mean, you know, I’m still in touch with the woman that that little four year old little girl that got us on Good Morning America, she’s now in med school, becoming a doctor in Environmental Medicine, because she wants to help families avoid going through what she went through, and we’re still in touch, you know, she’s in her mid 20s. Now, you know, and so you can see what happens over time with these people. And what I’ve consistently seen is that when you get the environment, right in a building,
then the body can find equilibrium. And it will begin to unless you’ve got these, these genetic predispositions to detoxification, pathway issues, in most cases, the body will actually do what it’s supposed to do.
I like to think about the immune system as a juggler, just juggling, you know, hundreds or 1000s of objects, or issues, right, especially your liver.
It’s just constantly doing that. And if it’s, if it’s in a good place, it’s doing this with its eyes closed, and its arm tied behind its back, it’s just no problem, right?
Mold is like, a guy across the room throwing baseballs at him,
you know, something’s gonna give. So what happens is the balls get dropped, and then it goes into protection mode, right? Everything else falls away, these other processes become become marginalized, in the interest of survival, right, we’re just gonna, we’re going to protect, and so until that onslaught
stops, there is no space for that for the for the juggler to, and I literally have juggling balls here
to to regain the rhythm of a normal immune system process. And so you know, it, that’s why it takes time to heal on these things. Because once that onslaught stops, then you know, the body will start picking up a couple of them, and then it’ll start juggling and eventually given enough time, and given enough space and given enough, a lot of latitude, you’ll start to see that the old processes pick up in many cases, unless there’s pre existing conditions that complicate that.
And so, really, what I look at is, you know, basically, there’s four basic human needs, right? Air, water, food, and shelter. And, so, you know, with houses, you know, with our buildings, you know, we can live without a building for a while, depending upon the climate, food you can live without, for what, three weeks, maybe water, you can go for maybe three days, air, three minutes, and yet have all of those four things, air is the thing we think about last, and yet is the thing that you can’t live without, for the shortest period of time, everyone’s focused on diet, and that’s great, and you should drink pure, pure, clean water is very important.
But breathing is so fundamental. It’s actually just hiding in plain sight right under the tip of your nose. I mean, listen, you breathe 13 to 15 times a minute, which comes out to 20,000 times a day, there’s nothing you do more on a semi conscious basis. I mean, your heartbeats more than that, but you’re not thinking about it. And and you certainly can’t control that. But you know, 20,000 times a day, think about that as 20,000 doses.
If you take 20,000 doses of anything, it’s cumulative. Right? And so that’s why I say there’s no such thing as neutral there’s either life giving life affirming, nutritive detoxifying air, and a building the supports that, or there’s toxifying, you know,
air that will literally break you down. And it’s so fundamental, that nothing you do, aside from nothing you do in addition, whether it be exercise, or, or nutrition, or, or mindfulness or a biohacking. There’s nothing you can do to overcome a toxic environment. So if you’re drinking shitty water, and you’re breathing, shitty air, it doesn’t matter what you do outside the house, your your foundation is is is at risk. And and it will undermine any other any other positive efforts.
And so that’s why that’s why what we talked about here is I think it’s it’s really, it, this is not something that’s this is not a niche business, that I’m in this mold thing. I used to joke around and say, well, if it’s a niche, we only care about people who live in buildings and breathe air. That’s all those are the only people we want to talk to, you know, and so this is universal right there. And it’s also that, you know, we spend 90% of our time indoors, whether it be our homes
or our workplaces or the vehicles that we use to get between those. So we are we’re now spending so much time indoors that,
Rob Dunn, who’s a fabulous author, he’s written a bunch of books on the microbiome and wrote a wonderful book, which I highly recommend called never home alone about the critters that live in our buildings. And, and he says that we should no longer be referred to as Homo sapiens, he thinks we should be called Homo endurace. Because we’re essentially an indoor species.
And he’s right, and we’ve what we’ve done really, and I think a big part of the reason why mold sensitivities are so high is because we were so we’ve slowly separated ourselves more and more from nature, right, we wear rubber shoes with rubber bottoms, we close up our houses so tight now that, you know, we basically turn off our AC turn our heat on, turn the heat off, turn our AC on, people, you know, the over HEPA filter, which we can talk about also, they over filter over clean over sanitize. And, so you know the word human, the root word is humus which is, which is soil.
I mean, that’s our true heritage, right? We are where we come from it and then we’re to go back to it. And, you know, our entire gut is comprised essentially of soil microbes, we’re not really digesting our food, we’re essentially composters. You know. And so, you know, our microbiome in us on us and around us. You know, we’re, we’re an integral part of this, but we’re doing our best to sanitize all the time, whether it be antibiotics, or chemicals on the outside or sprays or zappers, or ozone, or all this stuff.
And, the data on this is really strong. And by the way, quoting Rob Dunn from never home alone, again, you know, the data on this is very strong. There’s microbial diversity, the you want to have a high microbial diversity in your building, we talked about this at the show actually a little bit. The more microbes you have in your house, that there’s the data shows the lower cases of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disease that you’ll see. And the opposite is also true. If you’ve sanitized your house, and you’ve got a very low microbial diversity. We see those houses having much higher incidence of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disease. And I should also mention autism is also popping up in those those those same conversations.
And so, so we’re not really looking. We’re not we’re not in the anti mold business, let me make this clear. We’re in not letting mold grow in your house business. Right? So mold spores are a normal part of a healthy environment. And in fact, they’re hormetic stressors you breathing them in actually teaches your body about what’s normal in our environment. mold spores are so abundant on our planet, that you will never be able to avoid them. I mean, they’re in the clean rooms at Intel, the we can barely keep them out of operating rooms.
Even with the best HEPA filtration, you know, Kingdom fungi funfact produces 50 megatons of mold spores every year. 50 megatons, is the equivalent of 500,000 blue whales, is a massive, massive producer of biological particulate. And we find them in sport class 13.7 miles above the earth’s surface and weather it with weather balloons. So you’re not getting away from mold spores. The the key to a healthy building is not is not being mold free. It’s preventing mold growth from occurring in your home. So it makes sense.
Yeah, absolutely. And I love your thought on that. And I actually interviewed Andrew Melrose yesterday, and he’s kind of like on this 80-20 kind of rule. Like let’s get the big problems out of the way. And let’s see, like how to balance the body because it is a normal part of your environment. We don’t want to be perfect here and try to destroy and clean everything. We’re trying to look for the 80-20 if you’re really sensitive, maybe it’s 90-10.
But definitely I like your guys’s kind of level headed thinking about like, this is a natural part of the environment, you should be able to be around some kind of mold, but you shouldn’t be so reactive to and having all the symptoms and but I do agree that you can’t have the overgrowth especially if you have some immunological issues already kind of present that’s like where I was at like, you know, looking at it now I’m been detoxing some mercury and cadmium and these heavy metals.
So the lyme was there whatever it could have been just the mold but maybe it was actually lyme and my body was somewhat functioning I don’t think I was optimal by any means with those heavy metals but I wasn’t super super sick until I got into that moldy place and like you said that’s probably when my liver just shut down. It was just like, I don’t have time to try to get rid of any heavy metals or you know, worry about any type of keeping the lyme at bay because now I’m just trying to filter these mycotoxins because my place and a crawlspace I live in Florida. I see mold on the vent had one of the old school tubs but I feel like are probably the worst. Because there’s like the tubs like there was just wooden
walls on all four sides. And the old school like round tub is an older house and you just have like the curtains all around. But I just remember like any little splash would like get on the wall, and then the humidity was crazy in there.
And that’s when I got really sick and I was on a bunch of antibiotics. It’s funny, you say, Bubble Boy, you’re the second person on my show, Eileen Durfee from creative solutions, also called herself like a bubble boy.
And she said, she’s actually related to the bubble boy, like somehow, some way. And that’s what my friends used to call me. I used to break out in hives, my mom had to change all of like the laundry detergent, I would get these fungal like overgrowth on my face that they didn’t really know what they were and I would just put cream on it.
I never really got the asthma. But either way, I’d have a lot of ear infections. And they were just I mean, I was on antibiotics for like 15 years straight, like four, five, six times a year they were just give me the drops in my ear, I’d be taking them fungal creams, you know, breakout and highs and it would go away, I’d get really sweaty. And, you know, I just still couldn’t play sports and everything. So I just I kind of powered through it. But then all of that destroying of the system as I got older, you know that I party for a long time.
And so then I was like using Adderall for energy because my energy was slowly just going down from the antibiotics, the metals, the partying, and it was just like getting bad. And then once I was in the moldy place, it was a wrap. Like within two months. I was like seeking out doctors like I was just just, you know, I bought a sauna.
I’m taking binders and like you said, you can do all the coffee enemas and change your diet and everything. But if you’re in that moldy space where it’s just like, terrorizing you, like nothing made me feel better, not the enemas not I think they were just kind of keeping me alive a little bit like the red light from the sun. I gave my mitochondria a little boost.
The enemas would have helped my liver out a little bit. It kind of just get me through the day. But I was taking naps every day. I was breaking stuff. Like I was just talking about this Andrew like, I would just drop things like I didn’t like my brain in my hands weren’t like on the same page.
A lot of times, like I was just dropped dishes and shit. It was it was bizarre. I used to play all the sports and be really coordinated. It was crazy. And for the first time, I actually like experienced like severe depression, you know, like it for just being so tired and the neuro inflammation. And it was like it wasn’t suicidal.
But it was just like low grade depression like 24/7 where it was like, nothing you could do like the sauna. You know, yoga, getting sunlight, like it would all just work for like two minutes. And then you would just go back to feeling like literally awful. And actually just wanted to, if it’s not too touchy was to ask you if your mom when she did do the suicide or she is still in the moldy place. Do you think that that kind of played in because I felt that if I wasn’t a little bit more level headed and like meditating every day and like seeking out knowledge thinking that I could heal myself that someone else who wasn’t doing everything that I was doing potentially could have had suicidal tendencies, for sure.
Absolutely. So yes, I mean, there’s there’s a lot there, and this is going to be fascinating to so everyone’s focused on mycotoxins when it comes to mold. Mold produces mycotoxins but only certain ones, roughly a dozen or so produce mycotoxins that were really worth talking about.
And so, but there are about 140,000 known and identified species of mold, and so when we see roughly 1000 or so that occur indoors on a regular basis. And so, you know, is it really true if you think about this, that all these people that are experiencing mold problems are only experiencing sickness because of 12 molds?
Probably not because those molds are actually typically the water damage indicators that the late stage colonizers, mold colonizes in three phases, primary, secondary, and tertiary colonizers. Primary colonizers, the first guy to show up at the party, they’re like the Earth, they’re just like the the molds that it will typically
they’re the ones that eat the, the surface dust, they’re just the ones that kind of clean up first. The secondary ones are a little more hearty, and the third ones, the tertiary ones, are have the chemical weapons. They’re the ones who
they’re the ones who are at the top of the food chain, they like to eat the other molds, and they’re very, very durable. They’re also the ones that have the ability to digest more difficult things like cellulose, so they can actually eat your building right at the beginning of rot and decay. And so, and they’re the ones that that that are known to, to create things like you know, Stacie mattress, for example, creates the tricot the scenes, which is you know has been a derivative of that are some very similar, some similar chemical called T two toxin was used in the Iran Iraq War, right. So this is potent
But that being said, Most houses don’t most houses that have mold problems don’t have those molds.
They simply don’t. So why is it that people are getting sick in those buildings if if there’s, if they’re if they’re not getting those and by the way, most mycotoxin tests, most of those results, contrary to popular opinion, are actually not from air, different food. So that’s, that’s another another path we can go down and I’m glad to pursue that. But so I bring that up because mycotoxins are one thing that mold produces, and only certain ones produce it.
And even those molds only produce them when they’re threatened or when they’re in there, they’re, oftentimes when there’s a problem, when the moisture starts to go away, they start to dry out, they’ll sometimes produce toxins, or when there’s a competitive threat, and so it’s too inconsistent and these things don’t become airborne easily. mycotoxins are oily substances, most of them and they actually stick on the surface is mold doesn’t care about the air, it uses as a transport mechanism.
But what it wants to produce when it wants to protect with mycotoxins is the surface it’s eating, that just think about the logic of that, right. So and so when when mold spores break free and they become a loft, they will often have the mycotoxins on them, but you have to breathe a lot of that a lot to be able to get the kind of mycotoxin levels that people
report in these in their in their labs. So the other thing that molds produce, of course, his spores, which we talked about, and those typically, they can carry mycotoxins, but typically they they, they trigger allergic reactions, upper respiratory stuff. And in really sensitive people, you can have anaphylaxis and people have compromised immune systems, of course, you can have fungal infection. So this is not something to be taken lightly. But mold spores are in every single breath you take, without any ill effect. Even if you’re even if you are sensitive, you’re gonna be breathing in some degree of of mold spores and every single breath you take.
And that then that’s a good thing. By the way, that’s, like I said, it’s a hormetic stressor, right, the dose makes the poison, small amount, okay, large amounts, maybe not so much. The third thing that molds produce, and all molds produce during active mold growth are known as microbial gases, or microbial VOCs. Now, many people these days know about VOCs, because we know about them from building materials.
We know the paints, and finishes and furniture that you get from, you know, new carpet, will off gas, those VOCs are very potent. There are many of them are a group one carcinogens, and they are linked to headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, all sorts of stuff. And so we know that we don’t want to very much limit those in our buildings. Mold also produce VOCs. And the most popular one that many people actually really enjoy is alcohol, right? That’s the byproduct of fermentation that is a microbial voc. And so,
and again, those makes the poison. Right. So, you know, a little bit of it probably, okay. A lot of it probably not. So the the microbial gases, that musty smell, that mold produces, has long been considered an aesthetic nuisance, right? It’s a musty smell. That’s the basement smell. It’s just this thing. It’s just not a big deal. Well, recent research done at Rutgers University with my friend John Bennett, Dr. John Bennett, who’s a fungal geneticist,
as shown that this, these compounds are actually much more serious than than we think she actually is lobbying to have them. She’s She’s lobbying for a term
that she calls up Viola toxins.
So the way this all came about, is that she was a she was a professor at Tulane down in New Orleans. And she had she had a house in the Ninth Ward. And when Hurricane Katrina came through, she was up at Rutgers, she had just taken a new role. And she knew that her house had been severely damaged.
And so she went down there as a good mycologist with a bag full of petri dishes to go sample and she brought an n95 respirator with her, which of course will keep the particles from coming in and knowing what she knows about mycotoxins that they carry on the particles. She knew that would protect her from exposure.
So she walked into her building, water damaged six feet high, you know, all of her all of her books on mycology, by the way, the study of mold and fungi, we’re all water damaged and moldy to the pictures that she has are fascinating. And she, by the way, she published all of this in a paper known as silver linings and so anyone who wants to look this up, she put this in the show notes, Silver Linings, and she she posts pictures of of her water damaged building, including a giant mushroom by the way, it was all moldy that she had in her collection. But anyway, the point is that she she walked in with a respirator on and what she did
notice was that she could smell, the smell is very strong. And as time went on, as she was in the building for a matter of minutes, she began to not feel well. And, and then, within 20-30 minutes she had to, she had to leave. She felt ill she was sick for a few weeks. And so she walked out of there thought, Jeez, what what just happened,
you know, I protected myself I was wearing a respirator, it couldn’t be the mycotoxins couldn’t be the spores. So what is it, the only thing that was coming through was the smell. So she took this observation, like a good scientist, back to her lab. And so what’s in that smell. And she found
that she could isolate one particular chemical which is known as the mushroom alcohol, one, oxygen three all and, and she began doing experiments with it. And so she she used the special fruit flies, Drosophila flies, that are that fluoresce when they produce dopamine. It’s amazing what you can buy online. And, and so she began experimenting with exposing these fruit flies to the musty smell. And, and what she saw very quickly was that they began they would fly down instead of to the light, which is their normal, natural inclination, they stopped reproducing.
They, they stopped producing dopamine. So they got depressed, essentially.
And they also stopped mentioning separate reproducing, they developed apart what she calls Parkinsonian like symptoms. So and local moto disorder. So you talked about dropping stuff. Right? literally losing coordination. That is what was observed in animal studies, based upon exposure to the musty smell.
Okay. So they became depressed, they lost their coordination. Later studies done
by some of her students showed that the musty smell also did mitochondrial damage, and, of course, leads to premature death. And so
what’s interesting about this is that before, before all of this in 2008, Brown University did a study that included 6000 participants, and they, they were they were looking to see if there was a correlation between mold and dampness indoors and depression.
And they had a it was they they interviewed these people based upon their knowledge of the building conditions, and then sort of a quality of life assessment. So they asked him if they knew if they had mold. And if
also, you know, basically, the quality of life assessment is, you know, how are you feeling? And so what they found was that people who, to who said that they had mold that was unresolved, had a much higher incidence of Not, not feeling good, feeling disempowered, and being depressed. And so they weren’t able to sort of pin the tail on the donkey and say, was this a chemical response?
Or is this a circumstantial thing, you know, like, if you’ve got mold in your building, and you haven’t gotten it fixed, chances are you’re experiencing some other problems, you may have some financial issues, you may be living in a place where you don’t have you don’t have the ability to do it, because you don’t have permission, you know, oppressive landlord partner or whatever.
So, you know, there’s lots of reasons why that would be pretty depressing, you know, if you’re, if you’re stuck in your life, but this this animal study, or this, this, this, this, this fruit fly study shines a different light on it. And it shows that there is a chemical correlation or chemical chemical connection, if you will,
between the musty smell and neurological issues. It’s, you know, Joan, Joan says very clearly, these are neurotoxins. And all molds produce these. And if you talk to anyone who’s had mold illness, the number one complaint is is neurological. It’s cognitive, and everyone’s chasing the mycotoxins, and yet only a infinitesimally small percentage of these molds produce them.
Yet, all of the molds produce these neurotoxic chemicals. And nobody’s talking about this mat. Nobody’s talking about this. This is something that I that I pound the drum on, because it’s fascinating, and it’s hiding in plain sight. And you know why no one’s talking about this. There’s no test.
There’s no protocol. There’s no detox, mycotoxins, there’s an industry. There’s an industry of labs doing the testing. There’s an industry of functional care people who I think, honestly believe that this is this that what they’re doing is, is correct. And I’m here to tell you that most of them most of them are incorrect. The most of mycotoxins are not coming from buildings, they’re coming from food. And I can tell you that you know it especially when you start talking about like vomit toxin and these kinds of
take off the scenes. These these come from from cerium. I’ve been doing mold testing for 20 years longer now. 22 years, and I’ve never seen a fusarium infestation in a building. Never, never one
once. And yet, you see a lot of talks and all these reports, you know, vomit toxin loves to grow on cereal grains and not the vomit toxin that grows. But the vomit toxin comes from, from fungi that loves to grow on corn and cereal grains and stuff like that. And
the United Nations used to say that 25% of foodstuffs globally are contaminated with mycotoxins and a group of food scientists looked at this and said, Where’d you get that data? And this seems ridiculous. And so they they got together into this global meta study. And they began looking at at grains and and other exports all over the world.
And what they found was the app port before export, the numbers were much lower, more like 10%. But then they followed those exports all the way to the port of the receiving port. And they found once it had gotten there,
that the numbers were much, much higher, they’re really more like between 60 and 80% of the food was contaminated with mycotoxins. These are on shipping containers, unconditioned shipping containers, on the ocean for a month, in many cases, who knows how long they sit at Port, before they end up going to some other storage facility.
And then they end up in, you know, the big food companies, and they’re, you know, in the box and bagged grain products that are contaminating our grocery stores and in our society, you know, the low cost for the procurement of low cost greens, in our restaurants, and in our grocery stores, is probably the leading cause of mycotoxins in our bodies.
And it’s not just the grains, although people you know, you know, no sugar, no grains is how I ended up I think, because I ended up because of the antibiotics, I learned that if I ate a bagel, I had this out of body experience, and I would like ferment I was like producing, you know, like a I felt like a
steal. You know, like I would actually produce alcohols and stuff when I eat simple carbs because I wiped out my gut. And all I had was yeasts in me and so I went on a no sugar no grains diet when I was 18 and I’ve been there ever since which is part of the reason why Kido Khan and biohacking really resonated with me. And I didn’t really realize at the time what I was really doing was doing a detox diet.
You know, so I allowed my body to purge these things slowly over time. And I also focus heavily on on organic and and humanely raised meats,
organic vegetables and fruits and humanely raised meats. And by the way, it turns out that that’s also a detox protocol because as it turns out, conventional meats are, are also loaded with mycotoxins, it gets passed through and they’re fats. And why do they have mycotoxins? Well, because they’re fed moldy grains. You know, and they’re being fed food that they’re not supposed to eat, like cows are fed moldy corn.
And next thing, you know, it ends up in the milk and that’s, you know, it ends up in their fat and so, you know, we’ve got people with mycotoxins and they’ve got vomit toxin, they’re like, Where’s it coming from? Well, you know, I mean, start looking at what animal in your food chain is eating moldy grains go all the way to the source. So so at the end of the day,
this is a broader conversation. But the but unfortunately, there’s an entire industry around mycotoxins and around detoxification that is misinformed as to the source of these things.
And are missing the predominant cause of most mold related illness in my opinion, based upon my experience, which is the musty smell. And, and this cumulative exposure, and then we also exacerbate this also gets exacerbated by the fact that we live in buildings that are essentially chemical boxes.
So that mold VOCs on top of your personal care products, your building materials, the new furniture, you get your new car smell, if you renovate a house and you’re painting and you’re refinishing the floors, and you’re not choosing specifically very, very specifically choosing materials that don’t have high VOCs and they’re not going off gas, you are buying materials that have VOCs and that will off gas, it’s just like if you buy food at the grocery store, and it does not say organic it is conventional, that has garbage in it if it does not say organic.
Buyer beware. Same thing with building materials but does not say no voc. You can pick it up and smell it right. We’re just awash in these chemicals. And so in fact that I was just reading the other day that they were getting 60 to 80,000 new chemicals introduced into our environment every year and only about 1500 of them are tested. And so we’re just getting we’re getting barraged by these things. And so you start looking at Lime and mold and then VOCs on top of it. You know, we have to be like we have to
double down on purity and clarity and detoxification, and making really wise choices not just around the food you eat and the water you drink and the air you breathe, but also the things that you bring into your building the materials, the furniture, the finishes, all those things. And unfortunately, we’ve associated success with that new car smell. And the new house smell, right?
These are these are these are like, you know, celebratory moment you walk in, you smell that smell at new apartment that you just got it just put a fresh coat of paint in, that feels great when you move in, you know, and it smells good. That’s toxic. I mean, that’s bad stuff. And that’s cumulative. And so you add those things up with all of the other things that I just mentioned. And you can’t expect to do well. And we wonder why we’ve got, you know, one out of three adults, one of the three
women will have cancer and adult women right now will have cancer in their lifetime, not including skin cancer. And the reason stat is also one out of two men will have cancer not including skin cancer, men are age. So we’re facing some real existential threats. And so it’s not it’s no longer you can no longer just kind of like, you know, look the other way on this stuff. I mean, you can, but to your detriment, you know.
Hello, everyone. First of all, I’d love to thank you for tuning in to the integrative thoughts podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kaufman. And through this platform, I plan on seeking out guests that interest me that I am curious about, and overall just living a more meaningful, purposeful life, and hopes that you as listeners, and I myself can grasp on to a little bit of their knowledge and integrate that into our daily lives.
Yeah, there’s a lot there. So sounds like there, obviously, the environment is a big piece, but some of these more species of mycotoxins that are going to cause more of the depression might be found in a lot of our common foods. I mean, you hear that all the time, but you never really hear anyone like hammer at home like that. That was amazing.
And it’s funny that you say the food and, you know, cancer is like I just seen this, I shared it on my Instagram about this, the Amish community that’s been studied recently, it’s been circulating around the internet, is they found like zero rates of cancer, diabetes, autism, zero children, in the Amish community are developing any of these things that we now call common, like you’re saying one and two, one and three, like, That’s unreal as far as the statistics go.
But if you look at the Amish community who’s doing what, not wearing sunscreen grown all their own food eaten animals that they raised, they don’t play with technology, which EMFs a whole another show. But you know, just all these like old school things where they know where all their food comes from, they’re not spraying any chemicals.
So they’re probably eating grains, they’re probably making sourdough bread, but they grew at all or their other family down the road grew it or, you know, they probably didn’t know where all of everything comes from.
And they don’t have any of the stuff that we have. And we like this cheap, convenient way of living where we just order groceries to the door. And, you know, we just think meets me but it’s at the fascinating part is, I think, where you spoke about the mycotoxin, the animal fats, because I think there’s a big community around like, you know, eating more red meat, which I surely do, I love mine, but I get mine from white oak pastures, you know.
So there’s a difference between getting it from the farm off the street who uses good practices, or a place like white oaks, or just going to Walmart and getting the cheapest beef possible, which I know if that’s your budget, I would still probably eat that over not eating meat at all, I think it’s still got a lot of critical nutrients in it.
But we have to be looking at the fat you know, all of the fat that’s about in beef and be super fatty. That’s the same thing as humans, that’s where your toxins are stored, the heavy metals, the mold, your body doesn’t want them in the bloodstream, they gotta go somewhere so they get stored into your fat.
And if you’ve ever done a real detox, you’ll notice like, certain days when you don’t feel well, you’ll look almost 5-10 pounds bigger because your body will blow purposely so that those toxins aren’t like damaging any organs and things like that.
And then the next day you’ll look skinnier than you did three days ago. It’s insane. The water weight fluctuation when you’re detoxing these metals and molds and different things like that. It’s really bizarre but the thing about the food industry because most people in the space are kind of just hammering home like moldy coffee, which I really do agree with because coffee I if I’m not mistaken has that ability to cross the blood brain barrier.
And so if you have different pesticides and toxins in coffee, I think it gets right into the brain and causes like almost instant because you can feel it when you take a sip of coffee you get that dopamine within like one second. You’re like Boom. Oh I feel good.
If one if there’s also like pesticides and mold and everything in there as well, you’re going to feel good from the dopamine but then you’re gonna get that anxiety real quick that comes along with all of these mycotoxins and pesticides. So the food portion There’s fascinating.
Yeah, and it’s also really look at it tomato sauce, peanut butter, a bit like the sauces, tomato sauce, and
applesauce are also fascinating. Because, you know, they take the uglies that are, of course, moldy, throw them in a bin.
And then they sit there for a while before they get processed, and then they get processed. And so you know, you’ve got, you know, all the stuff that you wouldn’t that’s not friendly for, you know, consumer, that that’s not marketable goes into these sauces, and it’s just hides. And the same thing with these moldy grains.
You know, I mean, there’s very little testing on these. There’s willful ignorance, and then they process them and they put them in bags and boxes and crackers and stuff like that, you know, and these things tolerate mycotoxins do not get destroyed. Section. Yeah, exactly. And by the way, you know, the Amish they’re not
the Amish are not storing their stuff in in shipping containers across an ocean for a month, you know, they’re respectfully storing these things. They’re treating them with care, right? They’re eating them in season. Right. And so, you know, there’s just a whole different level of care, which is, goes back to the idea of local seasonal, organic, humane, right, like, this is not a trend, this is the way it began, and we have gone so far away.
We’ve gone so far, that we think that you know, you get blueberries from Peru, you think that’s normal, you know, or we’re getting strawberries in December, you know, like, Give me a break. You know, like, we wonder why we’re having these problems, and we’re literally defying nature.
Yeah, back to that bulk. Section two, I think a lot of the not just plant based community, but the people who are trying to be more like eco friendly, they don’t like one a waste of plastic, they want to eat these things out of the bins that literally are just sitting there molding away, because you don’t want to waste the plastic bag. But at least the nuts are probably been sealed up ever since they’ve been harvested.
So there’s less likely to be some mold in the bag of macadamia nuts than the macadamia nuts that are just been sitting Lord knows where and then just in this tub for you to just wait and dispense them. And I got caught up in that when I was in the plant based world thinking I was like saving the planet.
But they those things get shipped in giant plastic bags Anyways, if there’s plastic being used for those no matter what. And then they’re getting mold and whatever else on I’m just sitting wherever with no seal on it. So it’s super funny how like, I don’t know, there’s like kind of greenwashing going on everywhere within like, the ICO space.
Everywhere. And it’s, you know, it’s, I even, you know, kind of scoff at the idea. You know, you you’re checking out the grocery store, it’s like you want plastic or, or paper? Well, do you want to cut down a tree or drill for oil? I mean, it’s like, no,
there’s no winning, you know, like, you bring your own bags, but even those mostly are plastic, you know, recycled bottles, okay, fair, you know, but now we’ve got more of those being produced there, pollutant now those those reusable bags, you know, they’ve become their own their own issue, but, you know, but it is fascinating, and it’s daunting. Listen, you know, Sarah, my better half
says, you know, like, sometimes Jason, you know, too much, this is, it’s, this is kind of a burden, knowing these things. Because you find yourself with limit, their limit creates a lot of limitations, right. But I think the most important thing to, to recognize is that this does not need to be something that people need to be afraid of.
You know, and I also and it’s, especially when it comes to mold, but also when it comes to you know, food and, and these other sort of what people might call hazards, you know, life is filled with hazards lightly, lightly. Like, I mean, life is dangerous life, life is a terminal illness, essentially.
But the bottom line is that you can you can look at this as something to be aware of, so that you can be discerning so that you can make good decisions for you and your family, rather than something to be afraid of. Because I think that when you also see people that are suffering from mold related illness, especially chronic mold related illness and chronic Lyme and these kinds of things. There’s a an emotional dysregulation that’s, that’s very common, not just depression, but a real sort of fight or flight, adrenal type thing.
You know, limbic system
dysregulation and and these people tend to be very fearful you
You know, very afraid of mold or very afraid of exposures. And I can’t help but think after I’ve seen so many of these cases that that’s, that’s exacerbating the whole thing.
And that really, the idea is to not be afraid of these things. But to recognize them as a normal as a normal thing and look at it like, like a boulder in the road, you know, you’re not afraid of the boulder in the road, you drive around it, right? You’re aware of it, you don’t ignore it, you don’t drive into it, you don’t ignore it, like pretend it’s not there, you drive around it, but there’s nothing to be afraid of, you know, and by the way, house, I have a different philosophy on on mold and buildings, you know, I more and more think about
the buildings that we live in work in as extensions of our immune system, like an Exo skin, or an exoskeleton.
And, like I said, we were, you know, there’s four basic human needs, and shelter is one of them. And, you know, we’re kind of like hermit crabs, we don’t do too well, without our shell, you know, we need these buildings. But again, they’re kind of a blind spot. For many of us, we just think about them as these boxes that we live in and store stuff in. But nothing can be further from the truth.
You know, I think you know, about the buildings, sometimes this kind of an organism, you may have heard me talking about this on Friday show, but you know, you’ve got, you could say that the building has a respiratory system, and the HVAC, you know, you could say it’s got a circulatory system and the plumbing, that the electrical systems kind of like a nervous system or like a
looking nervous system, and you could see that the, the siding and, you know, the, cladding on the outside of the building is a lot like dermis, if you look at it with a cross section, you got the siding, and you got layers of skin or layer, you know, and then you’ve got the fat, which is the insulation, and you got the bones, which are the studs, and, you know, the building looks a lot like an organism, which is defined as a system of life sustaining systems, right, that integrated system of life sustaining systems. And,
then there’s the question about, like, where’s the immune system? And, you know, the more I think about it, the more I think that that’s us, we’re the immune system. See, we’re like the mitochondria. Inside the building, our job is to keep all these processes moving, right?
We’re the energy source, right, we’re paying the bills, making sure the energy comes in, we’re making sure all that stuff works, and processing everything so that all these other systems can be supported. And, so if we fail to do that, the building starts to break down just like our cells do. If the mitochondria starts to fail, right, the building a building unoccupied, that does not experience experiencing that level will fall apart very quickly, especially modern construction.
And so you know, a building has a birthday, and potentially a death day. And its longevity is largely driven by how well you care for it. And so when a building starts to fail, or starts to have problems, aches and pains, you know, the first way it fails is it fails to shed wind and water, that’s a building’s primary purpose is to shed wind and water. And when it fails to do that, the wind and water get into the building. And the first thing that happens when you have a moisture problem and a building is that mold grows and mold grows very quickly.
And we’ll talk about that in a minute to mold growth only takes 24 to 48 hours to grow when something gets wet and stays wet. And so the first signal that you get that you’ve got a moisture problem in a building is the musty smell. And that musty smell is is is like a pain signal. Right? Just like when you have an ache or a pain your body sends you a signal and says hey, you got to do something about this.
And if you don’t do something about that, it gets worse and worse and worse. And we know from from you we know that when when the body acute inflammation can be addressed, usually with some sort of remedial effort. And but chronic inflammation is its own disease, right and can lead to cancer and everything else. Same thing goes with with chronic dampness, you know, moisture intrusion
can be dealt with quickly, can be handled immediately. Especially if you’ve listened to the signal. You can smell that musty smell. You know you’ve got a moisture problem, you gotta go fix that, find the water problem, fix it and then clean up the mold. But if you let that keep going you were going back to the primary colonizer, secondary colonizers and tertiary colonizers. If you let that go, you end up with the secondary and tertiary colonizers in nixing, you know, your body, your building starts to break down, you start to have rot, right, you end up with the really aggressive moles that send out these chemical toxins.
And essentially, you end up with cancer in your building. You know, and that requires surgery, right? In some cases, it leads to death of the building. And what happens when the building gets sick, is that the people inside it gets sick. And then when the building heals, so to the people. So you could argue that there’s a real symbiotic relationship where, you know, the building needs us and we need it. And the moment we stop taking care of it, it starts it we pay the price. So there’s a there’s a there’s a there’s a there’s this is an awareness that I’m trying to cultivate.
with people is to recognize that if you take care of your building, it will take care of you, you know?
Yeah, beautifully said. And I know, we kind of spoke on like water damage and moisture. But I know that you are also a pretty big
the materials that we build buildings with, why don’t we touch on like, why the actual materials we use are just like, mold. Love it. When did we switch to those materials? And like what is the difference, like there are older houses better as far as the materials go. I know older houses have more after they’ve been around longer, so there’s they’re more likely to have some form of water damage over time.
But I’ve heard that the older materials were actually better as far as and then we switched at one point. And now we just have like this mold infestation everywhere.
Yeah, no doubt about it a long time ago, I wrote a piece on Huffington Post called A Brief History of mold, which might be fun to put in the shownotes. And it talks about this in detail. And so basically, you know, when we used to build, we built buildings out of stone and plaster and brick and,
and essentially impervious materials.
They were we didn’t have insulation in the walls. So it was hard to keep comfortable. But but but when water got into the walls, they they would dry out quickly. And so they had what’s known as high drying potential.
And so, so these these materials, like I said, you know, that like slate roofs and old growth, timber, do not support fungal growth, mold will only grow on materials that are essentially easy to digest. So it likes to eat things like household dust, which is very easy to digest. But also materials that are made of items that were at one time living.
So in a natural environment, molds out in your yard, eating leaves, and sticks and twigs and these kinds of things. And when it’s doing that, in your yard, its job is essentially to turn things back into dirt, we build buildings, essentially out of materials that are made of, you know, paper products. And, you know, even the dumbest of the three little pigs didn’t build his house out of paper, you know.
So we have now we we use young timber, which is loaded with sugars, and much easier to digest than the old growth timber, we use sheet rock, which is basically a paper sandwich and mold loves the paper. And the sandwich. The the piece in the middle is gypsum, which is very absorptive. So when it gets wet, it holds the water and then mold growth only takes 24 to 48 hours to grow. So you’ve got a very absorptive material in the middle and paper on both sides. So it’s perfect growth medium.
I mean, if you know I joke around it, but you know, if a laboratory runs at a Petri dishes, they can just cut a piece of sheetrock out grow mold just as fast. I mean, it’s literally we build buildings out of mold food. And but the old old old structures plaster does not support fungal growth paint, paint will grow mold it to a limited degree. But it but it’s especially latex paint again, which is something that we use now in modern buildings.
So we we literally have shifted over to self composting buildings just add water, you know, I mean, it’s amazing to me, and then we also you know, then we then we paint them with toxic chemicals inside, inside the building with toxic chemicals and we finish our floors with toxic chemicals. And then we’re like, why do we have all these diseases? Why is cancer cancer up? You know, one out of two and one of the three men and women, you know, it’s just like scratching your head? You know, it’s hiding in plain sight. So yes, it is it modern construction lends itself to mold problems. Not only that, but also the quality of the construction. The Artisan is dead, right? Back in the day, buildings were built by artisans. And there were
apprenticeships, people understood how to build buildings to sustain and how again to build buildings that could shed wind and water. Speaking of the Amish if you go into an Amish barn, okay, you will see through the through the through the through the shingles, or the shakes. You can see daylight
you know, these are not sealed to the outside like we do with plywood now right and shrink and asphalt, which by the way, why do we put oil on our roofs like we put petroleum products on our roof that’s just one of the things that we do in modern society are just really defy logic. But if you go into an Amish or an old school barn where you can see you can see light and when it rains, not a drop of water comes in but if it does, the wind also comes through and it dries out. Right these buildings like I said before, if a high drying potential, now when water gets into our walls, which it does because of lousy craftsmanship and and shortcuts.
Mmm, and cheaper building materials because of course, the profit motive, you know, will invariably lend itself to builders choosing lousy materials and then charging as much as possible. water gets into the walls, and it gets stuck because we wrap our houses in plastic now, you know, or at least we wrap them in house wraps to retard vapor. Well, of course, that also slows down drying. And then the insulation that we put in walls is this fluffy stuff that absorbs water. So water gets in and can’t get out, you know. So everything that we’ve done in modern construction, also, we seal up our buildings really tight, because we want to save energy. But what that does is it eliminates air exchange. So like sick building syndrome, which was which was a big deal in the 80s or 90s was largely eradicated,
or at least, you know, stopped getting a lot of headlines, because they instituted air exchange minimums and commercial buildings. Modern residential buildings do not have any such requirements. So these things build up mold, cotton, mold, toxins, musty smells, VOCs, all these things build up. And so and in fact, air comes in this is really fascinating outdoor air makes its way indoors, of course. And that’s why we do with our test kit, we do indoor and outdoor samples, and our software compares the two.
But outdoor pollutants if you live in the city, for example, or anywhere near near a gas station, those toxins will make there are those pollutants will get into will infiltrate into your building, and then they accumulate. And the data on this is fascinating indoor air exposure to outdoor air pollutants can be four times greater inside
listen to this: So outdoor air pollutants that get into your house, you can be exposed four times as much in your house to the same toxins as you would if you were outside, because you’re re breathing them that remember 13 to 15 times 20,000 times a day. And so this, this is an argument in favor of filtering the air often, but also in terms of where you choose to live. Because if you’re living near a pollutant, your doors and windows are not going a pollutant source, industrial or lots of combustion, you know, living like street level, in a major city is a great way to end up with a very high concentration of of outdoor air pollution in your building in your home.
And an event and filtering that stuff out will help. But you also run the risk of over sanitizing your air and then actually lending yourself to a higher risk of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disease. So it’s a real it’s a it’s a really a real catch 22. And most cases, you know, it’s an argument for being closer to nature for sure.
Yeah, which is my main goal to get out of the city next 5-10 years. And hopefully that becomes a vision from my vision board. I want that. So if we wanted to build a house, more old school, maybe like the Amish or with better material, would it be like dramatically more money? Or are we just unaware? So we just like build a house that looks just like the house next door that looks like the one next to that? Like what? What’s the deal there?
But we have to if we were doing a new bill that we bought a plot of land? Would it cost a lot more money to use the older materials and build them in that way? Are we just unaware so we just looked at contractor do what they want?
Well, there’s a few problems that one of them is it’s hard to find contractors that will actually use materials outside of what they usually use. Contractors are extremely reluctant to, to use materials that they that they don’t use every single day.
I’ve had this problem and in houses that I renovated where I actually bought the materials and gave it to them and then they went and you get in through those materials away and hid them from me and then tried to use the ones that that
yeah, I brought in no VOC floor finish. And it was it was imperative that you know, in this house that I had gone to great pains to renovate an old 1860s farmhouse that was made of plaster and lath and all that stuff. And it was you know, by by by virtue of that I was healthy to begin with. But I you know, I was not going to replace the plaster I had to replace all the plumbing and electrical. So I was going to put plaster back up because that’s that’s very expensive. I mean, you’re not going to find a plaster
artisan in modern America, unless you’re willing to pay, pay through the nose.
And I don’t think it’s a necessarily the best way to go anyway. But by the way, because it’s a wet application. So it’s also you know, if you’ve got other materials in there that are that are that gets more fungal growth, you’re actually adding a lot of moisture, but there are paperless wallboards and there are you know, other other materials, like dens armor plus that don’t support fungal growth, that’s actually a fiberglass with gypsum in the middle instead of paper with gypsum in the middle and the fiberglass doesn’t support growth and the gypsum actually has an additive into it additive in it to prevent it from wicking so it doesn’t matter.
over the water, which is the sort of the double whammy of monitor of sheet rock, right, the sponge in the paper. So you know, there are there are wallboards like that, that you can use that, that gets you around the plaster thing.
But, yeah, this guy and I gave him the this, stuff, this no VOC’s bone unnatural floor finish. And I came in to check on it after he told me it was done, I walked in my eyes watered. And I was like, this is not the stuff. This is not the stuff. So I went looking around and I found in my dumpster I found the bottles that he had used cut up into pieces.
So he just completely ignored me. And so he had to come back and sand down the floors and HEPA vacuum the entire house at his own expense to get all that stuff out.
And so it was he added quite a bit of work to his own workload. But I was I was aware enough to know that right? Most people don’t know.
And so yeah, I’m actually working on a building project with
with a new partner. We’re looking in Arizona right now to build an apartment building that would be a healthy apartment building that would be based on building materials that are that are impervious to mold growth, also shielded electrical, for low EMF or no EMF and a hardwired internet and,
and air exchange, you know, like HRVs and ERVs, to bring in fresh air from outside and
standard water filtration for the whole building, not just for, you know, like local for, you wouldn’t have to pay for it, you know. So all of these things, all the materials are either natural, or, inert. And so I believe that there’s a large market for that, I think there’s a large and growing market, not just for people who are sick, but also people who are aware and don’t want to be sick.
And so I’m confident that there will be a shift in that direction. And that when the demand meets the supply, that that market will mature and grow. Much like organic groceries, right? Where that used to be considered kind of the your crunchy granola if you went to that store, and now Whole Foods is made this. Cool. And I think that you’ll see healthy buildings, you know, we’ve got this humongous 114 million, you know, single family houses that are essentially all sick buildings.
That’s the reality. You know, we’ve got aging housing stock of buildings that are you know,
that are that are made of these candies, chemical boxes that get moldy very quickly when they get wet, and that there’s no air change. So, you know, I’m optimistic that the materials are available, and that there are people that are thinking this way. It’s just going to take time, because you know, you can’t undo all that, like I said, 114 million single family homes, you know,
it’s a big deal. But yes, you can do it, you can do it. And yes, would it cost a lot more money?
Yeah, yeah, it would, it would cost more money. It would cost more money, mostly in timing, planning, and also material selection. I think at the end of the day, it would actually cost I think you could actually build a building that would be more efficient. And I think you would actually save money on utilities and things like that. I think you create a much more
environmentally friendly building.
But the biggest obstacle would be finding contractors and architects that are actually willing to entertain you on that. You know, and that that’s a budgetary issue. More than anything else.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s like a paradigm shift from the old way that we’ve been using for these last how many ever decades. Are you familiar with Brian Johnson? I think it’s company synergy. 360.
And there are a few Brian Johnson’s, I may not be talking about the same one.
But Brian Johnson, the common name, there’s one guy that’s like reversing as he was all ripped out and has like 300,000 followers, but there’s this other guy with a company called synergy 360. And he’s building completely mold resistant homes. Not sure if you’ve ever looked into him or connected with him, I could get you connected with him if you wanted to. I thought about interviewing him and I haven’t. I haven’t dove in enough to see exactly what the materials are. But I have him on Instagram. And he’s like always showing like these houses and buildings that he’s building and he’s using all different material and there’s like some crazy foam. I thought I seen him spraying in between the walls like everything’s supposed to be mold resistant, and I guess he’s having some good results with that.
I would love to connect with them. That’s That’s my kind of stuff. Oh, yeah, this is not the Brian Johnson I’m I’m thinking I would just look them up.
But you know, they’re really cool building materials. Like there’s this stuff called AC. aerated concrete. AAC. aerated. A, I think it’s AAC.
But it’s aerated autoclaved concrete. So basically, they,
they blow bubbles into it, you know, it becomes it’s like concrete foam. If you can imagine that, it’s got the characteristics of concrete in terms of tensile strength and compression and all that kind of stuff, right.
But it also has, unlike concrete, which is a lousy insulator, concrete as a thermal bridge, so if concrete, if we get heat on one side of concrete, it’s going to get hot, and it’s going to cool on the other side, right? If you get cold on one side of concrete, it’s going to make it cold. And it’s going to, it’s going to, you know, draw heat on the other side. So it’s a thermal bridge, AC, AAC, I think it is,
Will is the opposite. It’s actually an insulation. And so it’s got the structural benefits, but it also has insulative benefits. And also you use less of it. So it’s more friendly to the environment. And you can cut it with a saw with a handsaw. Unlike other concrete, it’s like literally, you can shoot, it’s really neat stuff. And so there are lots of materials that are emerging that are like that, that can be used, that you just have to be aware of them.
And but again, you have to find craftsmen that are willing to use them. And so I tend to think that the people that are going to be doing this kind of work, are the people like Brian Johnson, who are builders that have that mission, rather than individuals trying to do this for themselves. We’re gonna have a very hard time, cobbling together the resources to make that happen. Does that make sense?
Yeah, for sure. But hopefully, that’s the way forward and people are more conscious. As far as at least like new builds, obviously, most people won’t have access to that or have the means. But over time, if we keep building enough of them, there’ll be enough within the environment that maybe you could choose to buy that off someone who already built it, or you can rent it or whatever it looks like maybe apartment building like your case, but I’ll definitely I’ll get your number after the show. And I’ll try to connect you over with him.
One of my good buddies is close with him. So I feel like you guys would really hit it off. Well, I never been talking forever. We haven’t even talked about your test yet, really, but which is cool. You’re just a wealth of knowledge on mold. But I want to get into your test a little bit. And you’ve kind of created this new
type of air test that people can just do at home, it looks really, really cool. And I know you said you’re kind of working with like a special lab. So it’s a little bit different than the older air samples people used to get. So why don’t you tell us like how your test works and why the actual lab you use is a little bit different from the regular air test.
Sure, thanks. Thanks for that. Yeah, we.
So they the technology is known as spore traps, which have been around for for quite some time, there are these
cassettes that look like this. And they are precision engineered to have air drawn through them. So they act kind of like a filter. And they capture the airborne microscopic particles. It requires being drawn through the pump, actually, we just have these new tripod mounts made, which is kind of cool.
But they come like this. So the air sampling pump, this, this is this interfaces with the cassette, it’s got a built in five minute timer pulls the air through there, and
it’s done, you take this off, you put it put it back into the box that it came from, they sent it back to the lab in a prepaid mailer, the
the problem with typically getting the kind of testing done is that you have to find a professional to come over and they have to bring over their specialized equipment, everything else. And so we figured out how to do was make an air sampling pump that the duplicates $1,000 piece of professional equipment exactly.
And what’s nice about the kit is when you buy the kit, you can get either one, two or three room configurations. It requires an outdoor air sample. And this is this is important many of the other tests that are sold, like these petri dishes and Urmi. And these kinds of essentially, they’re junk science. And people who love army are gonna scoff at that. But but if they want to read more on why I say that, I will send you a link to the article I wrote about ErmI it’s called The Truth About ErmI. And it’s, it’s very detailed. But anybody who who thinks that ErmI is the answer
just needs to take 10 minutes and read this piece
of a change of thought a change of a change a change of heart on that.
And so so the the outside reference sample is very important because we need to know what’s in your normal environment, in your climate, and that’s different from from city to city and state to state and country to country and minute to minute for that matter even in the same place. And so that outside samples is the foundation actually of this portrait methodology. So you can get one two or three room kits all lab fees and shipping are included.
So there’s no secondary transactions, there’s nothing else to purchase or pay for. We also are very, very stalwart in our confidence in our confidentiality policy. So we, we don’t share any of this information with anyone else. We don’t have anything else to sell, we’re not in the remediation business, we’re not in the solutions business. We’re in the knowledge and awareness business. And so so we can be trusted that we have no conflicts of interest, which is extremely important. Many of these companies have conflicts of interest. Again, the mycotoxin business is a very, you know, there’s a whole industry there.
Let’s let’s fight let’s Urmi always says Hi, always Hi. And then the the inspectors you’d love that love it because man, it leads to lots of investigation, they can charge a lot of money, there are guys out there turning six or $8,000 for an inspection that are using Urmi. And then they’re turning around, they’re handing over the the report to contractors that are giving you know $100,000 bids to remediate houses including things like replacing HVAC systems with metal ducts, mold does not grow on metal ducts,people does not micron, the dust in the metal ducts, but they don’t need to be replaced ever. I mean, you may have to replace them if you want to upgrade. And if you want to, you know change your system for other reasons, but you don’t replace metal ducts or HVAC systems because of concern about a mold problem that doesn’t that cannot be visually confirmed.
And that’s what happens in lies cases people are being completely ripped off based upon Urmi scores. It’s horrendous. And that that’s the main reason why we created this, by the way, you know, I was, you know, because of all that national press I told you about earlier with all the Good Morning America. So our phone rang off the hook to just endlessly for 15 years. And and people who were outside of our coverage area, or who couldn’t afford an professional inspection would always ask if there’s a test kit we could recommend and we couldn’t recommend it. And so we saw lots of ErmI we saw a lot of these, you know, petri dishes like immune analytics. These are junk science. There’s literally no redeeming value for these things. And so so the idea behind this is to give people affordable access to high quality data. So we partnered with the number one lab in the country, M lab P and K.
And then they got acquired by Euro fence, which is the biggest environmental microbiology lab in the world $7.5 billion in sales. And so we pay a lot more than than the average inspector does for for the kind of analysis that we do. And what’s really exciting is we just actually partnered with a company called spore site who has an artificial intelligence based microscopes solution. And we’ve introduced them to Eurofins. And so now they’re starting to implement them on our stuff. And so what’s cool is that this This This typically is analyzed by a human who counts and categorizes the spores into different categories. So it’s a little bit cumbersome and it takes it, we have a three day turnaround time. But that’s an important point too, we buy the kit and you use it and you send it in and prepaid mail or our turnaround time is three business days.
So we like to, we generally shoot for about a one week turnaround time, from the time you drop it in the mail to the time you actually get the report. And when you get the report, it’s a color coded really intuitive, green, yellow, orange, red, you get the lab data that’s organized in a really simple way. So you can see clearly where the problems are. And we organized the sport types into water damage indicators, and common dominant outdoor so you can even a layperson can can understand this. And we saw 1000s of these we want a few people actually call us up and ask us if they can, if you know ask us for help with the report. It’s it’s that intuitive. And then the third page has a list of recommendations, you know how to find contractors in your area, how to find inspectors in your area, so we don’t just leave people hanging.
But the the sports site partnership is really exciting because the AI can actually go in there and analyze the entire slide and two minutes instead of 20 minutes. There’s no none of the human error. There’s no extrapolations, no mathematical irregularities, that is consistency between every location, we’re not to worry about one analyst knowing more versus the other. So there’s no there’s no variability between analysts in between locations. So that allows us to scale up really nicely, but also with a much, much higher quality product, so that hopefully in the next 30 days or so we’re going to start implementing the AI on our on our samples. So that’s very, very exciting. Yeah, and then also just sort of like seeing behind, you know, just a little, little, a little view behind the curtain, we’re also working on a dust test that uses something called next generation sequencing.
And that will actually instead of looking at 36, molds, which is what Urmi does, again, 36 out of 140,000 You know, the so 36 It’s just like, it’s like not even a rounding error, you know, it’s like so infinitesimally it’s small, it’s it’s so narrow, it’s like driving down the highway at night using a laser beam to navigate that headlights. That’s what Urmi is like, you know, and so, so what we’re doing is working on on a on a test that will allow you to take a dust sample from your furnace filter, and run it through this next generation sequencing and it looks at all known microbes, and we’re essentially creating a water damage panel so that you can see whether or not you’re building at a glance, you can see whether or not your building has been has has had a history of water damage. Again, we’re not focused on mycotoxins because that’s not the that’s not the lion’s share of the of illness. But water damage is the cause of illness. Regardless of the, of the name of the toxin you’re being exposed to water damage is the key. Mold is not the problem. And that’s a really important point here, mold is a symptom of a moisture problem. So everyone’s worried about mold, but it has root cause.
And I’m here to tell you the root cause of disease when you’re thinking is mold is not it’s dampness, water damage, dampness, uncontrolled humidity, and moisture problem. That’s the root cause of most of this illness, not mold. Mold is just the symptom, mold is the aggravator. But if you really want to get to the heart of it, if there’s an imbalance in the building that you either live or work in, or both. And so these tests are ideally, you know, not a replacement for professional inspection, I should mention that too. We don’t sell this as a way to, to avoid having a professional inspection. We sell it for people to sell it to people who are either unable or unwilling to spend $1,000 for professional inspection as the first step.
And if in fact, there is a problem, we highly encourage people this found but with the with the kit, we highly encourage people to consider getting a professional inspection, before skipping over to remediation. Because an inspector and proper inspector will come in and help you find the extent of the problem. They’re not paid by the pound, so to speak, are not paid by the size of the project, like a contractor is they’re paid to help you find the source, delineate the extent of it, determine the underlying cause, or causes and diagnose the moisture problem and then determine what repairs need to be done in order to fix it. And then to help you find contractors and, and remediators that are capable of implementing those, those changes. And so proper inspectors like your best friend, and often, you know, the smallest cost in the whole process of getting a building restored to normal condition.
And so it’s so it’s very important that people when they buy a test kit of any court of any sort that they don’t think that that’s going to be the be all end all, it’s a cost effective first step. And it gives you the ability to know whether or not you should take time to make further investment in time and energy. And then, you know, the and then when it comes down and this is, you know, the important part also is if you’re gonna go down the path of getting an inspector and getting remediator you really want to make sure that they’re not conflicted. You wanna make sure you’re getting an independent inspector. You want to make sure that they follow the IICRC s 520, which is the mold remediation stuff. entered. And that means that they’re also going to be, you know, encouraging them a chemical free mold remediation, which is very uncommon, but that’s actually what’s written in the standard, even though most people don’t follow it.
And so really it’s a tricky, tricky space for consumers. And so, you know, that’s a big reason why, in addition to the test kit that we offer, you, if you go to our website, you gotta got mold.com, you’ll see that we have a ton of of knowledge there available for free, you know, our Learning Center is is a is a is just dense with practical information, we have an ebook, the 46 page ebook that we give away for free on our website that has inspection checklists, and FAQs, and lots of resources, I tend to think sometimes that we’re more of an education company that happens to sell a test kit, rather than a test company that uses content for marketing. And, and, and because I think that once people start to understand more about this, you know, then they’ll make better use of the tool that we’ve created, you know, you know, an informed consumer is everybody’s best friend.
And so and also, you know, I really feel strongly that, you know, we live in buildings and breathe air, we all do. And we all live in a water planet. And so like, being able to navigate moisture problems in your building, is kind of like knowing how to tie your shoes, you know, like, it shouldn’t be table stakes, it should be like the basic basic basic thing, you should know how to, you know, tie your shoes, brush your teeth, deal with moisture problems and buildings, it’s so fundamental, that it’s something that every single human being in America should understand. Because again, we all live in buildings, we all breathe air and water on a water planet. And by the way, we’re on Planet fungi, 30% of the Earth’s biomass is fungi. And again, 50 Mega tons of spores every year, right? Like, you get the point like that we’re not getting away from this stuff.
There’s no such thing as mold avoidance, you know, this is a false narrative, this people who think that they’re going to avoid mold, this is not possible, but you can do is you can be properly equipped and empowered to navigate through it so that you don’t get so you don’t get chronically exposed, like you did, and like I did, you know, without the awareness, this is this is bound to happen with the awareness, you can suddenly become this person who, you know, instead of like the canary in the coal mine, you’re more like a super sensor.
You know, in fact, I often tell people, when they ask, what’s the best way to test for mold, I’m like, you’re the best test man, you know, you are the best test, you are an exquisite array of precision sensors, you know, and you have sensors in you that you don’t even know, beyond your five senses. You have, you know, we have this innate thing that we know when something’s off, if you’re if you’re able to listen to those signals. And so, in fact, people who have sensitivities, environmental sensitivities, I often say that they don’t have that kind of liability.
They’re often sheepish about it, and they feel marginalized. And they feel like they’re less than, and society has done a good job of of saying that, of supporting that. But I actually feel like those people have a sixth sense, they have a superpower. And they can sense these things before other people do. And these things that they’re sensing are, are causes of disease and Malaise for everyone, eventually, it’s just that these people can actually sense them before that, and they can actually avoid exposure. So it’s a strength, not a weakness. And so what I’m what my goal is to educate and empower people with the tools and knowledge they need to be make better decisions about the air they breathe. And we do that both through our through the test kit, got mold, as well as through education. In fact, you know, for for your listeners, we created a special welcome page, which they can find it WWW dot got mold.com/itp.
And there, you will find a link to our ebook, for free, as well as a coupon code there for 10% off of any any of our test kits and refills. And I should also mention this, when you buy our kit and you get the pump. You can also once you’re done, you don’t throw this away. This is a piece of of professional scientific equipment. This is a this is an air sampling device. And so we also sell refills, which allow you to retest your air for less so you can get one two or three room refills, and they’re $50 less.
So we often have people buy these and then they’ll give them to their friends or their family or or, you know, we have teachers that test their school rooms and we’ve got people who are renting apartments that have a landlord that’s not fixing the roof, and they’ll pass it down the hall and they’ll all test and then next thing you know, they’ve all got reports and they’re like, Hey, man, we gotta do something about this, you know? So so the tool is being used for some, some some change, you know, which is really what we created this for you To get people in motion, so that money and and fears about finding qualified people does not impede them from being able to take control of their health. So in our in our ebook, How To find mold, which is on your welcome page, as well as in the footer on the website.
There’s, it’s a 46 pages or so. And a big chunk of that is inspection checklists. And so, if you take that book, and you just go through that book with your, with a flashlight in one hand, and the ebook, in the other end, you go around your house, or your apartment, and you and you follow that the inspection checklist. And you you mark down the areas of concern that you identify, eek allows you to score those, and then you simply test in those areas to score the highest. What’s also nice about that, if you follow that, follow the book, you’re going to see things about your building that you never saw before, we never look behind things, we never move, that we never peel the layers of the onion away in our buildings, right. That’s what a professional inspector does. I mean, you know, I, I go into houses for 20 years, and I know more about that person’s house than they do.
And they’ve been living there for, you know, generally a generation or longer. And it’s simply because I’m taking the time to look at all the details taking looking at all the looking at see that trim is pulling away from the wall, you know, and like that carpet pulled a corner of the carpet away, and you can see the rusty tack strips. Why is it rusty, you know, you see a little bit of water, the little water bug that one little water bug major clue, you know, but these are things that are very easy to overlook, when you’re busy trying to pay the bills, you know, when you’re busy chasing your kid around, or you’re you know, stressed out about work or whatever, you know, you’re not going to pay attention that stuff, but our ebook allows you if you take the time to give yourself a guided tour of the building.
And if you do that, then you end up being able to see things you normally wouldn’t see, you become more intimate with your building, which is something I encourage, you know, because again, you know, this building is an extension of your immune system, you should just like you check your body, if you’ve got moles, you do a regular mole check, you know, or, you know, people who, you know, a lot of people don’t even know if they’ve got a problem on their back, you know, cuz they don’t even take the time to look. So, you know, raising awareness around these things, not just with your body, but also your building. I think is it just a fundamental part of being a responsible adult? And so, you know, we the ebook gives you the sort of the the framework, and the step by step way to be able to do that. And then the testing, you know, allows you to see the unseen, you know, allows you to to quantify something that’s rather nebulous, and then it gives you the motivation that you might need to be able to take action on it.
Yeah, that’s awesome. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that once you see mold, it’s actually usually already a pretty bad problem, right? If I’m not mistaken, most mold is invisible, or at least invisible to the naked eye. And if you can see mold, it’s usually already a pretty bad problem. Is that correct?
Yeah, in most cases, and especially because a lot of the molds that the primary colonizers that I mentioned before, tend to be clear, colorless spores, where they’re very light colored. And so you know, you need a special, you need to have the flashlight at a specific angle, usually like kind of an oblique angle, so that you, you can see the surface texture that’s created by the colonization. So again, it comes down to being able to know that my one of my mentors like to say, There’s no such thing as hidden mold of you know, where to look. But it’s also not just where to look, it’s how to look. And so, and it is true that, you know, you can have colonization, that’s not visible because you’re dealing with a microscopic organism.
By the time you can see colonies, you’ve got, you know, millions and millions of spores, and so that are just waiting to break frame become airborne. And so by the time you see it, you know, that’s why the best best indicator is the musty smell. You know, if you smell it, he probably got it, then the key is to find out where the source of the moisture is. And that’s the same thing with our test kit, the moment you have results that that indicate that there’s a problem. The first step is not remediation. The first step is identifying and diagnosing the cause of the moisture problem.
And if that is beyond your scope of experience and capabilities, that’s why you hire a professional. You don’t need a professional come and grab a few samples. That’s what we fixed, you know. And but what you do need a professional for often is to identify and diagnose the source of the moisture and then figure out what repairs need to be made. And then to develop a scope of work, which the remediation contractor will then follow. And then to do the testing at the end to make sure that you’ve gotten what you pay for before you before you release the final funds. So sort of like a little bit of a safety, sort of a little check and balance, if you will. But yeah, no doubt about it. If you see if you see it, it’s been there for a while.
Yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve gathered over the years of kind of digging into it a little bit as well. And one last thing, before we get off here, I do want to touch on you said the third page of the test report is going to kind of tell people where to kind of find some inspectors or remediators, like maybe by them, is that just like a website? Or is this like a team of people that you’ve found the trust over time? What exactly does that look like? Good question.
We’re actually working on a national referral network. And that would be, you know, a dynamic listing on our website where people would apply or contractors and inspectors would apply. And then they have to maintain their there’s a knowledge verification, which they’d have to maintain on an annual basis. And then they would be, you know, the middle listener insurance and trainings and all that stuff, kind of like a LinkedIn or home advisor for mold related services on gmail.com. So we’re working on that. But third page, currently, the links take you to the trade associations, which which train these people and certify them. So ACAC, which is an organization that that trains and certifies inspectors, specifically, the ones that we suggest people look at are the certified and indoor environmentalists beyond mold inspector.
So mold inspectors pretty, pretty. Pretty pedestrian, the certified mold inspector, you really want someone who’s got broader knowledge about the overall indoor environment. And so so this is the organization that trains and certifies those those designations. And then the other organization that there’s a link to is the IICRC, which is the International Institute of cleaning and restoration contractors. And they are the group that is the standards governing body for the mold remediation and water damage industry standards. So they train the remediation contractors, and the water damage mitigation contractors. And so the two standards that are relevant, there are the IICRC s 500, which is water damage, and the IICRC s 520, which is mold remediation.
And so there are two different very different organizations, there’s a lot of overlap between them. But but those those are the those are the links that we we contain that we that we provide there, we don’t endorse anyone. We don’t have any financial relationships whatsoever with any contractors or inspectors, nor will we quite frankly, even with with our referral network, that’s just going to be they’re going to pay for their listing. But there’s no endorsements or guarantees associated with it’s just a free service that we’ll put together for for people to be able to find inspectors and remediators who agree with our philosophy, because that’s a big part of having them be on our network is that they agree to no conflicts of interest, and they agree to a green clean with no chemicals and those kinds of things. But that’s the best part about a year out at this point.
Cool, awesome. And I’m definitely going to want to have you back on I actually we didn’t even get to touch on like the whole renters playbook. And I actually think that that could be like a whole episode in and of itself anyways. Because the legal issues that you know, and how to kind of navigate through those kind of thick waters when you’re renting and all the nuances that go into that probably deserves at least an hour of its own type of episode to because that was like where we were at. We just broke our lease, threw away everything and started from scratch, which is very traumatic, and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. That’s just what we did. But I would love to have you back on and we’ll, we’ll wait a while but we’ll do we’ll go through all of that as well. But before we jump off, why don’t you tell everybody you kind of already mentioned it quite a bit. But tell everybody the website once again where they can find you on social media contact you anything like that.
Sure. Thanks for Thanks. Once again, there’s there’s a welcome page for your listeners, I highly recommend they go there first. So they’ve got mold.com/itp. And there you’ll find some free resources in the discount code in case you’re interested in, in getting a kit. And of course, you can always go to gmail.com. And I highly encourage people to go to the Learning Center. If the people want to get in touch with me and they’ve got specific questions. You can go to the contact page, the contact section at the bottom of the homepage and I don’t answer all of the questions, but I do see all of them that come through. And so we pride ourselves in in and pretty fast response times on those things. Alternatively, we have a decent and growing presence on Instagram, and our handle is at got mold. Similarly with Facebook also ad got mold.
And that’s another great place to post questions. I usually haven’t asked me anything post up there. And so people can just post questions there and then often answer either directly there or through, like, through an IG live, I’ll sometimes just pop on and just rattle off, you know, answer a few things and tag people. So, you know, we’re, like I said, we, we’re not just here to sell test kits, you know, I think, you know, this is a very confusing subject, it’s very difficult for people to navigate, there’s a ton of misinformation out there, there’s a lot of people that have stuff to sell, that may or may not be valid. And so it’s, it’s very, very difficult for the consumer to, to navigate. And so, you know, so we try to create sort of a safe place for people to learn, and to, and to be able to quantify this so that they can, you know, move through the world with little more confidence and, and, and do the things they need to do to protect themselves in their and their health.
So this is this has been an absolute pleasure being here. I’m thrilled that we’re able to connect and yeah, thank you so much. Yeah. So I definitely want to continue the conversation you know, with the playbook when you have new tests come out anything that you want to promote because I lived through it. And I think that you’re one of the most knowledgeable people knowledgeable people that I’ve come across as the most basic girl so thank you so much for sharing the knowledge with us.
Thank you. Thank you very much, man. It was real a real pleasure to be here.
Awesome. Have a good day.
If you enjoy this show, would you please take a second to subscribe rate and review it for me. Also, if you’d like to know more information about combo personalized one on one coaching with me or for upcoming retreat information which I hosted my wife please visit my website in the show notes or DM me on Instagram my handle over there is at integrative mat. Until next time, my friends.