The Wholly Well Podcast
Wed, Oct 19, 2022 10:27AM • 42:29
mold, people, mycotoxins, symptoms, dampness, jason, house, spores, problem, asthma, mold growth, bleach, moisture, home, water, hear, health, psychiatric, years, life
Kelsey Jack, Jason Earle
Jason Earle 00:03
I look at it with the immune system like a juggler that it’s doing its job when it’s juggling, it’s doing its job balls are up in the air. Yeah, occasionally one falls, but you pick it back up and you keep juggling. That’s your immune system. Mold is the guy across the room throwing baseballs out.
Kelsey Jack 00:16
Welcome to the Wholly Well Podcast, where we reclaim hope through holistic health and wellness. I want you to feel empowered to believe in your body. Start making choices that benefit your individual health needs, and start to achieve your goals that lead to sustained wellness in mind, body, and spirit. This is a space where we can learn together how to live holy well.
Hey, friends, it’s Kelsey Jack host of the Wholly Well Podcast today. I am very excited to cover a topic that is kind of having its moment in the health and holistic healing space. Jason, thank you again for coming on the Wholly Well podcast. I appreciate your time and I am so excited for this episode on all things mold, allergens, indoor air quality and health.
Jason Earle 00:16
I am excited to be here too. Thanks for having me.
Kelsey Jack 01:08
Yes, absolutely, guys, as I do with every guest, I’m going to give you a little bit of a bio and background so you know Jason’s story. Jason Earle is a man on a mission, an adoring father, incurable entrepreneur, and indoor air quality Crusader. He is founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-MOLD? and MycoLab USA. He’s also the creator of the Got Mold? Test Kit.
Allergic to nearly everything in his environment, as a child, Jason’s asthma was so severe that he was initially diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Absenteeism due to a battle with Lyme disease and his mother’s suicide ultimately led him to drop out at 16, and get a full time job at the local gas station.
This is where most stories end, but in an almost miraculous turn of events from a chance meeting in mere months, Jason found himself working on Wall Street. Within a year he had unwittingly become the youngest licensed stockbroker in history at age 17, resulting in a Guinness World Record.
Going on to enjoy a nine year career. It is a story you will enjoy hearing later in our conversation. Over the last 20 years, Jason has performed countless sick building investigations, solving many medical mysteries along the way, helping 1000s of families recover their health and peace of mind. He has been featured or appeared on Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, the Dr. Oz Show, Entrepreneur, Wired, and at least two college textbooks and more.
He has a wealth of practical knowledge across a wide range of subjects involving health indoor environment. But the best part, Jason is no longer allergic to anything, which is why I wanted his story on the Wholly Well Podcast. So without further ado, let’s dive in friends. Jason, we would love to hear your story, why you went from Wall Street wiz to America’s top mole detective and how you connected the dots in your own house journey.
Jason Earle 02:54
Well, first of all, Kelsey, thanks again for for having me and also, for that introduction. Sometimes I hear that and I wonder who that happened to?
Kelsey Jack 03:01
Yeah. I bet.
Jason Earle 03:04
So, my story, you know, it’s really about an awareness and awakening that happened after nine years on Wall Street. I had a career there that I just one day woke up and decided I wasn’t having fun with anymore. And it was right after the dot-com bubble burst. And I had always enjoyed work. Everyone used to say… isn’t it stressful.
And I didn’t know, I was a 16 year old kid when I started. So that was, you know, my first real, I had lots of jobs, and obviously, but this was I just kind of got immersed in this. And it’s for me, I loved it. I loved every minute of it, I had so much fun. But at that point, I woke up. Literally, it was from one day to the next I woke up and I wasn’t having fun anymore. And so I decided to make a change.
And actually, what was interesting about it was that there was a voice in my head. And it was my mom’s, it was my mom’s voice. And she used to always tell me that the key to a satisfying life. And this by the way, this is a woman who committed suicide. So but the key to satisfying life was service, and she gave to a fault. In fact, that’s in large part why she why she came to an early demise because she gave to a fault.
She really did. She gave all of herself. And so but she did impart this idea of service, which is powerful. And I volunteered at the hospital. She was the director of nursing during the summers and, and and I was actually doing volunteer missions for Operation Smile when I was a stockbroker when I could peel myself away from the desk for a week. And I found that work to be so satisfied, I’d come back from these very, very taxing volunteer missions and be fulfilled, but then I’d go on vacation and enjoy, quote, unquote, you know, the good life, and I’d come back needing a vacation from the vacation.
I would be tired from that, you know. And so anyway, this voice in my head, her voice basically said go forth and prosper, go forth, go find a way to be of service. And so I had have no idea what that looked like, at all. I mean, I was I was struggling with purpose as a stockbroker, my whole life the only people that…
Kelsey Jack 05:06
Jason Earle 05:06
…benefited from my success were the people that owned the stores where I work. And so that didn’t sit well with me. And so, anyway, long story short, after the dot-com bubble burst a month before September 11, I quit. And I put 20 pounds of stuff in a backpack, and sold the rest of my stuff and I went on walkabout. I bought a train ticket in New Jersey, and I took it up into Canada and I went all the way across Canada.
Saw the polar bears and I spent a lengthy time on sort of walkabout that to went down the West Coast, I basically took a train from New Jersey to La through Canada. And and then I flew to Hawaii. While I was there, I was reading the local newspapers, I had a lot of time on my hands. And I had my journal.
All I brought with me was like my journal, some CDs, I’m dating myself here, but and… Bought a walkman. …yeah, literally, and I collected essays of Emerson and, you know, I was really kind of just gonna go super minimalist, and I…and so I was reading local newspapers and spent a lot of time sort of just pondering life I hadn’t had, but a minute to spare, you know, for nine years.
Kelsey Jack 06:08
Jason Earle 06:09
All my friends have gone to college. And here I was, finally I had a little bit of money, and I had some time I was 25 years old. And in these papers, there was a lot of news about this huge mold problem that had been discovered and was currently being remediated in, in a Hilton Hotel on Waikiki Beach, still called the Hilton Kalia Tower, had been shut down for about six months when I was there.
And initially, if that was happening, another problem and a $5 million problem. And at the end of the day, it was a $55 million mold remediation project. Biggest in history at the time, I think to this day, it probably has not been Eclipse. But the thing that caught my attention was not the dollar amounts or, or anything like that. It was really this one story.
This one gentleman who was an employee at the hotel who, at 40 years old, developed adult onset asthma, which is something I had never heard of before, as well as allergies to all these things that he had never had a problem before. And it was a danger of movement, but it it brought me back to my childhood because when I was about four years old, I suddenly lost a lot of weight in a three week period, and was having difficulty breathing.
My parents took me to the pediatrician who said you should take him to the hospital. And they took me to Children’s Hospital, which is a renowned respiratory clinic. And their initial diagnosis was cystic fibrosis. And that was primarily because of the symptoms I was presenting with as well as my family history. My father had four cousins who died of CF with age of 14.
Kelsey Jack 07:40
Jason Earle 07:41
So they got hit with a sledgehammer during that visit.
Kelsey Jack 07:45
Jason Earle 07:46
And they went home and cried for six weeks until the second opinion was was proffered. So they went back to Children’s Hospital. And they said good news. He doesn’t have cystic fibrosis. Actually, he has asthma compounded by pneumonia. And when they tested me for allergies, which back then was done I don’t know how to do it now. But they put yeah skin skin but they put you in a papoose. So I was a you know a toddler. So they basically put you in a straitjacket for… and then with an open back and then draw a grid on your back, and then do the antigens to see how you react that skin prick test.
And so anyway, my dad said I looked at the ladybug, just a big red swollen back with dots all over it. And and I tested positive for every single thing. They tested me for every single thing. And so they said you basically have a bubble boy. So they sent me home. I was allergic to grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton, soybeans, and I was grew up I grew up on a little nonworking farm outside of Princeton, New Jersey, surrounded by grass, wheat, corn, eggs, dogs, cats, cotton.
Kelsey Jack 08:52
Everything that in your environment.
Jason Earle 08:54
Everything, everything. And it wasn’t helped by the fact that my parents both smoked indoors in the car with the windows closed at times, you know, I mean, that was the 70s and 80s.
Kelsey Jack 09:06
Jason Earle 09:07
And I basically lived on inhalers until I was about 12, at which point my parents split up and my symptoms went away. And I never thought about it again until I’m in Hawaii reading this newspaper. And I thought geez, I wonder if the house had been making me sick. I wonder if we had a mold problem. So I went to the payphone, which probably isn’t there anymore.
And said and said hey, you know I call my father. I said, Hey, do you think we have had a mold problem at Old Trenton Road? And he laughed at me. He just flat out laughed. He said, of course we have mushrooms in the basement, why do you ask? So it was just the way it rolled off his tongue as if it was a non. It was just…
Kelsey Jack 09:45
A nonissue. Yeah.
Jason Earle 09:47
…yeah, it typifies the sort of lack of awareness that that that mold has enjoyed, if you will, for a long time.
Kelsey Jack 09:55
Let me interject and ask that and I don’t mean this in insensitive way but have you thought about your mom’s mental health with that as well, because mold can be so trippy for mental health.
Jason Earle 10:07
Oh, let me tell you something, we can get into that when we talk about symptoms. But one of the most interesting emergence of in terms of medical research is that connection of psychiatric…
Kelsey Jack 10:20
Jason Earle 10:21
…illness with inflammation. And so looking at mold, mold affects the body in so many different ways. It’s, you know, it can be allergic to be toxigenic, which is actually a very small number of cases, contrary to popular opinion, allergic or inflammatory or combination thereof. And so the inflammation part is something that’s poorly understood. It’s also been sort of misused, I think, a little bit by some of the practitioners out there, but the bottom line is, it’s highly inflammatory.
And we’re actually working with a psychiatric practice, that prescriber is prescribing our test kits to every new patient, because they’re finding out that with the exception of the people who are coming to them with relationship issues, they’re finding inflammation to be underlying almost all of their symptoms. And we’re talking a wide range of psychiatric illnesses.
Depression, in fact, was was was identified as a, there’s a link between mold and depression, mold and dampness, indoors and depression that was documented in a research paper by Edmond Shenassa, Brown University in 2007. So there, it’s it’s been talked about for a while, but it’s not been sort of it hasn’t made it through to the consumer, right, it hasn’t made it through to the clinic. No, it’s all it kind of stays with air nerds like me, you know. And so that’s what my job is, my job is to take that stuff, and package it up in a way so that we can raise awareness and bring that message to people who it’s affecting.
Kelsey Jack 11:41
Didn’t mean to cut you off, but I just had that kind of aha moment, which I’m sure you’ve thought about many times. But it is important because I have a larger female audience that struggles with anxiety, you know, mental health, the whole gamut. And mold really, like you said to your point is not talked about enough. And it’s really not known just kind of like Lyme. It’s that mystery.
Jason Earle 12:06
Kelsey Jack 12:06
And it’s also very hard to remediate and eradicate from the body. So…
Jason Earle 12:12
But by the way, while you’re while we’re there, just for a moment, I have mold rage is a real thing. Anxiety from mold, or from the exposure to specifically the musty odor, is really the issue here, folks, this is the thing that that has been dismissed as an aesthetic nuisance for generations. The basement smell is not, it’s not…
Kelsey Jack 12:35
Jason Earle 12:36
Kelsey Jack 12:36
Lake house. Yeah.
Jason Earle 12:37
But that the vacation home smell, you know, like that. That thing is it people have dismissed it as as, like I said, an aesthetic nuisance. And in truth, it is a health hazard. And this is something that’s being researched more and more and more, it doubles the risk of asthma and children is the leading into exposure to the musty odor is the is the second leading indicator of potential asthma in children behind maternal smoking. It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal.
And the chemicals that are in the musty smell are solvents. So in other words, some of these are carcinogens. Granted, they occur at very low levels, parts per billion. But still, in any case, when you’re indoors, you’re rebreathing, small amount that you rebreathing all that air. So even a small amount is actually beat, you’re being exposed to it every you breathe 20,000 times a day.
Kelsey Jack 13:26
Jason Earle 13:26
It’s not like you take your breath outside breath outside, the air is constantly changing here in the house. It’s changing, but it’s fairly static when it comes to the pollutants that are in there. And so you reread that 20,000 times a day, a small pollutant is a big exposure.
Kelsey Jack 13:41
Yes. So take us back to when you were talking to your dad, I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I wanted you to be able to circle back on that thought and close out that story for us. So he said basically confirmed your thinking about the mushrooms.
Jason Earle 13:55
He said, why do you ask? And I said, Well, you know, I just read the story. And and it really, it made me think that this might be the issue. Do you think do you think the mold was making me sick? And his answer was that well, my day goes, well, it couldn’t have helped.
Kelsey Jack 14:12
Yeah, that’s a Yankee.
Jason Earle 14:15
It’s so typical of my father to you know, I used to ask my father to just give him a moment because he’s probably gonna listen to this. You know, I would often say to him, you know, I call him up after something went wrong. And I’d say Dad, why do I do this to myself? And his answer is, well, who else could you do it to?
Kelsey Jack 14:31
Just dry sarcasm but blunt.
Jason Earle 14:36
So immediately, you know, people talk about having a vision of their future or knowing what they want to do with their lives or you know, finding a passion or whatever it is, and, you know, some people kind of born into it. Some people you know, it takes some discovery. This moment, is like, is the light bulb. I immediately became fascinated not with mold, although it is fascinate. Eating. And and I am fascinated with it. But I am more interested in the larger picture, which is how buildings, the buildings that we live and in work and impact our health.
Kelsey Jack 15:08
Jason Earle 15:09
So we spend 90% of our time indoors, even, you know, in really extreme climates as much as 99%, if you especially if you’ve had transportation, and everybody’s worrying about the outdoor environment, and we should, we should protect that we’ve got generations to come that deserve a healthy outdoor environment, healthy planet. But the indoor environment where we have total control over, we forget about that. And we take that for granted. And we don’t invest nearly as much time and attention as it deserves. Because it has such an enormous impact on our health, I would argue as much if not more than food.
Kelsey Jack 15:37
Jason Earle 15:38
Because it’s something you do automatically 20,000 times a day, you eat maybe a few times a day. And you do this in a fairly aware state, your breathing automatically and
Kelsey Jack 15:48
20,000 times a day.
Jason Earle 15:49
20,000 times a day. And it’s your interface with the world, your lungs, your entire respiratory system is a is a naked interface with the world, right. And so you have in the indoor air, you have control domain control over your indoor environment, more so than almost anything else in your life, and yet failed to exercise it most of the time.
And yet, and yet, we are frustrated with the fact that you have so little control on other areas, and exert so much energy trying to control those things, other people, situations, outcomes, things like that, that’s where a lot a lot of our stress and anxiety and depression comes from it’s the need or desire to control things you can’t control. And then the failure in the same on the other side of that to control the things you can. And this is one of the few areas where you do have that kind of control, if you so choose to exercise it. That’s good.
Kelsey Jack 16:36
That’s really good. And I’m sure this is not a question on the script. But I’d be so interested to get your thoughts on how you feel like the as a whole global perspective, Americans went into the COVID 19 pandemic with poor respiratory health with a lot of them probably living in mold conditions, even hospitals, you know, those are the types of things that people don’t think about, but it would have a large effect on outcomes.
Jason Earle 17:05
For sure, you know, mold is the is like kryptonite, a mold will make you weak, you know, even if you talk about it, like energetically, which some people might be interested in, you know, mold will interrupt other waveforms, it will interrupt other systems. Mold is is is the great interrupter really, I look at it with the immune system like a juggler, but it’s doing its job when it’s juggling, it’s doing its job balls are up in the air. Yeah, occasionally one falls, but you pick it back up and you keep juggling, that’s your immune system.
Mold is the guy across the room, throwing baseballs at him. And so if you’re trying to balance something, especially if you’re dropping the balls, if your immune system is already dropping the balls, something’s gonna give and mold is going to take precedence, and then you end up in an inflammatory hypersensitive response. It’s a gradient scale, people fall, you know, all over it levels, different levels.
And it’s also cumulative with other irritants and the sources of inflammation. So oftentimes, I think about it kind of like a snowball at the bottom of the hill, you know, the roll down the hill, it’s hard to figure out where it began or what, you know, we take it apart, it’s cumulative, but it tends to be the thing, which is the good news is that thing that tends to make itself somewhat obvious at some point. So in other words, a lot of health journeys are mysterious, and they stay mysterious, because there’s no visible or manifestation that shows you what’s wrong, you just know the symptoms.
Mold gives you a gift, sometimes, which is an odor. It’s a message from the mold, it’s actually I believe that the benevolent thing that you’re actually being told that this is here, so you can take action. And I actually really believe this is all benevolent, and that mold is just doing his job. And ultimately, what we need to do is start looking at this, and recognizing that when you have a moisture problem and your house, the building gets sick, you are the building’s immune system. And if the building gets sick, you get sick, when you heal the building the building heals you. And it’s a symbol. It’s a symbiotic mutualism, if you will. So in other words…
Kelsey Jack 18:59
The body, of the body. Yes. Absolutely.
Jason Earle 19:01
And the building we building is an exoskeleton, if you will, or it’s a it’s an extension of your immune system. You need that building to survive. It’s one of the four basic human needs, you know, air water, food, shelter, right, everyone forgets about the shelter part. That’s a requirement. You know, we’re like, we’re like hermit crabs. We won’t do too well without our shell.
Kelsey Jack 19:18
Jason Earle 19:19
And so but we forget about that, because the law familiarity says whatever you’re exposed to long enough you’ll take for granted and so you’ve got the house, but also air is there anything you’re exposed to more and that you take more for granted?
Kelsey Jack 19:31
Jason Earle 19:32
Right air? Yeah,
Kelsey Jack 19:34
That’s right. Well, something kind of piqued my interest you said even in the practitioner space, some things are misunderstood or mispronounced. So let’s get in because I know a lot of people are going oh my gosh, I need to know more now. So let’s talk mold 101. It is quite mysterious, like you said, though, it can leave clues with with smell. It does wreak havoc in the body and unfortunately, many people are not aware of the extent of health impacts mold can cause. You touched on one, which was respiratory and asthma, but let’s talk about causes, cures, myths, and misconceptions.
Jason Earle 20:08
Sure. Okay. So in terms of cause, mold is pretty simple. It’s the very predictable, natural byproduct of prolonged dampness. It’s so predictable that the industry standard says that 24 to 48 hours to respond to a water damage event before, if you respond to it properly, it’s high risk of mold. The industry standard even goes further say it’s 72 hours, everything that’s porous water damage should be treated as mold, even if it’s not visible.
So in other words, the action required for a proper response is measured in hours and days, not weeks and months. So when it comes to a moisture issue, you have to act quickly. This is the biggest mistake that people make. So in terms of causes, it’s always dampness that causes the dampness is actually the thing to look at. So in other words, people are focused on mold as the enemy. And I again, what are you mold is the is the signal.
Kelsey Jack 21:05
It’s just a symptom.
Jason Earle 21:07
That’s right, and the moisture is the problem. So always, when you have a mold issue or concern about a mold issue, the number one thing is where’s the moisture coming from? Stop that turn off the spigot so to speak, before you clean up the puddle. Because otherwise you’re just going to be doing double the work or triple the work. Okay.
And so in terms of causes as cures is the it’s of course, you know, the adverse, the Healthy Home mantra is clean and dry. You know, I’ve got two kids in diapers, the healthy diaper scenario clean and dry, right, everything healthy is clean and dry. And so in terms of cures, remediation is a whole nother podcast, we’ll talk about it a little bit, because it’s because there’s a million questions associated with you know, how to do it, how do you select them?
How do you know when you need a professional and it is difficult because this industry is such that you really can’t do much without a professional once you get to a certain size problem. And I wish there was a way around that but I’ve yet to find it. I’ve been doing this 20 years looking for a way in terms of the myths and misconceptions. I think that’s a really important thing to talk about. Because the wives tales the misconceptions are like social media does so well echo chambers, right?
Siloed echo chambers and these things just get repeated and then they get shared. You know, the biggest one is black mold and toxic mold. And I know a lot of people are gonna go, what! What do you mean! Black mold and toxic mold or misnomers complete misnomers bad, no such thing as good mold growth in your house.
Kelsey Jack 22:35
Jason Earle 22:36
In the brie, or the, you know, the cheese in your fridge. There…any degree of mold growth in your house beyond household mildew, the grunge on the grout and your shower is reason for concern and warrants action. So there is no such thing as benign mold growth of any significance in your home.
Make no mistake, and there’s a lot of reasons for that. Number one moisture problem is a moisture problem. A moisture problem is a problem. A moisture problem that’s left unchecked will multiply so fast, you will not believe it? A small problem is cheap, maybe free to fix in a matter of days and go from zero to $10,000.
Kelsey Jack 23:14
Jason Earle 23:15
And then it can also get to structural damage. This is on the geometric multiplier one spore becomes 1000 becomes a million becomes a billion see, and is that fast.
Kelsey Jack 23:26
Jason Earle 23:27
And so it’s extremely important. I’m gonna emphasize that again. But the thing about the molds that’s interesting is that the spores are already there, you know that our world is filled with spores, fungi across the planet produces 50 Mega tons of spores a year, which is the equivalent of 500,000 blue whales.
So we’re awash in spores is the largest producer of biological particulate matter, the Kingdom fungi. And so we have spores all over and they’re all kind of set to activate at certain temperatures and moisture activity levels and things like that. And so they’re kind of waiting for their stars to come into alignment.
And so when you have a moisture problem, one mold will start there’s primary colonizers and there’s the second crew. They’re called secondary colonizers. And then the last guys that come in the tertiary colonizers, that’s where you start to get the aggressive molds that produce these mycotoxins because they actually are using those mycotoxins to kill other molds. We get caught in the crossfire This is biological warfare on a microscopic level. And it just so happens that we’re genetically very close to fungi much more so than bacteria.
Kelsey Jack 24:25
Jason Earle 24:25
And that’s why that’s why it impacts us because we are actually we are we are just one step away from from from those guys. So…
Kelsey Jack 24:33
Have you watched Fantastic Fungi on Netflix?
Jason Earle 24:35
I love Paul Stamets.
Kelsey Jack 24:36
Jason Earle 24:38
Yeah, he’s like the patron saint of mycology. So yeah.
Kelsey Jack 24:41
Jason Earle 24:42
Yes, absolutely. But so the toxic mold thing is is in the black mold thing is a farce because it because not all black molds are toxigenic and not all toxigenic molds actually are black. And also not all toxin producing molds produce toxins all the time. And so people are focused on the mycotoxins, it’s a lot like focusing on the mold and so the moisture, they’re chasing, they’re working on the tail of it instead of instead of actually dealing with the head. And as a result, you know, there’s there’s just all this there’s an entire industry around mycotoxins.
Kelsey Jack 25:14
Jason Earle 25:14
And yet at the same time, and this is all calls I get all day, that’s it’s just a complete, it’s a distraction from the underlying issue. And I’ll give you an example, mycotoxins are actually this kind of oily substance, and they it does not become airborne by itself.
Mycotoxins do not become airborne by themselves, they have to have a carrier particulate, they’re not gases, they’re oily like substances in most cases. And so there’ll be on dust and spores. And so you have to be exposed to the dust of the spores for the toxins to get in most mycotoxin issues that people have is actually from food, believe it or not, is from processed food is from grains and sugars. It’s from a processed food diet, and people but of course, people feel lousy when they eat that way. And then they blame mold. The reality of it is, is that you, you won’t…
Kelsey Jack 26:01
You’re creating their environment.
Jason Earle 26:03
Yeah, well, you’re creating a lot of environments when you eat that kind of stuff. But you’re also in literally eating mycotoxin laden foods. America will import, we will import grains that have been turned away at other ports…
Kelsey Jack 26:16
Jason Earle 26:16
…in other countries because of high mycotoxin levels.
Kelsey Jack 26:19
Jason Earle 26:19
We will take that we’ll take that food and will process that and put it in cereal for kids. Yeah, that’s that that’s the American way. So the black mold, toxic mold thing and the mycotoxin thing is a distraction. Really, from from the reality, mycotoxins are serious, and it can make you very sick if you get exposed to enough of them.
You know, I really do believe that most of the time, what people are talking about when it comes to my experience has been and I’ve been doing this a long time, is that most of the time, it’s the mtocs is the musty smell that causes the most of these issues. And so, the first step to all this stuff is to wake up and realize that you’re chasing symptoms. You got to change this, you got to chase the source. The other big misnomer or bigger myth is bleach. Bleach. That’s a popular one, you know, just pour some Bleach on it.
Kelsey Jack 27:10
Doesn’t that actually make them replicate faster? Because you’re putting moisture?
Jason Earle 27:15
Totally. So first of all, it makes it it bleaches it so you think you’ve done something so you don’t see the pigments are gone.
Kelsey Jack 27:22
This is the American way right here.
Jason Earle 27:25
Totally right is exactly right. So you bleach the pigments out. And then but the best part about bleach is, you know, or the best part about this? Is it bleach is 97% water and 3% sodium hypochlorite. Right? And the sodium hypochlorite evaporates, it’s why you smell it and leaves behind what?
Kelsey Jack 27:43
Jason Earle 27:44
Right? And so what, what causes mold?
Kelsey Jack 27:47
Jason Earle 27:48
And what we just added water to a water problem, congratulations. And not only did we do that we also left behind the dead mold that you can’t see. And added water. And guess what mold loves to eat? loves to eat other mold? Yes. Yeah. So now you’ve given it a glass of water and a healthy meal, right? And so now you’ve and so spores will naturally just do their thing. And so because they’re everywhere, they will go in and you recolonize and it’ll come back twice as fast.
So bleach is not your friend that’s mentioned by bleach is a voc. And it’s and it’s not it kills little things. It kills big things, too. Right? So my suggestion, when it comes to these things, is you remove mold, you don’t kill it. There’s never there is no killing of mold. You don’t need to sneak up behind it and snuff it out in order to make it easier to wrestle it and get it out of your house. You know, like, there’s this again, we’ve personified this stuff. Sometimes I think people have this vision of this nefarious character that’s sneaking around and…
Kelsey Jack 28:50
The last two years have solidified that thinking quite well.
Jason Earle 28:54
For sure. But it is a funny thing, because it’s not there’s nothing nefarious going on here. Just because you’re experiencing pain doesn’t mean someone’s trying to hurt you. And they’re… because you’ve got a biological organism, you’ve got a biological process happening in your house because of a failure to maintain or failure to be aware of what’s going on in your home. And and that’s really what it comes down to. So there’s a lot of personal responsibility that comes with a mold problem, which is something a lot of people don’t want to hear.
Kelsey Jack 29:21
Do you have more personal responsibility? If you live in a climate that is damp, like Florida or Texas, you know, no, I’ve heard horror stories in states. Like my good friend Kate, who is also a root cause practitioner in Colorado. Their inspector did not do a good job and they had a walk out basement in their former home, and the condensation was dripping into the pan and it was tilted. So they had mold throughout their entire AC ducts through everything. And they were you know, in Colorado, it’s dry, but I feel like you know, we get these states like Florida, like Texas with hurricanes. And all that sort of stuff, what should people do to prepare their home better?
Jason Earle 30:07
Well, because I do think that people who live in a climate…that people move to a certain climate because they like it.
Kelsey Jack 30:12
Jason Earle 30:13
It’s comfortable. Or because there’s a, there’s some, but the bottom line is, we’re pretty much aware of you move into a damp climate that there, there’s, it’s a package deal, you know, you’re moving to a place where water is a dominant factor. And I’m going to repeat this because I think it bears repeating. Mold is the very predictable outcome of prolonged dampness.
I mean, it’s predictable, you can set your watch to it. If the conditions are right, these are cells, they’re designed to do a certain thing, when a certain thing happens. And so it’s not like this is an earthquake or lightning striking you because there is not luck or, or lack thereof, it is a fundamental it is it’s up there with death, taxes and gravity is the guarantee, you know.
So I believe that everybody should be armed with this, because, you know, it’s kind of like we send our kids out from from school completely, you know, unprepared for the world these days, more so than any other time in history. And, and we have a huge generation of adults that can, you know, probably can’t even change their tire and or balance a checkbook, does anybody do that anymore?
But we also have an entire generation of people who probably don’t know how their house works, or what to do in a situation like this. But I would argue that of all the things that you need to know of all the things that you need to prepare yourself for living in the real world is you need to know what how to handle water damage, because it happens. It happens.
Kelsey Jack 31:37
You sound like my husband. He’s, he’s in commercial construction. And he deals with water damage all the time. And so luckily, we’re not in this position where we feel like we are unprepared but many, you’re right, many people would not know the first thing to do.
Jason Earle 31:53
That’s right, I think it should be taught early. Because otherwise what happens is see if the thing about mold and air quality is that is such a huge burden on our healthcare system. If you go down the list of diseases that are either caused or aggravated by mold, it would behoove the powers that be to focus on this because it’s a burden, it’s a financial burden on the healthcare system.
That’s extraordinary. Probably like I said, if not more, if not the same as would probably more than food related illness. Because again, it is hiding in plain sight right under the tip of your nose.
Kelsey Jack 32:30
But they don’t have interest in getting to that they just rather make pharmaceutical companies more money, so…
Jason Earle 32:37
1,000%. But ultimately, we’re going to have to find some fiscal responsibility at some point,
Kelsey Jack 32:41
I 100% agree.
Jason Earle 32:43
Not have a financial implosion. And so one of the the biggest burden on our system is health care. And so we could reduce all mold related illness, by the way, that’s my point is that it’s all preventable. Is that crazy? You can’t say all food related illnesses preventable, you really can’t, because some of it is just simply, you know, it’s not wrong food, wrong person chemistry, whatever. But with air quality and mold, all mold related illnesses preventable, how’s that?
Kelsey Jack 33:10
Jason Earle 33:11
All of it. 100 million Americans are affected by mold and water damage every year, whether it be through, you know, through health or property damage at all, it’s preventable. That’s craziness.
Kelsey Jack 33:20
That is crazy.
Jason Earle 33:21
So that means is a higher level of awareness and a little bit more of more vigilance. And we could truly change our trajectory here, you know, it is that the EPA Berkeley Labs did a study and concluded that of the 24.6 million people with asthma, 4.6 million of those are mold and dampness related. 25% of asthmatics, that’s a that’s an epidemic.
Kelsey Jack 33:43
Jason Earle 33:44
A quarter of our mold and dampness related, you know, they looked at public health costs and all that stuff. It’s just enormous. Depression, depression being connected, who knows how I mean, who knows how much psychiatric stuff and talk about the loss of productivity, loss of tax revenues. They care about that, the government cares about that. And so you know, there are plenty of places where you can look and the data is emerging, one of the things we’re working on is putting it all together. So you can see what the total impact is we’re looking at, at some really eye popping numbers when you when you add them all up. And so it’s an exciting time, it’s because finally the consumer, COVID raise awareness about air quality.
And then the technologies are now available, and the research is coming out like crazy. And so like you said in the intro, this is molds, you know, sort of day in the sun, if you will. And that’s it sounds like yeah, which it would not like, right? So it’s an exciting time to be in this space. I’ve been I’ve been talking about this for 20 years and people are finally listening.
Kelsey Jack 34:46
They look at you like you had a third eye and now you’re you’re set to go because it’s your time and in that space. So you talked a little bit about psychiatric, what are some other symptoms that people can look for with mold toxicity that might not Be as well known, I feel like sinus issues, respiratory issues that’s a given.
Jason Earle 35:04
Yeah, I mean, you know, you’ll have five people living in a house with mold, and they’ll have five different symptoms.
Kelsey Jack 35:09
All different symptoms.
Jason Earle 35:10
And it ranges from the typical allergic sort of upper respiratory stuff to, you know, the more nebulous things like headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, all the stuff that’s sort of like the symptoms every doctor hates to hear, because they’re just so a amorphous and you know, squishy, and then you’ve obviously got the psychiatric stuff, which is, you know, mold rage, anxiety, all the stuff we talked about earlier depression. By the way, the depression thing is fascinating, because one of my friends Joan Bennett, at Rutgers, Dr. Joan Bennett, she’s a fungal geneticist.
Kelsey Jack 35:43
Jason Earle 35:44
She had a house in New Orleans, she was a professor at Tulane and and when Hurricane Katrina came through, her house got flooded. And being a fungal geneticists, she said, well, you know, let’s go down and see what this looks like. She brought a bag full of petri dishes down, and she was gonna sample her house and she’s gonna have some fun with it.
And so she, she went in and, you know, bracing herself for some emotional turmoil, seeing all of her stuff covered and fuzz and wore a respirator that would take out particulates, not the gases, okay, so, and she and she walked in there thinking, by the way, she also testified in defense of insurance companies for years and years, because she didn’t believe mycotoxin exposure could make you sick. She still has questions about that. But the bottom line is she didn’t think you’d get that sick from inhalation of molds.
And so the bottom line is, she ended up walking into the house with the particulate mask on and immediately began feeling symptoms and that she was basically knocked down for two weeks, she got very severely ill from it. And she she had sort of a, you know, a reckoning of her own. And so she has since been the spearhead of mvoc research.
MVOC stands for microbial volatile organic compounds. Volatile Organic Compounds are compounds that are liquid in one temperature or solid in some cases, and then they and then they can at other temperatures, they can become gas, a common one that most people are familiar with is alcohol, is a voc. Sodium hypochlorite, like I mentioned before bleach is a volatile organic compound.
And so the microbes produce them too. It’s the byproduct of digestion. That musty smell is actually the digestive byproduct. It’s mold, burps, if you will, and it’s actually the sense of decay. So but the what she did was she took a look at the chemicals and said, well, let’s isolate a few of these compounds. And she took the mushroom alcohol, the scent of mushrooms and began exposing these specially genetically engineered fruit flies, check this out.
The fruit flies that fluoresce when they produce dopamine, they actually glow and they produce dopamine. And so she, you could buy them by mail order, by the way, in case you’re interested. And so she tested this, this chemical on these fruit flies and they began they stopped producing dopamine. So they became depressed.
Kelsey Jack 36:43
Jason Earle 38:00
They began flying downwards instead of to the light, they stopped reproducing, they actually develop developmental issues, as well as like Parkinsonian like symptoms, neurological disorders, these are and so she has since gone and that those studies have been duplicated and replicated in other laboratories across the world. And she has… she has really changed the face of research and understanding about she actually has renamed the term volatile organic, microbial volatile organic compounds and she called them volatoxins.
Kelsey Jack 38:32
Okay, so that is fascinating. True, because what what is mold link to reproductive health? Parkinson like symptoms? Obviously, disturbances of the psych, the psyche. And so when people hear that in those types of terms, and that is just really fascinating to me.
Jason Earle 38:54
It’s mind blowing, and it’s, uh, you know, you start talking about the neurological stuff and sleep disturbances are very common… …as well. Nightmare. So you get these, you know, the mold rage carries through to the, to the sleeping state. Yeah. And it’s very, very, very difficult. And, you know, it’s the thing that’s worse about mold is that your home is supposed to be a safe place to rest. And in a case like this, your home becomes the source of your illness.
Kelsey Jack 39:01
Jason Earle 39:24
Very few people have the budget to have an alternative residence.
Kelsey Jack 39:27
Jason Earle 39:27
Right. So, so this, this hits straight and also makes your house, you know, unsalable. It also makes it a threat to your loved ones. It’s a very emotional problem to have. And so when you’re dealing with the mold issue, you’re already emotionally compromised by the compound. I mean, it’s and then on top of it, many of our customers come to us very off balance. In other words…
Kelsey Jack 39:52
I would imagine.
Jason Earle 39:53
…and I mean, by the way, they even speak to us, you know, they’re looking for help, but they want it now and they’re way and you know, so yes. And and so it takes a little while for them to realize that, you know, we’re here to help.
Kelsey Jack 40:07
Yes, and don’t beat me up.
Jason Earle 40:08
Yeah, we’re the solution here. But but you see that so consistently you think, Boy, you know, that these these anecdotal patterns that I’ve seen have been so, you know, consistent and 20 years that, that it doesn’t feel like an anecdote.
Kelsey Jack 40:26
Jason Earle 40:27
It’s a pattern.
Kelsey Jack 40:29
Hey, friends, I just wanted to say thank you for listening to the Holywell podcast. Isn’t Jason awesome. This is a very thorough conversation. And I knew going into this that this was going to be a longer episode. So I am going to be breaking up this in two parts. So hang on, because part two is coming. Second to that is something that really stood out to me in the first part of this episode, was the analogy of the Sick Building, and how that really harkens back to the western model of care and putting out fires instead of getting to the root. Like Jason talks about the necessity to find the source of dampness or water, there’s coming. Oftentimes, we want to go straight to remediation, he makes the analogy that that would be like, going to have surgery without first having a doctor’s appointment. That’s something that really stood out to me.
And I love when we can have this full circle picture in our mind that I’m a very visual learner. So hang on for part two. I hope you guys have loved part one. Jason has a wealth of knowledge with mold remediation root cause and I know you guys are going to love part two as much as you’ve loved part one. Well, friends, I just wanted to say thank you for listening to the Wholly Well Podcast. It means the world to me that you took time out of your day to join me here.
In John 10:10, Jesus says, I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. My hope and prayer is that these conversations lead you toward a life that truly is more abundant. Be sure to check out the show notes for this episode for a free gift I have for you for listening, and I’d love to connect more. If we’re not connected on Instagram yet, you can find me @wholly.well, as always, don’t forget, you have what it takes to live a life that is wholly well.