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  1. #1
    Steve Szabo's Avatar
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    Default Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Recently had a home inspection done, inspector was not sure if this was mold or not. It is in the basement along some of the floor joists, which would make sense for mold as there was freeze damage to the plumbing a while back, which has since been fixed. The part that is concerning is the same residue is found inside the cold air return ducting running under the living room floor. Inspector has never seen anything like this before, his other idea was possibly sulfur deposits from an old oil-fired furnace.

    Any ideas?

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  2. #2
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I have seen a lot of debate on this subject and believe it is best to refer to a credentialed specialist. I am convinced many think they know mold from fungus, but in reality do not. Report it's presence to be sure, but for liability reasons, best to not specifically label it. "Suspected organic biological growth" or "mold like substance". Moisture is a requisite ingredient, so it either is or once was moist. Call me paranoid - - - but - - - When a disgruntled homeowner faces big reparation costs, ( due to mold or whatever ), a witch hunt can start for any available pocket to defer those costs. A creative lawyer can paint you as a liable culprit for incorrectly labeling / reporting it.


  3. #3
    Steve Szabo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Totally understandable on his part. Just wondering if something like this has been seen before, especially with it being in the return duct, just seems odd.


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I'll throw another term out there - green algae.

    Try just washing it off the joists. We can't ID it with one blurry pic. Scrape some into a jar and take it to a lab for ID. Maybe some college students can help there.
    Talk to a contractor about having the ducts cleaned. I can't picture sulphur traveling thru the room and eventually returning to your cold air duct.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Mould Health Effects: State of knowledge (mold)

    Moulds and Fungi

    The Fungi
    Depending on the reference, there may be as many as 1.5 million different species of fungi 19 on Earth; approximately 70,000 different species have been fully described.
    In spite of their apparently small size, the Fungi include some of the largest living organisms on the planet. One such fungus, a single organism belonging to Armillaria, is estimated to cover over 1,500 acres and weighs in at over 4,400 tons. 20

    Moulds
    Moulds are any kind of fungi that at some point in their lives grow extended appendages called "hyphae;" moulds are filamentous fungi. The hyphae form mats called "mycelium" which are usually easily seen with the naked eye. Therefore, all moulds are fungi, but not all fungi are moulds. Since the distinction between moulds and fungi is based on morphological characteristics, even some yeasts (another type of fungus), at some point in their development, may be considered to be a mould at that point and a yeast at other stages.


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Szabo View Post
    Totally understandable on his part. Just wondering if something like this has been seen before, especially with it being in the return duct, just seems odd.
    Yea, it is some type of fungus.

    How did the inspector see inside of the air return duct? Was he looking from the return inside the house?

    Fungus needs moisture and a food source to live. It is very common to find fungus inside of an HVAC system and air ducts due to the collection of dust(food source) and the humidity(moisture).

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Steve Szabo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Thanks for that info, that would make sense.

    Inside the duct was actually discovered by a family friend HVAC guy who was with me.


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Regarding the info Raymond posted, my tendency is to take it with a grain of salt, when the author can't even use the plural of mycelium. Should be "...mats called 'mycelia.'"

    There are many questionable statements in the article, as well, such as "Virtually every tree, houseplant, and bush probably is aided into full health by the mycorrhizae moulds which are intractably bound about its roots." Only about 90% of plants exhibit mycorrhizal relationships - still substantial, but a far cry from "virtually every."

    "However, even Stachybotrys atra, which is probably the most maligned and feared indoor mould, is not as 'toxic' as the media portray. The trichothecene mycotoxin which has given Stachybotrys a bad name is produced by only about a third of the species of Stachybotrys." (This makes no sense - first he's talking about a species, S. Atra, then says only a third of the species in the genus produce the mycotoxin - how does that show the species isn't as toxic as the media portrays?)

    The measurement, identification and toxicity of molds is a complicated topic, and I'm not sure the author has the background to do it justice.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Kristi

    My money is on the author and his articles who does have the background and knowledge.

    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - About Us


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I've read most of it. I find his reasoning faulty, none of the literature cited is more recent than 2008, and most is considerably older - the "state of the art" document about remediation cited is from 2000. He seems to be saying that mold really isn't a problem, but I don't consider his evaluation an adequate treatment of the material available: it suffers from bias from the outset. There's a lot of extraneous information and illogical interpretation. The section on allergic reactions is particularly short and problematic.

    I'm not arguing that the health issues due to mold haven't been subject to media hype and the dangers overstated, but his article seems to argue against any health effects, or at least minimizes those that exist.

    One example of what makes me skeptical: the radical difference between his interpretation of the 2004 findings of the Institute of Medicine,

    "Contrary to what many people in the mould remediation business want to believe, the WHO guidelines reinforced the findings of the 2004 Institute of Medicine mould study group. In that study, the IOM stated there was insufficient evidence to find a causal association between the presence of moulds and any of the claimed adverse health effects. That is, after reviewing the global scientific and medical literature, the IOM could not find sufficient evidence to support the argument that the normal presence of mould in residences and workplaces caused any adverse health effects."

    ...and the one posted on the CDC site:

    "In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children."

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I feel kind of bad for sounding so negative about this article. There are some good points in it, and useful information. I can't help but view it from a scientific perspective, though. I have a Master's in ecology (a biological science that studies organisms and their interaction with each other and their environment), and completed all the course work, research and teaching for a PhD - just didn't finish my thesis . The author clearly has more experience than I with the subject of mold from a building perspective, but his arguments seem too one-sided and inconsistent for me to be convinced of his scientific objectivity or depth of current knowledge from a public health standpoint.

    Anyway, it's an interesting read, and everyone is free to take from it what they will. Thanks for posting it, Raymond!

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Hello Kristi Silber –

    Since I’m the author of much of what is being discussed, allow me to help you out... (Caoimhín takes a long, deep breath....)

    Ms. Silber:
    …none of the literature cited is more recent than 2008, and most is considerably older - the "state of the art" document about remediation cited is from 2000….


    Response:
    In fact, the very FIRST reference that one comes to in the third paragraph of the discussion is “However, in the Summer of 2011, the US Department of Labor, OSHA…” Then the fourth paragraph starts off with “In July of 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its position paper…” So your comment makes me wonder if you read my article at all, or if you did to what detail of attention?

    Next, it begs the question: Why is the date such an issue? And here is a test: I have in my hand Carol Porth’s textbook on “Pathophysiology” it was published in 1998. Since you can judge the validity of a reference by its print date, I would like your opinion of what exactly is incorrect in Dr. Porth’s text?

    In reality, of course, the argument that just because a reference is “old” (a relative term when you are as old as I am), must necessarily mean it is obsolete is entirely unsupportable. As it is, Ms. Silber would have difficulty in finding technical flaw with any of the references used as used.

    Ms. Silber:
    He seems to be saying that mold really isn't a problem…


    Response:
    Pardon me? I must’ve missed where I said that. Could you please quote me, verbatim where I say that? Ot perhaps it is what you want to believe what I said? I suggest you look up the “straw-man fallacy” since you are heading down that road.


    Ms. Silber:
    … but I don't consider his evaluation an adequate treatment of the material available:


    Response:
    I’ve listed 71 references in my discussion; none of which have been read or reviewed by you, but all of which I have actually read. Please point out which evaluation was not adequate? I noticed that you didn’t provide ANY references to support your comments. So, how is it that my 71 references are less adequate than your zero references?

    Ms. Silber:
    …it suffers from bias from the outset.


    Response:
    You are correct; it is biased toward scientific objectivity and bias away from fear-mongering hype.

    Ms. Silber:
    There's a lot of extraneous information and illogical interpretation.


    Response:
    Please provide example to support your position.

    Ms. Silber:
    The section on allergic reactions is particularly short and problematic.


    Response:
    How long should it have been? I wasn’t aware there was a “Silber metric” by which I was supposed to be judging the length of any topic on my own web site! What exactly are the “problems”?


    Ms. Silber:
    …but his article seems to argue against any health effects…


    Response:
    Really? Where do I say this. Please provide a quote where I hold this opinion or state this, however tacitly.

    Ms. Silber:
    … or at least minimizes those that exist.


    Response:
    Please point out in my article where I do this.

    Ms. Silber:
    One example of what makes me skeptical: the radical difference between his interpretation of the 2004 findings of the Institute of Medicine…


    Response:
    Ahhh! And herein lies the first real clue to the problem. You think that there is a difference between what the 2004 Institute of Medicine found and my interpretation of what the 2004 Institute of Medicine found. Indeed, you think there is a radical difference. In fact you think this because you lack the technical knowledge necessary to understand either of the two quotes you provided. You THINK you know what they mean, so you think there is a difference, however, my quote and that from the CDC are not in conflict even by the slightest amount.

    Since it’s apparent that you have never actually read the 2004 IOM, allow me quote directly from the 200 IOM report.

    Quote Originally Posted by IOM 2004, Executive Summary, Page 9
    TABLE ES-1 Summary of Findings Regarding the Association Between Health Outcomes and Exposure to Damp Indoor Environments:
    Sufficient Evidence of a Causal Relationship: (no outcomes met this definition)
    Now let’s go back and see what you think I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín
    In that study, the IOM stated there was insufficient evidence to find a causal association between the presence of moulds and any of the claimed adverse health effects.
    Oh wait… that is EXACTLY what I said! Hmmm… So, where’s the radical difference? In fact, that is exactly what with IOM said, isn’t it? Now if you had actually read the IOM report, you would have known that.

    Because you don’t know understand the scientific terms being used, you not only could not spot the difference, but you then an entirely different subject, epidemiologically, and falsely equated the two statements – viz: “…"In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to…”

    The word “linked” is kind of a lay-man’s version of the epidemiological term “association.” In turn, “association” is the WEAKEST possible correlation between an event and an outcome. So, for example, here is an abjectly true statement: “Cancer has been linked with the color blue.”

    That is an objectively and abjectly true statement; virtually everyone who has ever contracted cancer has seen the color blue. Therefore, cancer is “linked” to the color blue. However, is cancer “correlated” with the color blue? (Correlation being the next level of confidence on the road to establishing an epidemiological connection of “causation.”) Well, perhaps so. I suspect there is some positive correlation (the actual coefficient of correlation notwithstanding).

    Then finally, we would have to confess that although blue is associated with cancer, nobody in their right mind would say that blue causes cancer. And yet, because you didn’t know what the IOM REALLY said, and because you didn’t know there was a difference between causation and a “link” (association,) you (erroneously) thought there was a difference between what the IOM found, and what you thought I thought they found. But there wasn’t and you were wrong.

    Folks with training in epidemiology don’t make the mistake you made, and even folks who have been through a simple lecture on epidemiology don’t make that kind of mistake. Here’s a web discussion from a chap who attended one of my lectures on toxicology and epidemiology in England last November, and he tells you what he learned:

    Part 1 of a review of the facts regarding toxic mould | Preservation Expert


    Ms. Silber:
    …my tendency is to take it with a grain of salt, when the author can't even use the plural of mycelium. Should be "...mats called 'mycelia.'"


    Response:
    Really? You wanna bet I couldn’t find a misspelling or grammatical ambiguity within your posts? How does the criticism alter the gravamen of the article?

    Ms. Silber:
    "Virtually every tree, houseplant, and bush probably is aided into full health by the mycorrhizae moulds which are intractably bound about its roots." Only about 90% of plants exhibit mycorrhizal relationships - still substantial, but a far cry from "virtually every."


    Response:
    Did you type that with a straight face? OK, maybe it’s actually 90.3% or maybe it’s 97.3874321% How about this, why don’t you find the [i]actual[/u] number and publish it here? If you do, you WILL win a Noble prize in something, because no-one, not you and not me knows the correct answer; therefore, “virtually all” is a reasonable facsimile within the context of the discussion. Truth be told - in the environment where my office is located 100% of all the living plant life exhibits mycorrhizal relationships.


    Ms. Silber:
    (This makes no sense - first he's talking about a species, S. Atra, then says only a third of the species in the genus produce the mycotoxin - how does that show the species isn't as toxic as the media portrays?)


    Response:
    Simple. The media thinks that all black mould is toxic mould, and all Stachy is similarly toxic.

    Ms. Silber:
    The measurement, identification and toxicity of molds is a complicated topic, and I'm not sure the author has the background to do it justice.


    Response:
    Well… Funny thing that, because when I testified in Federal court a couple of days ago, some attorneys in a toxic tort case involving mycotoxins and moulds tried to make the same argument. They paraded up a variety of “experts” including a guy with a PhD in microbiology, and a guy with an “MD” after his name and they tried to Frye me and make the same argument that you just made. They failed.


    Then, the tables were turned, and I testified against their MD and their host of experts and testified that the work they were doing was junk-science and as such should be excluded. I then argued that the only people who would be collecting junk-science samples were junk-scientists.

    In the end, the Federal courts accepted my arguments and rejected theirs. The opposing “experts” lost their case, and one day later the opposing counsel’s case collapsed and my client won. Neat eh?

    Since some folks are now using sampling for “screening.” Over the weekend, I summarized this issue and folks can find the discussion here:

    Are Screening Samples for Mould Valid?

    Ms. Silber will be horrified to learn that in that discussion, I have used references from a time that existed before she was even born (and somehow, we still managed!)

    Good luck to you in your education in science, Ms. Silber, it seems you have a very long road ahead of you, and I daresay, you would do well to heed your own tag line at the end of your posts… it will serve you well.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Mr. Connell, I was hoping you'd reply!

    I owe you an apology. I'm very sorry about the things I said about your knowledge and experience. I had no right to do so, none at all. Way out of line there. It's been weighing on me, actually. I said I felt bad, then just dug myself in deeper, stuffed my foot right down my throat. 50 lashes for Kristi.


    That said, with all due respect I would like to attempt address some of the reasons I had "issues" with your article.

    (Quotations in green are yours, others are mostly from the article cited below.)

    I still feel that your article was not presented as an even-handed treatment of the subject. I'm guessing this is due to the fact that you were trying to dispel the myths perpetuated by the media and the remediation industry, which is fair enough. But in doing so, I find that the fact that there are health effects of exposure to S. atra in some individuals gets lost in the argument. This is why I singled out the section on allergic reactions. It starts out fine, but the last paragraph seems to detract from the rest. To my mind, the fact that other things cause allergies is immaterial. I know you are trying to address the media hype, but I feel the paper would be improved if all that were confined to the appropriate section. The science part gets diluted.

    When I was looking at the dates of the citations, I looked at the Literature Cited section, and that's why I missed the more recent publications (I tend to skip dates when reading the body of a paper). Because the state of knowledge about most scientific topics is ever-changing, the recency of the data is relevant. That doesn't mean older data is irrelevant, but just because there wasn't an association found between 2 variables in 2004 (or whatever) doesn't mean one hasn't been found more recently. Some null hypotheses are more difficult to reject than others because of sampling techniques, research constraints, and the difficulty of separating effects of multiple variables.

    (BTW, I disagree with your discussion of linkage/association. From the UC Berkeley Glossary of Statistics:
    "Association. Two variables are associated if some of the variability of one can be accounted for by the other. ... The correlation coefficient is a measure of linear association" )

    "...the IOM stated there was insufficient evidence to find a causal association between the presence of moulds and any of the claimed adverse health effects. That is, after reviewing the global scientific and medical literature, the IOM could not find sufficient evidence to support the argument that the normal presence of mould in residences and workplaces caused any adverse health effects."

    Apart from the fact that it's very difficult to demonstrate a causal (vs. correlative) relationship between any 2 variables in an uncontrolled study, doesn't this imply that mold isn't really a health issue? Or is the key word here "normal"? What constitutes abnormal mold presence? Doesn't this statement contradict the evidence concerning allergies? I thought the IOM document was saying that there isn't sufficient evidence to support earlier reports of diseases, genetic problems, etc. caused by S. atra.

    Have you read "Stachybotrys chartarum (or S. atra or S. alternans) [CAS No. 67892-26-6] Review of Toxicological Literature"? (LINK) There is a lot of relevant info there, some of which is quoted below. I've read other stuff, but this is the best treatment of the subject I've found after a limited 'net search.

    Speaking of the IOM report, the above article includes an interesting bit, "Notably, the committee determined that none of these health outcomes [rheumatologic and other immune diseases, neurological symptoms, cancer, and reproductive effects] met the definitions for the category of 'limited or suggestive evidence of no association.' " So, even though there may not be evidence supporting a causal relationship, neither is there evidence against it. This is why the IOM report suggests more research is needed. I don't think a casual reader would pick up on the fact that nothing has been "proven" either way because you cite so many authors saying that no causal relationship has been shown.

    "It takes an unusual amount of mechanical effort to make the spores become airborne. The spores, when they are shaken loose, are so large they settle out within about 10 minutes 46 and so do not remain airborne for very long. "

    This is true of living spores. "When dry and physically disturbed, conidia may become aerosols. ...Dried S. chartarum particles derived by growth on sterile rice, autoclaving, drying, and aerosolizing by acoustic vibration were all less than 15 μm in aerodynamic diameter. The mass median aerodynamic diameter was 5 μm. The particles comprised about 85% conidia and about 6% fragments of hyphae." They go on to say that even dead spores can contain mycotoxins and cause allergies. (Interestingly, not all S. atra produces the mycotoxins. Depends on the strain.)

    "Whereas many sources have stated that S. chartarum is rarely isolated from air because the sticky masses of spores are not easily aerosolized or the spores die rapidly once released from the conidiophore, Harrington (2003 abstr.) showed that the failure to isolate S. chartarum from air samples is probably due to poor choice of collection medium, which should be cellulose-rich and nutrient-poor.... Unless appropriate media for trapping and culturing are used, the occurrence of S. chartarum may be underreported (Hossain et al., 2004)...Often mycotoxin concentrations determined from air samples exceed values expected from mycotoxin concentrations in spores. One likely explanation for this phenomenon is that dust particles saturated with mycotoxins are being aerosolized from mycotoxin-rich substrate materials (Hodgson and Lieckfield, 2003). "

    "virtually all 'mould tests' and all 'mould samples' are completely invalid, and uninterpretable and cannot be used for decision making" It is this kind of generalization that I find objectionable! It may be the case for sloppy sampling by "mold inspectors," but I see no reason why good, scientific sampling can't be done - it requires appropriate laboratory techniques and replication, but it's certainly possible. (Same thing with "virtually every" plant shows mycorrhizal relationships. 90% - a high estimate, in reality it's probably less - is not virtually every! I'd be extremely surprised if 100% of the plants where you live are mycorrhizal. Besides, it's irrelevant to the discussion, an example of the extraneous information I mentioned.)

    Well, enough for now. I'll probably want to address more of what you wrote later, but it's bedtime. My take on what I've read about the subject (limited though it may be) is that the evidence for allergic reactions is good, but all other stuff is anecdotal or suffers from various research design problems which mean that a causal effect can't be shown. However, that doesn't mean it isn't there, it's just a very hard thing to demonstrate conclusively in a real-world setting.

    Again, I'm very sorry about the things I said about you. Bad Kristi.

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 06-05-2012 at 12:51 AM.
    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    kristi

    that is one long reply---respect the experts and again one long reply

    cvf


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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Kristi,

    What I think Caoimhín is saying, is that, if it is raining outside, then we know it is raining outside, and, furthermore, that there is no need to test the rain to show that it is raining outside, nor is there a need to define what kind of rain it is, that there is rain almost everywhere, and that rain is rain unless there is some apparent problem which may be associated with it, i.e., you do not test to see if it is acid rain every time you see it raining outside, you only test for that if there is some symptom showing up, as in 'is there anyone in the house who is having reactions to the mould/mildew, and if so, then those persons need to be tested to see what they are allergic to, and if mould, what type of mould, and then ... and only then ... is there a need to test the rain to see if it is acid rain ...

    ...or something like that.

    Mould/mold is everywhere, there is no need to test it just because it is there.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    CVF - Yes, long, but so was his post. I am interested in the subject, and interested in what Mr. Connell has to say about it, which is why I was glad he posted. I also wanted to explain why I said some of the things I did; it would have been even longer if I'd addressed all his points. I am able to respect someone (and I do respect Mr. Connell) at the same time I disagree with some of the things he/she says. I also wanted to communicate information that I thought was relevant to the topic that I wasn't sure Mr. Connell knew - chances are he does, but I don't know.

    I know very little compared to him about mold, but I do know about scientific methodology - including correlations and demonstrating causal relationships, and he's right that I missed the cause/correlation difference between the two interpretations of the IOM findings. I think my mistake in first reading his article was in viewing it as the type of document that would be submitted to a peer-reviewed science journal, when that's not the target audience. It has many valid points, and a lot of good, useful information.

    JP - Yup, that about sums it up! Well, it's got considerably more depth than that.

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 06-05-2012 at 09:24 PM.
    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Good morning, Ms. Silber:

    Thank you for your response. I read the document you referenced (National Toxicology Program / National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Review of Toxicological Literature for Stachybotrys chartarum) and I guess I’m a little confused – the document pretty much says what I have been saying since the initial reports by the MMWR in 1994. What part of the document do you think is in conflict with what I have said or written?

    You have referenced a statistical definition for “association” as used by a mathematician, and yet the context of the word “association” in this discussion is within that of an epidemiological study. Epidemiology is a field in it’s own right, with it’s own terms of art, so why not use the epidemiological definition of “association” when discussing epidemiological concepts?

    This forum is simply too small to provide a discussion on the concept of “association” in the context of epidemiology – I have epidemiological texts which dedicate entire chapters to differentiation of “association” including “causal v. noncausal” “independent association v. statistical association,””predictive performance and specificity criteria” confounder, bias (all categories) and so forth. Essentially, “association” (link) is the lowest and the absolute weakest epidemiological connection between an etiological suspect and any given biological end-point. And it is for that reason, that it is absolutely correct to say that “Blue is associated with cancer.” I have legitimate epidemiological studies that demonstrate the fallacy of association=causation such as the classic 1936 Population of Oldenburg, Germany, 1930-1936 (Ornithologische Monatsberichte 44, Jahrgang, 1936, Berlin, which should be mandatory reading for any epi student. That article wonderfully demonstrates (with some humor) the association between live births of humans and the stork populations – the tacit argument becomes “Storks cause babies.” The author identifies a linear regression of 0.95!! (Gosh, what more proof do you need if you are a statistician?)

    Another example where this argument has been presented in a serious manner to demonstrate the association=correlation=causation fallacy is presented by C. Elton C in The Ten Year Cycle in Numbers of the Lynx in Canada (Br. J. Exp. Biol., 2:119-163, 1924). Here the author identifies strong and consistent positive correlation as well as negative correlation between Canadian lynx populations and solar sun-spot intensity over the course of 20 years. The reason these old texts are still used is precisely because they ARE old, and demonstrate that the association=causation fallacy is very well known, and VERY well established in known and accepted science.

    Moving on then, we conclude that association is simply not enough, and that until at least “correlation” (both negative and positive, and predictive both spatially and temporally) as been demonstrated, “association” is a mere coincidental occurrence. Then even if “correlation” has been demonstrated, even THAT is not sufficient to conclude “causation,” and one must necessarily move from “indirect causation” to “direct causation” and then form “sufficient cause” to “necessary cause.” THAT HAS NOT EVER BEEN DONE in the absence of dose, and the null hypothesis MUST be accepted in the case of residential indoor moulds! If this is not so, then PLEASE reference a document that contradicts this, since the document you suggested I read explicitly acknowledges:

    Recent epidemiologic investigations have suggested an association between exposure to S. chartarum and toxic inflammatory effects in infants, in courthouse workers, and in office workers, as well as between S. chartarum and extreme chronic fatigue syndrome in hospital workers.
    In other words, not only is the evidence so incredibly weak, that is SO weak, that even an association hasn’t been confirmed!! Rather, there is suggestive evidence… goodness gracious, how much weaker could it possibly be?

    The document you asked me to read that you think contradicts my position then goes on to say:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that evidence from current studies does not support a relation between acute PH or hemosiderosis and exposure to S. chartarum. Sick building syndrome and the intensification of asthma have also been linked with elevated indoor levels of Stachybotrys; however, there is not sufficient evidence to substantiate this association
    .

    What would it take for you to accept a null hypothesis It is impossible, you know, to prove a negative; or do you accept that? ? Are you a member of the “Black Swan Society?”


    Also you ask –

    … but I see no reason why good, scientific sampling can't be done - it requires appropriate laboratory techniques and replication, but it's certainly possible.
    It can be done, but why would someone do it?

    Look – regarding sampling in general, imagine that some vandal throws a store through your front window. Does the glazier show up, collect the stone and submit the stone for analysis to see what kind of a rock it was? Of course not, because knowing the identity of the rock will not impact the manner in which the window gets repaired. The rock could be a world class diamond or a chunk of old granite, and the window will still get fixed in the same manner. And so it is with indoor mould – knowing the genus or the species never enters into the decision making process on how to fix the problem; therefore, since there I no benefit in knowing the genus or species, why the heck waste money on the analysis? (Ignoring for a moment that a legitimate mould expert can just look at the colony and adequately identify the organism anyway without having to send it out for analysis.) Do you realize that to perform legitimate “good, scientific sampling” in a single home would run into well over $9,000. Why on earth would someone do that, when a legitimate, properly trained Home Inspector can walk into the same property, and in 45 minutes identify the same problems and recommend the same fixes? To what benefit would one perform “good, scientific sampling”? It is a complete waste of financial resources.

    The “sampling” and “mould testing” that is being performed is complete junk science, and is not “good, scientific sampling.” It is bogus, meaningless, uninterpretable numbers appearing on a fancy laboratory report designed to impress a client – the laboratory reports contain no data, and the numbers cannot be used in any decision making process. In fact, the lab reports usually just lead to grossly poor decisions, since the “certified mold inspector” hasn’t got a clue that the lab report is entirely meaningless.

    I don’t know about you, but I have spent countless hours performing data validation – hell’s bells. I used to work for a US EPA CLP laboratory doing QA/QC on RAS/SAS for SW846 – I would go to bed and dream of MDLs, IDLs, IBXs, CCBs, CVs, ICVs, CCVs, r2s until my head would burst. Eventually, a god data validator can jus perform a cursory scan a couple parameters and know if it’s junk.

    In a recent case in Federal court it took me all over 20 seconds to look at some mycotoxin analysis data collected from a residence by a famous “toxic-mould” doc, to conclude he fabricated the numbers. (20 seconds) They put him on the stand and after hours of testimony, he was still unable to overcome a conclusion that took me 20 seconds to make.

    I’m not a zoologist, but if someone thinks I’m too stupid to notice a painted horse from zebra, then their probably going to get the wrong end of the stick, as it were.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments, and the reference to the NTP doc. I forgot about it.

    Perhaps to avoid more lengthy responses, you could narrow the scope of your comments to just a particular thought or theme.

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    First, I only argue that mold can cause an allergic reaction in those susceptible to it. That's the only health effect that seems to be well-documented.

    I've looked at a number of papers discussing association in the context of epidemiology, and it seems to me to be exactly what I thought. From the Columbia University Glossary of Epidemiology Terms: "association: Statistical relationship between two or more events, characteristics, or other variables." There is no statistical relationship between blue and cancer: cancer rates are entirely independent of whether a person sees blue. There can be weak associations or strong ones, and the measurement and the strength rely on a variety of factors. Association obviously does not necessarily indicate causation. Dampness in a basement, for example, may be statistically associated (correlated) with allergic reactions, but that doesn't mean the dampness itself is causing the allergy. That's the problem with correlations.

    A few of the papers I looked at discussed epidemiology in the context of ecology, my field. That surprised me at first, but really it makes perfect sense, since ecology examines the interaction of organisms with each other and the environment. I'm sure a lot of the same statistical tools I've used are used in epidemiology as well. Path analysis, for example, could be used to tease apart the different biological and environmental factors that could contribute to disease, assigning a regression coefficient to each factor.

    Sampling - I never said the sampling done by "mold inspectors" was adequate, but you never qualified the "virtually all" as being confined to them. You have done sampling yourself, and presumably that was scientifically sound. Sound sampling techniques must be used to establish any sort of association between/among variables - and you're right, they aren't necessary unless used for research.

    "the null hypothesis MUST be accepted in the case of residential indoor moulds!" NO! That's not the way science works! Null hypotheses can only be rejected or fail to be rejected. Just because the studies out there failed for one reason or another to demonstrate a causal relationship between mold and disease doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Causal relationships are very difficult to "prove" in human epidemiology because the role of experimentation is so limited (and nothing in science is ever proven). You can't put 100 people in moldy houses, and another 100 in mold-free houses (if they even existed) and see what happens.

    To me it seems that there have been enough studies suggesting relationships between mold and disease that it is not unlikely that there's something to it, but it's very far from certain. The research is in its infancy.

    Well, I didn't do very well at confining my reply to one subject, but I had to address the points your post!

    (I doubt this forum has seen an exchange like this before! I hope at least you don't think I'm quite as dumb or uneducated as you first thought. )

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    [quote=Kristi Silber;200090]First, I only argue that mold can cause an allergic reaction in those susceptible to it. That's the only health effect that seems to be well-documented.

    I just LOVE it when you guys talk dirty!!!!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I feel kind of bad for sounding so negative about this article. There are some good points in it, and useful information. I can't help but view it from a scientific perspective, though. I have a Master's in ecology (a biological science that studies organisms and their interaction with each other and their environment), and completed all the course work, research and teaching for a PhD - just didn't finish my thesis . The author clearly has more experience than I with the subject of mold from a building perspective, but his arguments seem too one-sided and inconsistent for me to be convinced of his scientific objectivity or depth of current knowledge from a public health standpoint.

    Anyway, it's an interesting read, and everyone is free to take from it what they will. Thanks for posting it, Raymond!
    You nailed it Kristi. The "expert" tends to use circular logic and substantiate his claims with references to his own work. He also poo-poos Radon as another mass hysteria created to line pockets in a multimillion dollar industry.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Holy **** - I think everyone needs a Midol !!! Mold / Fungus - who cares? It's there, report what was seen, take a pic and let a lab decide what strain it is !!


  22. #22

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Rich… you kill me!!

    Hello Ms. Silber!

    I would never have thought you were anything other than a bright and intelligent person. I presume all people are intelligent until they prove to me the contrary! Most of the participants on this forum are a pretty bright bunch as well.... they have seen some pretty high falutin' discussions over the last 5 years or so they have allowed me to participate.

    I have been performing mould assessments for about 23 years, and I have performed over 700. I have a database of samples I have collected (about 15,000 observations). And I have reviewed hundreds of projects wherein other consultants have collected samples. Those samples have been collected by CIH’s, MDs, PhDs, MSs, and an host of others. Without exception, I have never seen a single project where good scientifically based sampling was performed.

    To my memory, I have only testified against a few make-believe mould experts (one was a geologist, one was a pharmacists, two were “certified mold inspectors.”) In almost every mould case wherein I have provided testimony it has been against either Certified Industrial Hygienists, Industrial Hygienists, or MDs – I have provided testified opposite no fewer than five CIHs; three of whom had PhDs – none of whom followed sound scientific methodology and all of whom lost their cases for their clients. So, when I say that the sampling being performed is bogus, I’m actually not directing it exclusively against Home Inspectors.

    Jim H's comment is on target - to the extent that a good mould expert can identify the genus from a photo. But, as already mentioned, knowing the genus is of not importance and will not enter the decision making process.

    Regarding Mr. Brooks nonsensical rubbish – I was a radiation safety officer for 16 years. I used to teach radiation toxicology to folks like Rocky Flats DOE Facility, and I have done radiation monitoring data validation for the Los Alamos National Laboratories – so I guess that Mr. Brooks false statements where he impugns opinions to me that I don’t hold are probably more authoritative than my own. Also, apparently, Mr. Brook has not actually read any of my articles, or indeed even the above thread – otherwise, he would see that nowhere in the above thread have I used any of my own work as a reference; rather you and others used it. One of the common characteristics of the toxic-mould pot-bangers is that they don’t actually ever read anything – they rely heavily on “straw-man” arguments where they just assume they know what the author has said, then they impugn their own ideas and impart them to the author – and then they criticize the author for those imparted (but erroneous) opinions. Saves a lot of effort really – that way they don’t actually have to take the time out to become educated on any particular subject matter!

    Cheers all - Have a GREAT weekend!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  23. #23
    Stephen G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Anyone check to see if HGW is okay, He must be lost for words.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    The professor is in seclusion after his debacle on the diesel fuel oil issue claiming that red dye caused staining on shingles and such.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Just looks like good old clay with some portland slop tracked when those joists were being walked on the flat. Just like the sub floor when its flipped before being fstened.As for the silly cross-thread posting canucks who havent a clue about regions that had and still have higher sulfur (sulphur) content in their LFO - next time you have some yuck to clean out of an OLD less than well-tuned equipment - add some water to it. Between the sulfur compounds and the water enjoy the red streaks from the activated dye from the soot & fine particulate matter (which is up to 50% sulfur).S. NJ allows 2.0+ /wt. Not like ya'll at 0.1/wt. #2 F.O. isn't necessarily "dewaxed" yr-rnd either. Mid-atlantic.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    How are the fruit trees?


  27. #27

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Just looks like good old clay with some portland slop tracked when those joists were being walked on the flat. Just like the sub floor when its flipped before being fstened.As for the silly cross-thread posting canucks who havent a clue about regions that had and still have higher sulfur (sulphur) content in their LFO - next time you have some yuck to clean out of an OLD less than well-tuned equipment - add some water to it. Between the sulfur compounds and the water enjoy the red streaks from the activated dye from the soot & fine particulate matter (which is up to 50% sulfur).S. NJ allows 2.0+ /wt. Not like ya'll at 0.1/wt. #2 F.O. isn't necessarily "dewaxed" yr-rnd either. Mid-atlantic.
    That's FUNNY!! You guys speak a completely different language! That was all Greek to me!

    CPC


  28. #28
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Dont feel bad I sent most of your post to my dad (microbacteriologist) for translation,,, he told me it would be easier to take the 4 year course
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    That's FUNNY!! You guys speak a completely different language! That was all Greek to me!

    CPC



  29. #29
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Caoimhín, what is your sampling protocol, and how are the samples analyzed (just out of curiosity)? What do you do with the data? What statistical tools do you use?

    In a nutshell, what do you believe are the health effects of mold in residences, if any?

    Do you believe that research has shown that most of the posited health effects (e.g. hemosiderosis, intensification of asthma, toxic inflammatory effects in infants, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.) do not exist?

    This graph intrigues me, but I've no idea how to interpret it without knowing more. The blue bars and red bars are explained; what are the black bars? What is your n, or does each bar represent a house? How do you explain the very high indoor mold counts in May? How are "clean houses" differentiated from "moldy houses" - there doesn't seem to be any average difference based the graph (unless you count the outliers - those 3 in the million range would affect the mean a lot). All it really seems to show is that there is seasonal variation in outdoor mold counts - no surprise there. Even that's hard to interpret because of the lack of chronological regularity (no December, but three Februarys). Maybe you could send me the article if there is one.


    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 06-09-2012 at 06:41 PM.
    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Hello Ms. Silber -

    Always a delight to respond to your questions –

    Question:
    Caoimhín, what is your sampling protocol, and how are the samples analyzed (just out of curiosity)? What do you do with the data? What statistical tools do you use?

    Response -
    Each project is an investigation designed to answer a question. Any samples that are collected must be capable of speaking to that question. Even when the questions being asked are the same, no two investigations are the same, and therefore, the sampling plan must be developed for each project –

    The first step to any kind of sampling is to prepare “data quality objectives” (DQOs) and we do this regardless of whether we are sampling carbon monoxide in the investigation of CO poisoning in self-contained breathing apparatus (click here for an example), or performing a risk assessment on residential asbestos exposure (click here for an example), or performing a soil gas survey (see here for an example), or soil gas analysis (see here, or the myriad of other kinds of investigations we may do. In some of the above examples, you can see that more than one question is being asked; e.g., in the soil gas and soil analysis, the work is being performed at suspected clandestine methamphetamine labs and so various parameters are being assessed. In some cases, the DQOs are established by regulations such as during OSHA investigations, in some cases, even for controlled substances, the DQOs are outside regulation see an example see here. BTW, in each of the above cases were names appear, the document is a public domain document and the normal provision of confidentiality do not apply).

    Since sampling is virtually never needed during mould assessments, sampling is virtually never performed. However, on those extremely rare occasions where we performing sampling during a mould assessment, we begin by designing DQOs that will meet the needs of the investigation. Usually where sampling is performed on a mould project it is not being designed to characterize the mould exposures, it is usually being designed to demonstrate that the performed by another consultant is bogus.

    Question:
    In a nutshell, what do you believe are the health effects of mold in residences, if any? Do you believe that research has shown that most of the posited health effects (e.g. hemosiderosis, intensification of asthma, toxic inflammatory effects in infants, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.) do not exist?

    Response-
    I think I’ve answered this question many, many times. The principles of toxicology and pathology have not been suspended in the case of moulds in residences. I completely concur with the findings of the World Health Organization (2009) as well as the US NAS Institutes of Medicine (2004), and those in the document you referenced earlier in the thread. If there was ANY legitimate documentation to the contrary, I would use that data to modify my opinions – which are exclusively evidence-based opinions. Therefore, if the evidence changes, my opinions will change.

    Consider this for a moment – the airborne mould exposures for an employee working in a lumber mill will be 1E6 to 1E8 spores/m3 over the course of the day – that’s inhaling upwards to 960,000,000 spores on a daily basis. Similar exposures are seen in silo workers, farmers atop an harvester, even potting shed worker exposures to just Stachybotrys alone, have been documented to be as high as 7,500 spores/m3; and yet, there are no adverse health effects associated with these exposures (which, incidentally, is why there are no worker exposure limits specific to these insults). If I step outside onto the little balcony from my office this morning, my exposures will skyrocket from the approx 400 spores/m3 in my office to as high as 15,000 spores/m3 in the nice clean, fresh, mountain outdoor air. February outdoor spores counts in New Orleans have been documented as high as 80,000 spores/m3. So, as a toxicologist, when someone calls me up and says “I’ve just had a mould test done in my house, and the Certified Mold Inspector said I have a mould problem because they found 800 spores/m3 in side and only 200 spores/m3 outside…” it’s hard for me to terribly excited. Usually I just explain that the “data” are invalid, the inspector didn’t assess he exposure to anything and never actually determined her exposures, or the spore counts inside or outside.

    The tenets of toxicology have not been shaken or challenged in any way by moulds. The often repeated statement “Well, there’s so much that is not known about mould exposures, so it’s too early to draw any conclusions…” is so pathetically naïve at best, but usually just plain ignorant of the facts (indeed, in stark contradiction to objective facts).

    I have performed over 700 indoor air quality assessments involving moulds. In three of those, we determined that indoor moulds constituted a significant threat to human health.

    Question:
    This graph intrigues me, but I've no idea how to interpret it without knowing more. Etc…

    Response
    There aren’t any black bars. There are only red bars and blue bars. When I converted the Excel graph to a jpg file via Photoshop, the colors became corrupted. Sorry about the confusion – it is most probable that the black bar are all blue bars.

    Question:
    What is your n, or does each bar represent a house?

    Response
    For each vertical bar, n=6 and sometimes n=7; each bar, then represents the statistical “minimum variance unbiased estimate” (a sort of an “average”) from those 6 or 7 samples. The “minimum variance unbiased estimate” is used since the data are invariably lognormally distributed and therefore an arithmetic mean would be grossly inappropriate. (One can sometimes, sort-of, kind-of estimate a similar value by taking the mean of the log-transformed data. Unfortunately, sometimes the distributions are parametric). The single points represented by the outside samples is usually only one or two, sometimes as many as three. However for a couple of the single outside points, I may have taken up to seven, and then expressed the point as the MVUE.

    Some of these data are presented in a different way; see here and see here for examples.

    Question:
    How do you explain the very high indoor mold counts in May?

    Response:
    God.

    Question:
    [color=blue]How are "clean houses" differentiated from "moldy houses" – [color]

    Response:
    The houses are differentiate by the mould content of the houses and the history. It used to be that we had money enough to perform scientifically valid sampling to generate these data. When we would get a phone call from a home builder, or attorney, or insurance firm, they would authorize considerable amount of money to study these exposures. The “mouldy” houses are easy! When you walk in to a water damaged house, with a few tens, hundreds or even thousands of square feet of mould, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say the house has a mould problem.

    Lean houses are either identified as a result of the investigation or in some cases, we would literally canvass the neighborhood and ask the owners of a house if they would like to participate in a scientific study. If they agreed, we would interview them, to determine if the property ever had a water instruction problem or a mould problem; we would then perform a visually inspection of the property, and if it was suitable, it would be included in the study.

    Question:
    …there doesn't seem to be any average difference based the graph (unless you count the outliers - those 3 in the million range would affect the mean a lot).

    Response:
    Of course not. These are real-life data. In the real world, “averages” are merely a function of selecting the appropriate timeframe over which one wants to integrate their data.

    Question:
    All it really seems to show is that there is seasonal variation in outdoor mold counts - no surprise there.

    Response:
    Exactly, which is just one of the many reasons that undermines those snake-oil sales men who run around collecting “samples” and claim they are comparing indoor to outdoor samples and concluding an house has a mould problem if the indoor is higher than the outdoor.

    However, even just saying that there is a predictable season variation or “average” anticipated average, would be incorrect, since long term data from outdoor studies have shown that there is NO predictable average for those outdoor monitoring stations; and the data vary wildly from year to year to year. I have addressed the issue of seasonal variability in my web discussions.

    Question:
    Even that's hard to interpret because of the lack of chronological regularity (no December, but three Februarys). Maybe you could send me the article if there is one.

    Response:
    There are scores of sources and good articles such as Millington and Corden Long term trends in outdoor Aspergillus/Penicillium spore concentrations in Derby, UK from 1970 to 2003 and a comparative study in 1994 and 1996 with the indoor air of two local houses, Aerobiologia (2005) 21:105–113. See also Corden JM, MillingtonWM: Didymella ascospores in Derby, Grana, 33:2, 104-107(1994).

    Cheers, and good health to yez!!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  31. #31
    vincent jennings's Avatar
    vincent jennings Guest

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I've read articles by Mr. O'Connell before, and he is to be lauded for having the necessary between his pockets so as not to succumb to the fearmongers. He tells it like it is, not as a highpriced lawyer looking to twist the facts for pay.
    He also comes with something that cannot be learned from, books, professors, schooling, crash courses or seminars: namely EXPERIENCE.
    One can buy the others, but not the experience, so why is he been taken to task by less knowledgable sources.
    An old saying says that a little knowledge is dangerous, and it's been proved again in this thread. Might I suggest that it's very hard to learn anything, when one spends too much time doing the talking and pecking at the keyboard.

    I am also surprised to see one of Mr. Peck's posts sans any hint of litigous caution, but I must say this piece on rain is one of his best ever posts. Mr. Peck the whole country would be indebted to you if you could sell this to the American Bar Association. But then again it's common sense you used, so my guess is that you would fail. (maybe even sued).

    I am a retired general contractor, with over 45 years in construction, and I've always said that the day I get up and learn nothing, is a bad day.

    As I've gotten older, the more I've learned,
    and the more I've learned,
    the more I realize, how little I know.

    And for Minneapolis, I've always found, that when i've gotten myself into a hole, the solution has never been to dig deeper. Proving oneself
    1% right, also says 99% wrong.


  32. #32
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    vincent jennings Guest

    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    Sorry , it's Connell not O'Connell, my error.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    I guess I'm "Minneapolis."

    Vincent, who are you to judge me? What do you know about my experience? I have far more experience than you in biological research, from design to data collection to analysis. I was awarded 3 fellowships in grad school, including a Fulbright. I scored in the 99th percentile on the biology GREs. It's true that I don't practice my profession now, but I am a born scientist, and I miss it terribly. (Was actually just today discussing doing some research at the state park where I work.)

    I recognize that Mr. Connell has more experience studying fungal spores, and I respect that. Did you notice by any chance that my last post was mostly questions? I can appreciate his knowledge and at the same time not agree with everything he says.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Mold/Fungus? Or something else?

    One thing about science it has to stand the test of time, peer evaluation and scrutiny.

    Questioning is paramount to all science.

    I think Kristi should ask questions if she has the biology background and knows how to pose the question.

    I think Mr Connell has an unique insight and I find much of it refreshing.

    I rather enjoy the conversation.

    I think we all can agree that if mold/fungi are growing we have a condition that needs to be addressed and corrected.

    Hey I from Seattle I guess that makes me an authority on Rain ; )
    As an expert I know rain makes me wet and it falls from the sky

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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