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  1. #1

    Default US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Hello Gents!

    Happy New Year!

    In the past, the public has been generally mislead by the use of popular indices that claim to provide a moldiness index and claim to be capable of identifying a structure with a mould problem. One of the more popular (and most misleading) is the US EPA “Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI).” These kinds of indices and “mold scores” have been grossly misapplied in the past and have been used exclusively by poorly trained “mould inspectors” as some kind of a magical score to evaluate mouldiness.

    In fact, virtually all the claims surrounding the application of the ERMI score are false (and always have been false). I believed that the ERMI myth had been fairly well debunked. However, as of last week, I encountered another client who falsely believed the ERMI protocol was a validated EPA method.

    This morning, I did an internet search on companies offering the ERMI protocol. Without exception every organization I saw on the internet that was providing the ERMI protocol was also providing false and misleading information concerning the ERMI.

    In an effort to provide better information, we have updated our “Sampling Myths” discussion here: Mould Testing: Is it beneficial or 'snake oil?'

    The update addresses the August 2013 US EPA Report on the misuse of the ERMI index.

    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

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    In an effort to provide better information, we have updated our “Sampling Myths” discussion here: Mould Testing: Is it beneficial or 'snake oil?'
    Caoimhín,

    Using a different font color than that light font would make it much easier on the eyes and much easier to read.

    I got part way through it and had to stop as it was too light and too hard to read.

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Thanks Jerry!

    I will begin working on that immediately!

    CPC


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    I still get calls for people who want mold tests performed in their home or office. Stupidly, I spend a fair amount of time going through red flag questions and explaining how air samples are waste of time and money. I advise them if they feel there is something in the air in the building that is making someone ill that they should have an analysis performed by a Industrial Hygienist not by a self-declared certified mold expert or jack-leg like me; a lot of chemical or biological contaminates or pollutants can be in the air that would be more likely to cause respiratory problems. BUT ...

    You get the mother who says her son always has headaches, coughing, sneezing, sick, and that never happened until they moved into this house ... now get this ... from FLORIDA. When they went home for a visit (Florida), all the symptoms went away until they got back home.

    Then there is the mother who calls and says her child just started having congestion, coughing, etc. so it has to be mold in the house. - She must be a first time mom - it's late summer or early fall and SCHOOL just started. It's called HAY FEVER or the more general disease of children spreading colds when school starts.

    And then there is the doctor who apparently is tired of explaining this to moms who believe that's not possible with their child and tell them to have the house tested for mold.

    I once told a mom that it would be less expensive and more informative to have an allergist test the kid for molds common to this part of the country.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I still get calls for people who want mold tests performed in their home or office. Stupidly, I spend a fair amount of time going through red flag questions ...
    Same here. I decided to put a page on my website dealing with the subject.

    http://www.inspection2020.com/mold.pdf

    Anyone who wants to cut and paste any of this, be my guest.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    Same here. I decided to put a page on my website dealing with the subject.

    http://www.inspection2020.com/mold.pdf

    Anyone who wants to cut and paste any of this, be my guest.
    I have a an entire section on my site that deals with mold, mold testing, and remediation BUT no one sees that.

    Man, I have to update my web site this winter. I thought I had a big header that said, "Va Inspection Service Does Not Perform Mold Testing" and the state law requiring lasted about a year - it was dropped.

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

  7. #7

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Hey, Thanks, Mike...

    I like it!

    Caoimhín


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Hey, Thanks, Mike...

    I like it!

    Caoimhín
    Thanks, Caoimhin.

    There are lots of inspectors that visit this site (you know who you are) that do mold testing even though they know it holds no value, and some even tell their clients that they don't recommend it, but then they go ahead and test anyway. There is something fundamentally wrong with this and it only adds a bastardized credence to the mold testing BS.

    For some reason and despite the medical science supporting it, no major media outlets that I know of will run stories saying that general mold testing is for the birds.

    I tried in vain to get the Chicago Tribune to admit they made some inaccurate remarks that home inspectors usually address mold testing in an inspection. This ran on the front page of their Sunday real estate section. The editor directed me to a guy who teaches mold testing for ASHI and was no doubt a contributor to the article. and he gave some meandering off the topic remarks about ERMI that had nothing to do with the question I asked. The head in the sand response is really hard to comprehend unless you consider all the money being made by keeping the general public and new uninformed home inspectors ignorant.

    Home inspectors have got to stop testing for mold and start telling the public why it is stupid to do so.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  9. #9

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Hello Mike!

    I remember you mentioning the Chicago Tribune issue either to me directly or on this site.

    Tilting with windmills. Been there.. done that!

    Can’t save the world, just have to do what is right.

    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


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    The fallacy continues... about mould. And the writer (a lawyer) perpetrates the myth about mould.

    Home inspection may require a team approach | Toronto Star

    By: Mark Weisleder Real Estate, Published on Sun Jan 05 2014

    Since writing about changes coming to the home inspection industry, I have received countless emails from home inspectors, real estate agents and buyers.

    Buyers complained after closing about problems with their home that were not caught during the home inspection.

    This included serious mold behind one of the walls in the basement, a defective fireplace and a furnace that was working but would soon require to be replaced.

    Some buyers blamed their real estate agents, stating that they only recommended an inspector who would approve the home quickly.

    In the situations noted above, it would have been difficult for a home inspector to have noticed the issue, primarily because they are not able to look behind any walls or under floors and only furnace and fireplace specialists may be able to detect certain flaws in these items.
    Real estate agents will typically provide the names of three inspection firms for their clients to choose from.

    In rural properties, it is common to have separate inspections for the home, the well and the septic system, as these all require different expertise to properly inspect and advise potential buyers.

    When you now consider that the average prices for homes in the GTA is now over $500,000, and with a majority of homes being over 20 years old, it may be time to take a similar team approach when it comes to inspecting a home prior to any purchase decision.
    For example, every fireplace should be inspected by a qualified wood energy technology transfer professional once a year.

    This is a real safety issue as an improperly working fireplace can cause a fire in your home.
    As was pointed out to me by Alan Hilts of Nighthawk Chimney sweeps, homes built before 1955 likely have unlined chimneys, meaning that there is not much protection between the heat and the rest of the house.

    Homeowners should have their furnaces and HVAC systems checked once each year for similar reasons.

    Not only should you make sure that your equipment is operating safely, you may be able to make changes to your equipment that will make your system operate more efficiently, saving you money in the long term.

    Sellers should consider such an inspection before they put their home up for sale, to demonstrate to any buyer that the system is operating safely.

    Mold is becoming an even larger issue with older homes, especially after the flooding and sewage backup that occurred last summer in many areas of the GTA.

    The good news is that there are now companies that can inspect for mold without having to look behind walls, due to their sophisticated infra-red equipment, thus being able to give a buyer comfort that they will not be facing significant bills in the future to remedy a mold build-up.

    (my note - since when can iR discover mould? iR can only determine if there are conditions favourable to mould growth).

    This can be very expensive as it typically requires removing substantial amounts of drywall and then spraying the entire interior of the home to remove the mold spores.

    Some companies that offer this service are Tri-Star Disaster recovery Services, Canada Restoration Services and Greenstream Environmental.

    Konstantino Zaraliakos, the President of Tri-Star Disaster Recovery Inc., tells me that the cost to conduct a mold inspection can be done for as little as $300.

    The size of the home and the extent of the mold damage within the home will determine how many samples are needed. He says that more and more buyers are now requesting this inspection as part of their home inspection process.

    He also states that even homeowners who are not selling their homes are requesting these inspections because of their desire to know that their home is healthy.

    When you are about to make one of the largest purchase decisions of your life, it is important to have as much information that you need in advance.

    A home inspection team may supply the answer.

    Mark Weisleder is a lawyer, author and speaker to the real estate industry.
    You can contact Mark at mark@markweisleder.com


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The fallacy continues... about mould. And the writer (a lawyer) perpetrates the myth about mould.

    Home inspection may require a team approach | Toronto Star

    By: Mark Weisleder Real Estate, Published on Sun Jan 05 2014

    Since writing about changes coming to the home inspection industry, I have received countless emails from home inspectors, real estate agents and buyers.

    Buyers complained after closing about problems with their home that were not caught during the home inspection.

    This included serious mold behind one of the walls in the basement, a defective fireplace and a furnace that was working but would soon require to be replaced.

    Some buyers blamed their real estate agents, stating that they only recommended an inspector who would approve the home quickly.

    In the situations noted above, it would have been difficult for a home inspector to have noticed the issue, primarily because they are not able to look behind any walls or under floors and only furnace and fireplace specialists may be able to detect certain flaws in these items.
    Real estate agents will typically provide the names of three inspection firms for their clients to choose from.

    In rural properties, it is common to have separate inspections for the home, the well and the septic system, as these all require different expertise to properly inspect and advise potential buyers.

    When you now consider that the average prices for homes in the GTA is now over $500,000, and with a majority of homes being over 20 years old, it may be time to take a similar team approach when it comes to inspecting a home prior to any purchase decision.
    For example, every fireplace should be inspected by a qualified wood energy technology transfer professional once a year.

    This is a real safety issue as an improperly working fireplace can cause a fire in your home.
    As was pointed out to me by Alan Hilts of Nighthawk Chimney sweeps, homes built before 1955 likely have unlined chimneys, meaning that there is not much protection between the heat and the rest of the house.

    Homeowners should have their furnaces and HVAC systems checked once each year for similar reasons.

    Not only should you make sure that your equipment is operating safely, you may be able to make changes to your equipment that will make your system operate more efficiently, saving you money in the long term.

    Sellers should consider such an inspection before they put their home up for sale, to demonstrate to any buyer that the system is operating safely.

    Mold is becoming an even larger issue with older homes, especially after the flooding and sewage backup that occurred last summer in many areas of the GTA.

    The good news is that there are now companies that can inspect for mold without having to look behind walls, due to their sophisticated infra-red equipment, thus being able to give a buyer comfort that they will not be facing significant bills in the future to remedy a mold build-up.

    (my note - since when can iR discover mould? iR can only determine if there are conditions favourable to mould growth).

    This can be very expensive as it typically requires removing substantial amounts of drywall and then spraying the entire interior of the home to remove the mold spores.

    Some companies that offer this service are Tri-Star Disaster recovery Services, Canada Restoration Services and Greenstream Environmental.

    Konstantino Zaraliakos, the President of Tri-Star Disaster Recovery Inc., tells me that the cost to conduct a mold inspection can be done for as little as $300.

    The size of the home and the extent of the mold damage within the home will determine how many samples are needed. He says that more and more buyers are now requesting this inspection as part of their home inspection process.

    He also states that even homeowners who are not selling their homes are requesting these inspections because of their desire to know that their home is healthy.

    When you are about to make one of the largest purchase decisions of your life, it is important to have as much information that you need in advance.

    A home inspection team may supply the answer.

    Mark Weisleder is a lawyer, author and speaker to the real estate industry.
    You can contact Mark at mark@markweisleder.com
    More poorly informed page-filler garbage from an, "author and speaker to the real estate industry."
    IR tells you temperatures. That's it. The practitioner interprets from that.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Yes more fear mongering and a lawyer who only checks with one source which happens to be in the biz of promoting false facts about mould testing/iR and of questionable health affects.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    I sent an email to the author and recommend that anyone else who disagrees with the mold sampling and IR part of the article do the same.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  14. #14

    Default Re: US EPA ERMI Mould Index protocol

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    I sent an email to the author and recommend that anyone else who disagrees with the mold sampling and IR part of the article do the same.
    Done.

    Caoimhin


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