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    Re: HVAC Mold Inspections

    Posted by Rem Dude on 4/16/08

    1. You are responsible for your own health - period.
    2. If you care about your health and IAQ exposure, then take matters into your own hands - remember
    point 1.
    3. An IAQ inspection is harmless, does not cost a fortune, and takes less than a few hours -
    remember point 1.
    4. An annual inspection catches little problems before they become big problems - remember point 1.
    5. Sitting on your ass waiting from someone else to rescue you only demonstrates ignorance -
    remember point 1.
    6. If your health and peace-of-mind is not worth the $250, then continue to ignore the issue -
    remember point 1.

    The solution is quite simple - become informed and proactive.


    On 4/16/08, Mold Bleeder wrote:
    > RD:
    > You're talking in circles. Lemme see if I understand you correctly:
    > The standard you are holding up for tenants is that they are essentially required to test for
    > something they are told can't hurt them because just in case the prevailing belief is incorrect and
    > mold/mycotoxins DO end up hurting them, it's their fault for not having done the work the owner is
    > supposed to do in return for the rent they are paying.
    > Did I get that right? I mean it's only $250 and all, right? Everyone should know this, right?
    > So, please remind me, how is it, again, that you think a prospective tenant should KNOW a)about
    > IAQ/mold inspections and b) that they need to pay for what ought to be the responsibility of the
    > owner ahead of moving in when the medical community insists that mold can't hurt you?
    > Look RD, you seem like a reasonable person, but this belief is part of the problem that sustains
    > wide scale ignorance of the danger because you are holding people accountable for information they
    > have no way to access ahead of the risk they are getting into.
    > The responsibility for ensuring a building is habitable at the time the tenant enters a lease is
    > with the owner. To argue that it ought to be otherwise given the denial that there is any problem
    > is nonsensical.
    > Is it worth advising the public that they ought to pressure for regular checking or to do it
    > themselves? Absolutely, but to hold a tenant responsible for the duties of the person who is
    > receiving rent is simply not reasonable.
    > In our case, there was no HVAC - the building was built in the early 1900s. Are you saying our
    > building ought to have been tested by us annually as well? We lived in an extremely temperate
    > climate very close to the ocean where our primary climate control was opening doors at either end
    > the apartments to get a cross breeze.
    > The owner learned there was mold infestation in the building during the inspection she was required
    > to do while she was in escrow, although that information didn't come to light until recently.
    > were several sources of water intrusion, apparently. Then, a couple years later there was a sewer
    > pipe leak under the building that went untended for some time, which is what created the situation
    > that we eventually discovered.
    > In our case, we did, ultimately, fork out money to have testing done to the tune of $1500 to have
    > three of the four units tested - primarily air sampling and a small handful of swabs. We'd called
    > the city prior to that and the health department signed off that the mold had been addressed
    > (although they never re-entered the property to *see* that this had occurred) and the department
    > that deals with buildings never filed its report.
    > The owner was sent the results of the enviro testing we did which indicated the building needed
    > more serious testing given that it was likely there was mold in the floors, ceilings and walls.
    > Four years later, no additional inspection has been done (we're still in touch with one of the
    > tenants). Mold is still growing in the building and tenants come and go having had weird health
    > issues crop up by the time they leave. This is 'income' property for the owner - she seems to have
    > a pretty strict standard of what monies she'll out-go for it.
    > During the few months when we began to realize that, perhaps, our freakish health symptoms were
    > related to mold, our doctors swore there was no way they could be, until one of us got an asthma
    > diagnosis. The mold kept getting wiped off of the surfaces and regrowing in a very short time.
    > owner told the tenants in that unit where mold was visible to clean it with bleach, which we now
    > know made the situation more dangerous since bleach and some mycotoxins mixed become a chemical
    > substance similar to clordane (if I remember the name correctly) - a serious neurotoxin (as if
    > Ochratoxin and Trichothecene weren't bad enough).
    > You toss around $250 like it's no big thang. Maybe in your practice you offer a 'tenant move-in
    > special' testing price, but after all we've been through in our specific situation, we spent a lot
    > more than that to get information that was essentially useless while we were trying to assess the
    > situation as tenants. I'm sure YOUR service for $250 may actually BE what every tenant needs, but
    > ours was pretty shoddy. We hadn't known anyone else to have testing, so we didn't have anyone to
    > turn to for a recommendation. No one was dead yet, so we didn't understand the stakes we were up
    > against we so impossibly high. We didn't know that air sampling generally only catches 1&37; of
    > in the air. We didn't know, that we should be testing for mycotoxins in addition to mold. We
    > didn't know that we should be doing viable spore sampling in addition to non-viable. At this
    > we've actually spent closer to $6000 dollars on testing to be able to show that what is in the
    > tissues of my dead neighbor is on the premises. (We've even had air sampling done by Omni 3000.)
    > THAT is really what you are holding tenants to in a situation where it's bad.
    > At present, your industry has been a part of the problem because you don't offer real education to
    > the public - what one finds when one goes looking for environmental testing is hyperbolic Ads that
    > scare people and then don't give a realistic expectation of what will actually be tested (and more
    > importantly, how much ISN'T). When the average person checks with their doctor to see if they
    > *need* to know if this stuff is in the air or the walls, they are told not to waste their money.
    > Honestly, whom are most people going to believe, the guy who advertises a $250 testing special in
    > the phone book or the family doctor? I mean, it is not my intent to denigrate your industry, I
    > think it's extremely important, but the guy who did the most recent sampling for us was INSULTED
    > that we weren't going to have him do the actual testing - we needed him for chain of custody, and
    > that's what we asked him to provide and he nearly refused us because he wanted to evaluate the
    > building. The samples he took went to an M.D. with advanced training who'd done the tissue testing
    > we needed to compare to whatever grew - but, goodness, the sampler whose feelings we hurt had a
    > whole junior college degree AND a certificate for a number of hours of training...
    > There is hubris and misunderstanding and misinformation all around - plenty to blame on everyone.
    > But I'd really prefer to see collusion in the interest of education rather than amassing blame.
    > Until that becomes the way this is handled, there had better be a court system, as skewed as it is
    > against people who have been injured.
    > ~Haley
    > On 4/16/08, Rem Dude wrote:
    >> That is why an annual IAQ/mold inspection is so important - catch little problems before they
    >> become BIG problems.
    >> RD
    >>> The fact remains that very few people know that mold is a problem for which there is a need for
    >>> inspection.

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