Chronic Medical Issues Might Be Right Under Your Nose!
In the last year I’ve encountered several people who were chronically sick. They visited doctor after doctor, were poked and prodded with loads of medical testing, and were put on antibiotics and other medications that didn’t work. One person was referred to a psychiatrist and another was recommended sinus surgery.
I like puzzles and thought, “Hmmm … what’s going on here?”
While one client’s symptoms resolved with dietary and lifestyle changes, the other client just wasn’t getting better.
If there’s no underlying medical reason and no dietary connection what could it be? Then I remembered a conversation with Corey Levy, a certified indoor environmentalist, who mentioned that chronic conditions, like sinusitis, allergies, and fatigue could all be related to our home environment.
Continuous exposure to indoor pathogens, such as mold, bacteria, heavy metals and chemicals could the the underlying cause of unexplained illnesses.
What are common symptoms of indoor pathogen exposure?
- respiratory & sinus infections
- asthma attacks
- flu-like symptoms
- irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- skin rashes
What are some of the common indicators that your home may be contributing to your symptoms?
- water is a biggie — leak/s, flood, burst pipe, sewer back-up, basement flooding
- abnormal odors — do you smell something “musty?”
- new building materials or furniture
- staining or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings
- pest control issues
- excess dust throughout the environment
- high humidity
If you have items on both of these lists it might just be time to have your home tested.
Your next step: Call a certified indoor environmental inspector — Do your research as finding the right inspector is key. They will assess your home using a variety of diagnostic tools,including moisture meter and infrared cameras to see within wall and ceiling cavities.
Buyer Beware: If the person or company offers to access and remediate (clean-up) any problems, run for the hills. According to Levy, who conducts assessments for Certified Mold Inspections, it is not only a conflict of interest to do both, but it is also illegal in four states. A reputable environmental inspector will assess the property, write a treatment plan and reinspect after the remediation is complete.
Here’s a list of questions Levy suggestions asking potential inspectors:
1. What are your certifications and what organization certified you?
Anyone can come into tour home and run tests. Its important to understand where to sample from, why you are sampling and understand what the next steps are.
2. Are you involved in any other industry organizations?
Continuing education is very important in this industry. Due to the rapid advancements in technology and science we learn more about our indoor environments every year. Attending conference events is important to most effectively helping clients.
3. Do you do both mold investigations and remediation?
It is a major conflict of interest to do both mold inspections and investigations. It is illegal in four states to date and more are soon to come.
4. How long will the inspection and testing take?
A typical inspection should be no less then 1-2 hours. This varies on size of home, but anything less than that they are not being thorough enough!
5. Does your assessment come with a report and remediation strategy?
Knowing you have a mold problem doesn’t solve anything unless you know what is causing the problem and how to clean it based on industry guidelines.
If you have any questions, or want more information on Indoor Pathogen Testing feel free to reach out to my resident expert, Corey Levy, who has four certifications in indoor pathogens and works with Certified Mold Inspections to help people get to the root of their problems. As Corey always says, “If you smell something musty, call someone trusty.” If Corey cannot help you he will find someone who will.