Tag: testing

The Story of Cody The Mold Dog

Buddy is Not a Mold Dog

Pictured above: “Buddy the Sheltie” With Best Friend Noah, Buddy is a Handsome Dog, But Refused to go to Mold College

This story is serious and true.  There are mold dogs in many part of the country served by InspectorLab.  In fact, “Cody  the Mold Dog” was quite the competition for mold professionals in this author’s Pittsburgh PA market, at least it seemed at first consideration.  Other InspectorLab customers across the country have had similar experiences. Let me start with a little background. Then I will tell you my personal story of competing with “Cody, The Mold Dog”.

Background Story on Mold Dogs and Mold Dog College

Mold dogs are specifically trained to detect up to 18 types of mold. This should not surprise you. We have dogs to search for drugs, bombs, money, weapons, accelerants, and termites. Makes sense that dogs can be trained to detect mold too. According to the website http://www.mold-dog.com/about_us_detail.htm, hunting type dogs are best suited for this use. That would include Labs, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Aussies, Beagles and combinations of these breeds.

“Buddy the Sheltie” Would Not Go to Doggy Mold College

Sadly, our dog, Buddy the Sheltie (Border Collie), never expressed the desire to be a mold dog and join me in the environmental profession. But then again, neither did any of our 6 children. It’s not for a lack of effort on my part. I did mention to Buddy the Sheltie that he was a breed that was well suited to being a mold dog, but that suggestion fell on deaf ears. The training for mold dogs is rigorous and a little mean, and Buddy is a lover, not a workaholic or gluten for punishment.

“Cody the Mold Dog” earned his Mold Dog Degree and Went into the Mold Business

Let’s get back to my personal story about “Cody, the Mold Dog”. I am sure you have had an occasion that during dealing with someone, you have gotten to a point where they sheepishly admit to having dealt with someone else other than you. That would be “kind a, sort a…umm” like explaining to your friend from grade school why you are trading in a Chevy to purchase a Subaru from them, after calling upon them to give you a good deal because you ?go way back together”. (AWKWARD)

Picture this: I am working with a client with some serious health issues.

As is the practice with good environmental professionals, I explain the test results, why the mold is present and what needs to happen to make sure the mold goes away and does not come back again. All important information for the long-term health of the client and their family. They had serious health problems, and I had his full attention.

Then came the sheepish admission by the client that is the root of this story

Client: “Ummm, ahhhh, I need to admit, I had “Cody, The Mold Dog” here before I called you.

Me: “OK, how did that work out?  I have not personally met Cody”

Client: “Well, I’m very glad I called you. Cody charged me more than you did, and he didn’t talk to me.”

Moral of the Story

Detecting mold is not enough! The how, why, what, and pathway to a resolution are all important. Remediators who view their job and telling a client: “Yep, ya got mold and for $xxx. xx I will make it go away” are the real competitors to “Cody the Mold Dog”, not competitors to InspectorLab  mold professionals. You need to have a healthy home and deserve the help and advice they can give you.

Another Morsel of Wisdom in This Story

By the way, in the long run, the “Cody the Mold Dog” type of mold remediators may even cost you more than the real professionals. That is especially true when the mold comes back and you need face the health risks of mold exposure and then pay to have the job done again.

The professionals InspectorLab recommends for mold testing are trained to investigate the type and source of mold and then its solution.  They are also good at explaining the issues, listening to client concerns and TALKING with our clients and addressing their concerns. We believe that you deserve more than Cody the Mold Dog or a salesman only interested in making a sale, not helping and educating you.

For more information, go to www.InspectorLab.com

 

The Next Steps If You Think You Have Asbestos: Start With An InspectorLab Testing Professional

Next Steps If You Have Asbestos

If you think you have asbestos, the health and safety of your home depend on KNOWING if you have asbestos. Then you need to contact an InspectorLab Testing Professional to have it tested 

       When asbestos is found in a building, there are usually three possible options – removal, encapsulation or leaving the asbestos untouched.


Removal or abatement
is usually necessary if the asbestos materials are damaged. Removal is a great option if you want to completely remove the potentially hazardous materials once and for all. Removal is also often necessary during construction, demolition and refurbishment projects.


Encapsulation
is usually less expensive than removal, and involves covering the material to isolate it rather than removing it. An example would be installing a wood subfloor over an asbestos tile floor or covering asbestos containing insulation such as vermiculite insulation with a safe insulation.


Leaving asbestos in place
may not seem like the best option, but in some cases asbestos does not pose a threat to humans, and can be left in place. An example of this would be a chimney installed in a sealed chase. As long as asbestos fibers can’t reach the air we breathe, they are not a hazard

Asbestos Related Diseases

Asbestosis is scarring if the lungs. This damages tissues and hampers their ability to intake oxygen to the blood. This disease can take from 15 to 30 years to show itself.


Lung Cancer
is a malignant tumor of the bronchi covering. The tumor grows through surrounding tissue and obstructs the air passages. This disease can surface 20 to 30 years after asbestos exposure.


Mesothelioma
is cancer of the mesothelium which is the lining of the abdominal wall. Early stages of the disease have few symptoms. By the time it is found, it is almost always fatal. This disease can have a latency period of 30 to 40 years.

As a final word, let me take a shot at the question a lot of people ask: Can I remove asbestos myself? I vote “no” unless you are equipped and practiced at the process of containment, negative air and air scrubbing. Asbestos can take decades to kill you, but it will. Watching what my dad went through, I assure you that slowly suffocating to death over a stretch of about a year is not worth saving money on an asbestos removal project.

 

Asbestos is Still in Many of Our Homes Consider Testing

              If I took a poll, probably a vast majority of people would recognize asbestos as a hazard. We know that it gets ripped out of schools and other public buildings. We recognize that people die from asbestos and that there are big class action lawsuits about the mineral

There is a lot more we should know about this hazard previously thought of as a miracle product.

The use of asbestos dates back to the Greeks and Romans who used it to make cloth. It is a natural mineral, which varies by name and color depending upon where it is mined. There are 6 different minerals all lumped into the category of asbestos.

Asbestos is resistant to heat and most chemicals. The tough fibers were used as reinforcement and for heat resistance in many products for industry, homes and commercial buildings. It is a sneaky carcinogen because it was easy to add the mineral to a host of products that can disguise the presence to the naked eye. The reason for its widespread use is that where and when it was used, it saved lives from fire hazards and improved the characteristics of many products.

In older homes, asbestos can be found in a many areas of the home, from roof tiles and decorative ceilings to wall insulation and vinyl floors. Below is a list of some of the most common asbestos containing materials.

Vinyl Floor Tiles
Asbestos Cement Sheets & Garage Roof Panels
Textured Decorative Coatings (eg. Artex)
Roof Tiles
Storage Heaters
Airing Cupboard Walls
Cement Fireplace Surrounds
Fuse Boxes
Gutters and Drainage Pipes
Pipe Lagging
Central Heating Flues
Cement Water Tanks
Rope Seals and Gaskets
Roofing Felt
Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB) Ceiling Tiles
AIB Bath Panels
Sprayed Insulation Coating

Asbestos is Real Personal for Millions of Workers

         You might scratch your head on how this happened. There was evidence of the medical risks of asbestos as early as 1920, but workers were not told of the dangers until the mid 1970’s.

Millions of workers including my father have died of asbestos related cancer. As a young man, I was exposed to asbestos in everything from joint compound to insulation and ceiling tiles while working in the family construction company.

With that said, my work as an asbestos testing professional is highly personal. Asbestos exposure still occurs today in some products and when it is removed by unsuspecting workers. Asbestos is still heavily mined in Russia and can find its way into products being manufactured today.

InspectorLab Cutting Through the Babble About Environmental Health

Personal environmental health is the combination of all the exposures we have each experienced, our genetic makeup and our past health history. By the way, we need to keep in mind that our family and our beloved pets share our environmental health exposures.

Outside Influences:      The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the things we touch can all affect our health. Other exposures such as the medicines we ingest are another major factor in our environmental health. Residual effects of toxins that are part of our exposure past history may affect us  decades after our exposure.  Smoking, working with asbestos and living moldy conditions are a part of our environmental exposure history.

Personal Influences:   The combination of our genetics, health and disease history, and the exposures we have had across a lifetime can influence our health.

The combinations of each and every one of these factors is a complex puzzle that is difficult to unravel.

Where the Journey Starts for Each of Us The journey starts with identifying factors that are risks to ourselves and the people we care about

Some of those factors will be easy to identify by a professional during an assessment of a building. Other risks and hazards will require testing.  Identification helps us to avoid exposures.

We have learned about avoidance as a part of health care. If heart disease and high cholesterol are a genetic factor,  a patient  needs to avoid the sources of cholesterol.  Similarly, if asthma is a health risk  in your family, for mold, allergens or other triggers for Asthma is a very good idea.

The importance of having an InspectorLab Certified Professional test your home is one component of our environmental health. Testing is well worth consideration as  a tool in our “Keeping Healthy Toolkit.”

InspectorLab provides the highest quality in laboratory testing and the most readable report in the industry. It is the only lab that provides a MoldSafe Guaranty  

For more information on maintaining a healthy home, follow us on this blog or contact an Environmental Sales Consultant at InspectorLab today at 1-888-854-0477 or email us at ask@inspectorlab.com

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