The Clean Body Podcast

How Mold In Your Home Is Deteriorating Your Health

September 01, 2021 Lauren Kelly Season 1 Episode 23
The Clean Body Podcast
How Mold In Your Home Is Deteriorating Your Health
Show Notes Transcript

If you have leaky gut, chronic fatigue, brain fog, mood disorders, allergies, respiratory dysfunctions, or other chronic conditions, have you ever considered that mold toxicity may be the root cause? In this episode of The Clean Body Podcast, I'm talking to the author of The Mold Medic Michael Rubio. During the conversation, you'll learn:

  • What mold, mold sensitivity, and mold toxicity are
  • How many people are impact by mold toxicity right now in America
  • How mold toxicity causes and/or contributes to candida overgrowth, leaky gut, chronic fatigue syndrome, acne and other skin conditions, joint and muscle pain 
  • What mold toxicity symptoms often look like
  • How mold can get into your home
  • What mycotoxins are
  • What the most common kinds of mold are found in people’ homes (and where!)
  • How to locate and detoxify mold
  • How air quality plays a role in prevent mold
  • How air purifiers work to manage mold

About Michael Rubino:
Michael Rubino is an international mold remediation expert with nearly a decade of field experience working with individuals who are immunocompromised to improve the air quality in their homes. He is a council certified Mold Remediator by IICRC and ACAC and a contributing member, sponsor, and speaker for the Indoor Air Quality Association. He works with roughly seventy-five to 100 families each year as they return to their homes after mold exposure.

About The Mold Medic: 

Is mold a problem in your home? It is for many people, and often they don’t know what to do about it. Every year, mold damages property and costs homeowners money. Mold also can be dangerous to your health, especially if you’re susceptible to chronic mold sensitivity.

Luckily, The Mold Medic is here to equip you with the tools to fight the mold battle safely and effectively. With over seven years of field experience, Michael Rubino excels at working with individuals who are immunocompromised to improve their homes’ air quality. Rubino’s step-by-step guidebook is an easy, accessible tool that will teach you how to find a team to locate the mold, the process involved in removing it, and what is needed to detoxify your home and belongings from mold-created by-products.

Rubino’s expert advice is the go-to resource for anyone worried about an increasingly common problem that can have life-threatening side effects. The Mold Medic can help you breathe easier.

Learn More About Michael, The Mold Medic & All American Restoration: 

For more on Lauren Kelly & The Clean Body Podcast: 

The thing that really strikes me as alarming is the fact us that are talking about this that are advocating for our health and our peers health. And you have all these doctors as well, that, you know, are practicing medicine. And it just, it just seems very strange to me that where we are today, with the amount of knowledge that we have, that we're still saying, well, you know, if you have a headache, take a Tylenol, like that's the answer, but you know, really we should be figuring out what is the root cause of what caused that headache in the first one. Welcome to the clean body podcast. I'm Lauren Kelly, a certified nutrition therapist, and soon to be specialized holistic cancer coach with a certification in cancer biology from UC Berkeley. I am so grateful that you're here. This podcast introduces you to the souls and brains behind some of the cleanest food beverage and lifestyle products on the market. Because what you put on in and around your body matters from cookies, bread, and mushroom superfoods to adaptogenic lozenges, clean medicines, organic mattresses, and fluoride-free toothpaste. We'll explore how the brands came to be how scientific studies drove decisions about ingredients and materials. And most importantly, how the products support all the physical and mental microscopic miracles that occur in your body every minute of every day. Thank you for being here. Let's get this started. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the clean body podcast. I'm your host, Lauren Kelly. Thanks for being here today. Now here's something you probably haven't thought about. At least not recently, toxic mold in your home. It sounds extreme. And like something you'd know you have in your house, right? But the reality is that it could be hiding in plain sight and creating one or numerous health complications. And you'd have no idea. That's because mold initiates inflammation in your body. So symptoms can run the gamut. And it's so hard to know what the root cause is. Mold toxicity could cause you or your family members to experience anxiety, depression, brain fog, migraines, mood swings, uncontrollable, weight gain, or weight loss, leaky gut symptoms. Auto-immunity extreme, extreme chronic fatigue, extreme pain, and sensitivity to light, and sounds normally numbing or tingling of body parts. The list goes on and on, and it's commonly overlooked and unconsidered by most medical professionals. When you go see them with a problem, they just don't even really think of it. Mold toxicity can even go as far as causing similar symptoms to Alzheimer's and lead to misdiagnoses. So it's really serious, but there are ways to know if toxic mold is getting into your home and there are ways to remove it, repeat, remove it, not kill it. AKA don't use bleach. You'll learn why soon. But during this episode I talked to Michael Rubino. He is the author of the mold medic. He's also the founder of all American restoration and is an international mold and is an international mold remediation expert. He has nearly a decade of field experience working with individuals who are immunocompromised to improve the air quality in their homes. And he shares some of those and he shares some of those stories. Some of which are pretty crazy. Michael is a council certified mold. Remediators by ICRC and AC AC and a contributing member sponsor and speaker for the indoor air quality association. So he knows his. He works with roughly 75 to a hundred families each year and helps them return to their homes after mold exposure. And his ultimate goal is actually to increase awareness and provide education. So that molder mediation companies like his own aren't needed in the future. He basically wants to put himself out of business, but it's an interesting, uh, super important and an at times little bit scary episode. I actually currently have a mold situation happening outside of my home, which I share some of the details about during the episode, but mold toxicity could very well be the culprit of so many people's chronic conditions and diseases. So give it a listen and share it with all the loved ones you have in your life. I really think everyone needs to know about this and have this information, especially if they have some chronic conditions and diseases and no answers for them right now, as always, if you'd like this episode, please rate, review, subscribe, share it with your friends. I can not continue doing this week after week without your support. Thank you again for being here. Let's jump into the episode, Michael, welcome to the clean body podcast. How are you? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. I am really excited to talk about mold, which is not a sentence I ever thought would come out of my mouth. It's usually not exciting to talk about, but it is exciting in the sense of creating that your health and wellbeing when you're trying to achieve certain goals, um, you know, with respect to your health and wellbeing. I think it is exciting to finally know about these things that are probably inhibiting those goals. Yeah. I have to say this journey of being a holistic health expert and nutrition therapist, I have to become aligned and okay. With a lot of things that previously I would have thought were quote, unquote gross. You know? And so I would even say like a week ago when I reached out to you for the podcast, I was like, oh God, I don't know if I'm going to be able to talk about mold, skimming me sick, but I've been doing my research reading about, and now it's fascinating the way it impacts our body. So that flip has been switched. I'm just putting that out there for the listeners who are like, I don't know if I could listen to an hour mold. It's so fascinating and important. Yeah, totally. I mean, you know, listening to an hour about mole that may not be, seem exciting, but actually I guarantee you won't be able to turn this off when we actually started diving into it. Absolutely. I mean, I heard that, I think about 10 million people are impacted at this very moment at the very least from some level of toxic mold exposure. And so it's just so much more prevalent than I think most people like to think about, but before we get into the nitty-gritty of all of that and the mold medic, I would just love to hear about your journey and how you got to where you are today. Sure. So, you know, basically I'm a second generation contractor, which means my dad was a contractor first, since I'm about five years old. And, um, you know, so I've been around homes and buildings, my entire life. Uh, you know, I used to go to work with him pretty much all the time, summers, things like that. Um, and, and I got to see a lot of what I know now is what I would consider building bus. Um, just through the, through the, the fact of him working on so many different homes and being in so many different situations. Uh, one of the biggest things that he did is his company did, was, um, fire restoration. And if you know anything about fires, right, the fire department comes and they put it out with water and then water creates this mold issue. So you, you get to see the different facets of how, you know, a big tragedy turns into another tragedy and you're challenged with cleaning it all up. And not only that, but your challenge with cleaning it all up with the insurance companies money and they want to clean it up as cheaply as possible. And it, it just creates a lot of different challenges. And there's a, there's a severe lack of information out there with respects to mold that really, you know, over the past 20, 30 years that I've seen personally, people were like, yeah, you know, I had the issue of the insurance. Company's not going to cover the mold remediation. I'm not really too worried about, about it. And you know, like statements like that are pretty alarming and severe when they can potentially impact your health. And it was really after hurricane Sandy, that's when I started getting into it as a young adult professionally. And when I started seeing people really getting sick, um, and I don't, I'm talking for seven years thereafter, I was re remediating homes that were supposedly remediated. Um, and people were just not doing well. Uh, that's when I really started to say, you know, there's something here that the industry at large is missing because, you know, even I had thought before that point, that mole was no big deal. I don't know if I've ever thought mold was no big deal. Of course, I think we've always, we've all heard of like black mold and everyone's scared of black mold. And, but there's so many other interesting symptoms associated with exposure to mold. It can, you know, ADHD or even misdiagnosed all timers, which we'll get into all of that. But before we get there, I think we should start with the basics and really define what mold is. So from your experience, how would you explain what mold is to people who don't have a lot of mold knowledge? Yeah. The simplicity is the word mold is, is a blanket term used to describe over a hundred thousand different species of fungus. That's really the simplicity of it. Uh, this fungus grows among us. Um, and you may have heard that that pond before, but essentially it's part of our ecosystem. It has a function in, in the real world. So as it breaks down and decomposes matter, that needs to break down decompose. However, if it's growing inside your home and it's breaking down and decomposing your home, that's not really a good thing. You also, it also can, uh, when it's actually growing in colonizing, it's going to be reproducing much more rapidly. And, you know, mold is kind of like a weed in the term of how it reproduces weeds have roots. They grow into the soil. Uh, they produce seeds, those seeds get aerosolized. They fall into, you know, more soil. It rains, it gets that moisture content, those seeds grow into more weeds. So I usually, once you have that one pesky weed in your front lawn, it's just, you'd never added a mold is very similar in the sense where it has roots. It grows into your structure, into your home. And then as it's actively growing into your home, it's reproducing the seeds called spores. And these spores are again, opportunistically looking for more sources of moisture, moisture, or water. Well, if you have these hidden sources of moisture or water inside of your home, as these spores, re-circulate, they're going to find new homes to start to grow in. And at that point, you know, one, one small leak that allowed the opportunity for mold to grow becomes this perpetual mold problem that starts to, you know, starts to impact your health. And mainly because the air inside your home starts to become much more toxic than the air outside. Um, as a matter of fact, the EPA, uh, they state that they think the average, uh, indoor home environment is 50 times worse than the air outside. So kind of gives you some perspective of how mold becomes a problem inside of our home. Yikes. Yeah, that's terrifying. And I know I said earlier, I wasn't scared anymore, but I mentioned this to you before we started recording. I'm pretty sure we have a mold situation happening outside of our house because our AC drips condensation down into an area that doesn't get sun. And so that is like a prime place for mold to be growing. And so I'm like, oh God, is it creeping in through the cracks of our house and getting into our air quality? What is the situation now? Yeah. So we'll definitely, definitely you want to pay attention to that and clean it. Um, you know, is it possible to seep into the cracks it's, it's pro it's possible of course, but it's probably unlikely, but actually the way it can get inside is a couple of different things. One, if you open up a window on that side of the house, you're allowing that air to, to that, that breeze to bring some of that mold in, but also if your house has soft advents, and these are events like on the underside of the roof that extend outside, if you have mold growing on your siding, you can have mold that enters through these Sava advents. And then it's kind of getting in your attic where once it's in your attic, it can kind of ResearchGate around into the living space, you know? And so that, that would be a concern. So I think, you know, even if it's outside growing on your home, I would pay attention to it and remove it, um, and try to upkeep with that because of the potential dangers of it eventually making its way inside. Yeah. We'll talk about how you actually remove mold a little bit later, but you mentioned that mold is a fun guy and it's similar to a weed, but when I think of fun guy, I also think of mushrooms. And I'm curious if there is any relation between mold and mushrooms. Oh yeah. I mean, if you have, if you have a pretty bad mold problem, um, that mold actually can grow into a full-on mushroom. As a matter of fact, I have seen such cases where, uh, there's a famous thing that's coming to mind for me is, is this one, one place? It was in Brooklyn, New York. Um, it was a basement apartment. So they had not only water intrusion from just being subgrade in the basement, but also they had a week that happened from above. The guy was full on living there. He was a, an old Italian man. You didn't speak much English and he's just sleeping beside this bed. I mean, and there was literally full on mushrooms growing on, uh, growing on his walls and all of his walls went from, you know, like a light gray to just, just black. I mean, they were just covered, uh, it was horrible. You could actually take your finger and push right through his wall. That's how mushy it was. Um, so yeah, no, they, it is a fungus. It, it can turn into a full on mushroom. Um, and you know, that's, that's what things, that's what things for really, really bad. You never wanted to get it to that point. Put it that way. Huh. Good to know signs to look out for, but let's start digging into what exactly mold toxicity is and how that shows up in people's everyday lives. Yeah. So mold toxicity is, is, you know, it's a concept basically that, um, you have an abundance of mold that's getting into the can be toxic depending on if it's a toxigenic mold or even more confusing, certain allergenic, uh, or pathogenic species of mold also can produce what's called mycotoxins, which are toxic, but essentially you're, everyone has this, this right, that they reach where your body is not able to remove it, the toxicity as fast as it's accumulating inside the body. And that's, what's really referred to as mold toxicity in very simple terms, it's just the body's inability to detoxify. And it creates this abundance of toxicity inside the body and a whole host of health implications. Come with that. What I learned doing my research for this podcast interview is that really the driver of a lot of the signs and symptoms of mold toxicity is the fact that mold creates inflammation in the body, which can then manifest as a plethora of different symptoms, whether it be psychological with ADHD, depression, anxiety, um, or be more cognitive with brain fog and, um, even onset of Alzheimer's. It can often look like Alzheimer's, um, or, you know, fibromyalgia, which is sensitivity to pain or light or sound. And oftentimes people who experienced fibromyalgia, their doctors are just like, I don't know what's wrong with you. This is all in your head and that can be mold toxicity. So let's kind of talk about that interaction of like how mold toxicity really directly impacts the body and can create that inflammation and can create chronic conditions that many people are living with today. And maybe don't realize it's due to being exposed to mold in their homes. You know, mold can disrupt. And it obviously depends on the individual, but mold can be extremely disruptive in many different pathways. Uh, so first it can definitely disrupt the microbiome of the gut. It can cause things like leaky gut syndrome chops that he has, you know, a lot of, uh, negative effects there. You also have the neurological and the cognitive input impairs that happens. And that's typically due to the inflammation of the brain. Uh, what happens is your body is, is, uh, is a wonderful piece of machinery. If you would call it that essentially, as it starts at a tech that something foreign is inside the body, such as an abundance of mold, it begins to, it begins to basically protect itself. And that's what, that's what causes that inflammation. It's actually the, the barriers that it's trying to protect the organs with. It also starts to hold onto a lot more water. And, you know, your, you only have your, your organs and your body only has so much room to expand before things really start to tighten up. And that's really what, what you see people start to get like very severe headaches, um, because of this, uh, brain fog and cognitive difficulties, uh, I've talked to people who immediately, after being exposed to mold, let's say they had to go inside their house and get something that they forgot. Um, you know, they, they start slurring their words, it's they almost have an accent. Like, it's very difficult to understand what they're saying. And I've seen that that takes shape in many different occasions. It's, it's almost bizarre, uh, what can actually occur, but essentially yeah, your, your body's trying fight it and knows something's going on and it's trying to detoxify, but at the same time, you're having all of these pathways that are getting blocked because you're just, it's just your body's completely overloaded. And so it just, you just begin to shut down. Um, now in terms of the sensitivities, what's interesting is what I've noticed is that people have a much higher heightened sensitivity to anything that they can experience negatively because their body's already overburdened. So it's, it's, you know, you start to get this light sensitivity, sound sensitivity. It's your body's way of telling you that something is really wrong. You need to get it, you need, you need change ASAP. And, um, you know, once what what's, what's really miraculous is once people start to remove themselves from the environment, you know, for me, I see a lot of it because we do, uh, do remediation and fix these problems inside people's homes. They'll move out in order to do that. And then talking to them, they start to feel better just by moving out. Um, so you can kind of really see how, how this can, can really impair somebody. And it's, it's, it's, you know, it's crazy to me because there's not a lot of, um, information out there that, that really helps these people. And, you know, a lot of, a lot of my clients will tell me they've gone, you know, doctor, to doctor, doctor, to doctor 40 doctors, a hundred doctors. I mean, really crazy alarming stories of people struggling to find answers, um, all to realize that it was environmental exposures. Well, doctors get so little education and nutrition. I can't imagine they get any education in mold toxicity. And so, yeah, even for things like leaky gut or, you know, skin conditions or tingling in your fingers, they're not gonna think that mold toxicity could be a contributor to that. But it's also really interesting how quickly, and Your biochemistry is going to dictate how sensitive you are to certain molds, but some people can be impacted. Like you said, they just go into their house to get something that they forgot and they're immediately impacted, or they get a migraine or they start slurring their speech. Is that the same way in terms of recovering from mold toxicity or does that typically from what you've seen, take a little bit longer. You know, and that varies too. So like one client, uh, within a week of moving out of her house, um, she was able to get off the feeding tube. So she was on a feeding tube. She couldn't, gosh, she literally couldn't, uh, if she would eat something, she would basically throw it up. She couldn't just hold onto the food she was eating. Um, she literally had to get a feeding tube installed, uh, just because she was, you know, her health was seriously starting to deteriorate because she wasn't getting any nutrients on top of the toxicity. Um, within a week of moving out of the environment, she was able to actually eat food on her own and take the feeding tube away. So, I mean, remarkable after being on a feeding tube for two years, um, you know, is she a hundred percent healed? No, she's not. She's, she's getting better every day. Um, I mean, leaps ahead of where she was, you know, in just a short amount of time, but you know, for her to say that she's a hundred percent better, uh, she, you know, her doctor's telling her it could be six months to a year of just, you know, getting the diet right. Detoxifying and just kind of getting the, the immune system that, to that, uh, stable state that it once was. Um, so it's, it, it definitely varies, but I would say, you know, you're, you're, you're going to hit your first plateau pretty quickly, and you're definitely going to start to feel better the second year, remove yourself from the environment. At least you'll stop that dwindling spiral. Yeah. Something I heard too, is that it, even, even people who have emotional movings blow ups can be a sign of toxicity from mold exposure because the mold, and please like, you're the expert here, you jump in and let me know if I'm wrong or what you want to add to it. But the mold actually impacts your limbic system and your Vegas nerve system, which the limbic system is in charge of emotions and sensitivity. And your vagus nerve tries to protect you. So like even random fears you might have of walking into a building or how light it's going to be outside. All of those things can be signs that you're being exposed and having a toxic experience because of mold. I just think it's so interesting how varied the symptoms can be. And with that, how common is this? Like, is this a much more common thing than even the stat that I rattled off in the beginning in terms of 10 million people have some level of mold toxicity? Well, when you look at the largest home survey ever done by John Spangler in 1994 and found that, you know, uh, 50% of homes had some history of water damage, um, I think it's probably a lot more than 10 million because we have nearly 300 million people here in the U S alone. Um, so I, I mean, I I'm, I'm, uh, my estimates are about 80 million people and that's just by adding the amount of people that have Sears, uh, Hashi, motos pans, pandas, Lyme disease, right? There's all these different classifications, which are directly related to mold exposure. Um, when you look at that, I mean, I think it's really closer to 40% of the population. I'm thinking, you know, more terms around like, you know, that 70 to 80 million people, um, it's, it's really a much more alarming than we think. And that's, that's really just what we know on paper. Right? You talked about emotional distress and we talked a little bit about neurological symptoms. You know, I wonder how many psychiatric facilities have people that, you know, we're dealing with environmental exposures, not, uh, you know, they don't need Xanax, they need help with their environment, you know, and, uh, you know, I think if you start to really take a look at this on a grand scale, I think you're going to find there's a lot of illness, both mental health, uh, physical wellbeing that is tied to environmental exposures. And I'm not just saying, well, I'm just saying all environmental exposures and on a daily basis also plays a role into that. You know? So I think, um, you know, we have to, we have to really pay a lot more attention to the environment, um, in terms of how we look to optimize our health. And it's looking outside the home too. Right? So you talked about people who are in hospitals. I would assume that hospitals have toxic chemical issues, whether it be from mold or other products that are used in the hospital and then same with where you work or where your kids go to school and they can bring, you know, chemicals back home with them on their clothes or on their books, or what have you. And so it's thinking even outside of the home, into what areas are we interacting with on a daily basis. I mean, there's no doubt about it today. We live in a toxic world. Um, and I think it's, it's been this trajectory that we've been going down for a while. Um, you know, I mean, everything, everything that we have is almost contained in plastic. So I think I read somewhere that we consume about 10 credit cards worth of plastic every single month, because of all the plastic products that we, that we utilize. I mean, think about it. Your shampoo is probably in a plastic bottle. Um, you know, your hair products probably in plastic, you get takeout, that's in plastic. A lot of the stuff that we water bottles, that's plastic. And I think about it, all this stuff and the plastic, what happens is it leaches into our, our food and our water supplies. And, um, a lot of these things, they sit in warehouses that are dark, dark and hot, and that kind of allows it to accelerate, but we're, you know, there's a lot of, uh, you know, plastics and chemicals and heavy metals that we consume, uh, pretty regularly. Um, and, you know, it's, it's just kind of the way we've, we've gone down that road in terms of manufacturing and making things cheaper and more affordable, um, that we've really sacrificed really our health, uh, as the big cost here, which is one of the most expensive things to take care of. Well. That runs the gamut of everything in life, right? Cheaper food, cheaper, cleaning products, cheaper hygiene products, everything, um, you get what you pay for unfortunately, and going the cheaper route is most often going to make it more expensive down the line when you're dealing with a And you're paying that money in healthcare bills rather than in your grocery bill or your home bill. Um, so that's something I preach all the time is, yeah, it's going to be a little more expensive upfront, but if you do what you can to eliminate plastics or be more sustainable and use more high quality food and products in your life, it's probably going to benefit you down the line. But, you know, you've mentioned a couple studies here and there, and I'm just curious, because you are so educated in this realm, if there are other scientific studies around either mold or just chemical and toxic exposure that have stuck with you for a long time. Yeah. I mean, there's 180 something studies sitting on pub med right now that often talk about, you know, environmental exposures and toxicities that, that really largely nobody has done anything with. Um, and I spent a large majority of my time just connecting the dots in order to really educate the consumer to help people. Um, I think that th th the, the thing that really strikes me as alarming is the fact us that are talking about this that are advocating for, for our health and our peers health, and you have all these doctors as well, that, you know, are practicing medicine. And it just, it just seems very strange to me that where we are today, with the amount of knowledge that we have, that we're still saying, well, you know, if you have a headache, take a Tylenol, like that's the answer, but, you know, really we should be figuring out what is the root cause of what caused that headache in the first place. And, um, you know, I think it just, what just alarms me is the amount of studies that are a, on a website, somewhere collecting dust, and nobody does anything with it. You know, we're not, we're not politically appropriating funds to, you know, larger studies, uh, with regards to this, I can't tell if it's on purpose or not. Um, or if there's just such a lack of awareness, you know, for me, my, my passion now is to create such an awareness that we build an army of people that are demanding change, you know, and I think that's the best way to get the change that we need, because I'll tell you the information is there. It's plain for everybody to see. Um, it's not even like they're hiding it. It's just, nobody's doing anything with it. And I think that's, that's probably what would alarm for me the most. I think what's hard is a lot of people say to me, and they're valid in saying this, that there's a scientific study out there for whatever side of the conversation you want to be on, which is true. It's hard to see through bias or, um, studies that have been paid for by big food companies or big corporations who have a stake in the outcome of that study. And I often, you know, I get frustrated because I'll see a lot of studies cited in very big media outlets that are like eating eggs every day is going to make you die early. And it's like, you look into the study, who was it funded by? What kind of eggs did they use? So they were using conventional eggs, which contain, you know, work from chickens that were treated with hormones and antibiotics. And none of these things are built into those media stories. And so the wrong stories and the wrong headlines are getting out there and creating confusion. So what are some, what's some advice you would give to the average consumer who wants to educate themselves about this, but feel confident that they are reading studies or material that are credible. Yeah. I mean, I think it's a great question. You know, a lot of what I do is, is connecting information from the CDC, the EPA, the American lung association, and really big credible sources. And the reason I do that is for that exact reason, right? You, you want to actually utilize information that's already existing. You're just connecting the dots and putting it out in a way that's, that's comprehensive and easy to read because a lot of this stuff is, is, is it's not that it's conflicting. It's just that the way you explain things, it has to be done in a way that's simple enough for people to understand. So we're talking about microbiology and not everybody has a degree in microbiology, right? And so you have to really look at this in a way where people can comprehend it so that it's actually usable information. And I think that a lot of people like they use terms like mold is ubiquitous right now that that term makes me cringe. Because I think in, in the simplistic term of it, it's meant to say that mold is everywhere. It's part of our ecosystem. We can't eradicate mold. Right. And I get that, that, that part makes sense. But remember earlier I said, mold is a blanket term used to describe a hundred thousand species of mold, right? So if we're trying to control the controllable here and we actually test our home and we see that, okay, outside, there's 200 spores of, let's say aspergillus, which is a species of mold, right. And inside the home, we have 2 million spores of Aspirgillus. You can easily say that there's something, there's a problem inside the home that has led to that much more mold that's actively growing inside the home versus outside. So to say, mold is ubiquitous. It gives the idea that that it's hopeless. There's nothing you can do about it. You're you, you have to just live with mold and that's it, it's, couldn't be further from the truth because you can do something about mold growing inside your home. You can make sure that it's, it's, it's normal levels consistent with outside and not something that's going to be toxic. Right. And you can, if you feel fine outside in the air that you're breathing outside, smells like fresh clean air, but the air inside smells musty and weird and earthy and something isn't right. You can do something about that. So I think that, you know, a lot of the terminology that people use to try to confuse people like mold is ubiquitous or mold is everywhere. I think those types of things need to go away because it's not helpful. It's not practical. And it doesn't really give people any answers or solutions. It kind of almost leaves people feeling hopeless and there's stuff like that that I really try to create awareness around because I think at the end of the day, you know, what else can you do? You can't just pick up and move every time you have mold, you have to really figure it out and tackle it so that You call your home. Out of the a hundred thousand different types of mold. How many are actually bad for your health? Any idea? Yeah. First off, I would say, I think too much of anything is, is, is probably not good for you. Um, I think that's a nice adage that I, that I'd love to stick by. Um, but in terms of like how many modes are not good for you? I think there's a couple of heavy hitters that we, that, that we know are, are probably more harmful than others. And that's going to be Stacie buttress, which is, you know, the media coins, it toxic black mold. There's another, toxigenic black mold called [inaudible], which I like to look at as , as Stacie botches his cousin, if you will. That also, um, but just because it's toxic by nature, it's not great for you to be breathing in. Um, and then, you know, Aspirgillus because Aspirgillus can produce mycotoxins. Um, which again, I know this is confusing, but mycotoxins is a toxin produced Um, and, you know, then there's other ones like clouded Sporin, which are allergenic molds, which produce, you know, a hay fever type and an allergenic type reactions, um, which, you know, if you're trying to stay healthy and fit, it's not something that you want to consistently be breathing in. Cause it's, you know, it's going to cause reactions. Uh, and those, I would say, you know, for the most part are the, the big, common, heavy hitters that I see in people's houses that, that tend to produce these types of reactions. Um, the there's, there's also common molds that are inside the environment that, you know, can be in your home, you know, a thousand or 2000 of them at a time, and you probably won't notice much of anything. Um, and then there's the species like Stacie botches, where just 10 spores in your bathroom can really make a huge impact on you. So it's, it's definitely interesting. Um, unfortunately we don't know every single species, uh, still, uh, we haven't studied them all. And so there could be species of molds that, uh, you can't even test for, like right now, there's the EPA 36 tests, which as you can guess, test for 36 different species of mold. So you're not 36, it's not a hundred thousand. You're not getting a piece of paper with a hundred thousand names on it that tell you what's going on inside your home. So you have to, you know, utilize things like looking for signs of water, intrusion, or moisture, and, you know, correcting those problems and eradicating the mold growth there, regardless of what species it is. It is. Cause we know we don't know, you know, the full gamut of what's out there and what can impact you. Yeah. Before we get into what people can do, because I know I'm itching to get there and I'm sure listeners are like, okay, we get it. It's bad. What do I do? But before we get there, I'm you mentioned the bathroom and I'm really curious about where you find that mold is often hiding that people don't expect it to be. You know, it would be really nice to not have to rebel so many showers. Um, you know, unfortunately what happens is like you have construction happens all over the country and you know, you have probably a hundred thousand different contractors in each region. Um, and they all build differently and they all use different products and, uh, what I've been seeing. And obviously this happens over time too, because do products come out new technologies, new codes, et cetera. But what I've been seeing is people building showers and properly, and they're just tiling on top of dry wall with no waterproofing membrane, um, or, or, you know, there, there's just, there's no attention to detail with how they're building the shower. And if you know about grout, grout is actually semi pores. Now we're getting into porosities porosity, meaning semi porous, meaning moisture can, uh, if it gets wet, it will hold onto moisture in a semi basis. Um, just like what is semi porous? So semi meaning it doesn't have a very heavy saturation point, which is nice because it's not going to hold onto moisture as much, but it also is a double-edged sword because it can allow water to pass through it, uh, much more quickly. So would that being said, if you don't build the shower, right. Um, because you, by nature, the shower is designed to, you know, spray a ton of water in there. Um, and then remove it via the drain. If the shower is not built right, that water can inadvertently go inside behind the tile, behind the grout, into the wall, cavity and mold can start to grow in there. And when you have tile, it's, it's almost really impossible to find out because. I have tile. That's fantastic. Well, everybody has tile inside the shower. So it makes it like nearly impossible to figure out what's behind the tile unless you were there when they were building it. So odds are, um, if you have, you know, tile and grout, um, you good end, depending on when your house was built and how it was built. That's one of the hidden hotspots that I see is over time that water seeps through the ground, it gets into the wall cavity. It starts to grow mold inside the wall cavity it's behind the tile. You would never know unless you actually tested for it. So that's one of the biggest hidden hotspots that I see. And I've, you know, like I said, I really wish that builders would be more in tune with this so that I'd have to stop opening up showers and fixing this problem. Okay, I'm stressed now. I want to know what we can do. Um, besides living in an all cement home in the future, what can we do to first identify if we have a mold problem and then to start treating the mold problem? Yeah. I mean, the good news is it's all controllable, right? And what do we need to do? We need to stop water from entering into our homes. So I think that the first thing that anyone wants to do is find out, uh, do you have water actively coming into your home that you don't know about now? Um, are places like your shower built properly? All those things can be inspected because if you get ahead of it, the sooner you get ahead of it before your, your house is crumbling, the, the more advantageous it's going to be, because it's going to be less costly of course, to fix. Um, and you know, like I I've seen people replace their windows or fix their windows, um, which may have cost them a couple of hundred bucks at the time. And, you know, I've seen them do that ahead of time for a couple of hundred bucks. And then if they waited until the windows started leaking, now they're a couple hundred bucks on the outside and a couple of thousand dollars on the inside because now you have to, you know, set everything up or mediate, put it all back, you know, it just creates more of a headache and more of a process. So the best way is, is preventatively inspecting your home because guess what, the second home is built, all it does is start to decay. It's just the law of physics here. Uh, you know, it's, it's unfortunate, but it's true. And if you stay ahead of it, it'll be a lot less costly in the long run. The second thing that you can do is knowing that in order for mold to grow, there has to be a source of moisture or water. What do you want to make sure that you have is, you know, if you're in a humid climate, uh, some sort of dehumidifier to control the humidity because mold can grow, uh, once humidity reaches 60% or higher. And, um, you know, if you're, if you have a basement or subgrade space, you know, making sure you have some waterproofing methodologies down there to control water from coming in, because you have hydrostatic pressure, it's below grade. Every time it rains, you get that rainwater resting against the house eventually wants to come in, um, having a plan to deal with that. And again, dehumidification is key. And then the other thing is ventilation. Um, you know, your home is naturally designed for, for basically that hot, humid air that is, that just makes its way into the home to actually push upwards and escape out through your attic. So a lot of the homes that we're building today, they're, they're enclosed in spray foam. And so if you're going to do that, you need to have a dehumidifier up in the attic to deal with the humidity as it naturally rises and has nowhere to escape. Um, if you have a traditional built home, you'll, you'll typically have, uh, this ventilation system where basically you have, you know, like your roof is here, you have these, these, uh, soffit vents air comes in kind of convects pushes upwards, and then you have a Ridge vent, or, you know, you may have, um, Gable vents, which is like, you know, at the triangle here is like a vent right here, um, on both sides of the house that allows air to cross breeze. What that's doing is if you have, what's called the Stackhouse effect where air continuously rises from the lowest point of your house, up into your house and escapes out the top. So that's, that's just basically how building pressurization works. You want to have some sort of means to deal with that humidity as it comes out. And I've seen, um, I've seen a lot of horror stories there where the salve events are blocked with installation and installation contractor come in and wasn't paying attention and block all those events. And that caused them a problem too. So, you know, it's, if you really, uh, you know, control the environment, um, and take away the ability for mold to grow, which I know it sounds complex, but it's not as complex as it sounds. Um, and if you do that, you know, you're going to be in good shape. Then when you have these spores that, you know, fall off your clothes from church or from your grocery store, it's not going to be a problem because it has nowhere to grow. Um, I think last thing and really important thing that I think to touch on is, uh, HVAC filtration, because mold is part of our environment. So you want to stop mold from getting too into the HVAC system. How do you do that? A better quality air filter. So that means we talked about this earlier, you get what you pay for, don't buy the cheapest HVAC filter. They actually do something. They actually stop stuff from getting into the unit re-circulating around the house. And for mold, one of the dangers with mold and an HVAC is you have, what's called a coil insider HVAC. I don't know if you guys have heard of that term, essentially. It's somebody that actively condensates all the time. Um, what it's doing is it's sort of, you know, basically taking the air conditioning it and part of that conditioning. And it's also dehumidifying at the same time. Well, that means it's going to get wet. It's going to pull the moisture out of the air and it's going to drain into that coil into the pan. And so when mold gets to that coil, and it's constantly wet, provides that environment where mold can start to colonize in the coil, and now your HVAC becomes a mold factory. So super, super important to also protect your HVAC system with good filtration. If you're someone like me and you know that there is mold somewhere growing, maybe outside, you don't know if it's gotten inside or into your basement or whatever does bleach work like, are there any DIY solutions to mold or is it always call an expert? No, I mean, look, there's, anything could be DIY, right? I like to say call an expert. Um, mainly because there's some, there's some technical aspects to it. Like when you're removing mold, let's say from your, let's say of a leak underneath your window and you got to open that up and remove all of that. You know, you don't want to open that up and then let that escape in other parts of the home, you know? And I think that's, that's why a lot of people say call it professional because there's some of that, um, technicality that you kinda, you kinda need to learn about air pressurization and how to control that. So you don't have, you know, that cross contaminate and other parts of your home, but if you're going to DIY mold and you want to, you know, specifically like using products to, you know, maybe you have a professionally clean, but now you're worried about, you know, your, your dresser that's in that room or something like that. You can clean your dresser. Right. But it has to be done. I first off don't use bleach because bleach is not the answer. Just another chemical that you're inhaling yeah. Than one, um, there's botanical products on the marketplace. There's tons of them. I mean, honestly I think every day they're, they're a new botanical mold product comes out. So there's no shortage of them. Um, I, I happen to like benefactor, econ 30. It's just what I know. Um, I stick to what I know I've been using it for, for many, many years, if it's not broke, don't fix it. Right. So, um, but there is many of them on the marketplace. Many of them you can find right on Amazon. I mean, what can't you find on Amazon these days? And, um, you, you can definitely get that stuff. Um, and I would use microfiber towels, um, mainly because if, you know, microfiber, it's a hundred times more efficient at removing dirt than, you know, any ordinary towel, um, which is really important when you're dealing with microbiological specs, because you could have a hundred thousand spores on the head of a pin. So that's how small we're talking. So the more it can capture the better. So microfiber towels and any botanical solution, that's a disinfectant, um, particularly something that has a surfactant in it as well. Surfactant, like if it's soaps up essentially, um, you know, that would be considered a surfactant, anything that's going to help decrease and separate, uh, mold and the toxins from the surface and wipe it away inside the microfiber towel. That's the strategy. Number one, you want to remove mold particles. You don't want to try to kill them because even on the EPA website, if you go to, should I use bleach to kill mold right on the EPA website, they have this article that says no, cause dead mold also still may impact a person you want to remove mold. So, you know, right there on the EPA for you to check out. And I think there was a really, really nice article. Okay. Well, shout out to my husband, not using mold out or bleach outside on that mold, but how much are we talking here? You know, I think like people would probably be a little intimidated by like, what does this process look like? And almost not want to do it because they're scared of getting the answer that they need to rip their shower out. And this is going to be tens of thousands of dollars. So what are we looking at in terms of price tag for these kinds of services? Yeah. That's a great question. It's like anything else? It varies, right. Um, you know, the average cost, let's say to redo a shower, let's just say it's 2,500 bucks to remediate a shower. Um, you know, typically to retail, a shower and all of that and build it properly. You're probably looking at another 30, you know, 3,500 bucks or something. So yeah, it can, it can be pricey. Um, there's no doubt about it. The, the best, the best thing about what you have going on is it you're outside. You don't really need to worry about cross contamination. That's, that's a dream DIY project right there. You know, I would, um, I would, I would definitely clean that up for me. Dream DIY project for the man in the house. Yeah. Absolutely. No, but, uh, you know, most, you know, they range, I mean, I would say most houses that I, that I visited, unfortunately they have like five to 10 different problems, um, all just due to lack of maintenance, some of some stuff that wasn't even when they own the house, it was previous owners that neglected things. And, you know, they're just having to deal with it all upfront and it can be tens of thousands of dollars to fix. Um, and so it's, it's, it's tough. And of course insurance, um, depending on the situation may not cover it. And so this, this can be really detrimental, but I look at it in this simple fashion, you know, when, when you're looking at like remodeling your home, you know, air quality should be an important part of it. And I think that's the way a lot of people are looking at this these days, they're looking at, you know, taking these bite-sized projects to not only improve their air quality, um, but also to, you know, take the opportunity to make some changes, cosmetically so that they can kind of build their, their, the steps towards their dream home. And I think that that's a really important way to look at it. You know, it's, it's definitely a more expensive renovation than a traditional renovation. Don't get me wrong, but I think it's an important one because now it's health focused and focused on the way, you know, you're building your dream home. So I think that's a really good way to look at it. And I think that's what a lot of people are doing these days with the heightened awareness of how, you know, um, it's important to take care of our house and our health and wellbeing. How should people look into getting a consultation or getting information about what their mold levels are in their home? What does that process look like? Like if I wanted to do that tomorrow, how would I go about finding the right person? Are all mold inspectors created equal? Like what do you look for in terms of that? Yeah. I mean. You know, nothing in this world is created equal, unfortunately, as, as you know, I'm sure you know, anything in life that that is a product that is sold. It's, it's not never apples to apples with finding a good mold inspector that you really want to look at it. You want to find someone that's gonna, that's gonna really do a deep dive of the home. And so one of the best things that I tell people to ask for is ask how long they plan, it's going to take. And if they're like, ah, I don't take like a half hour, I'll be in and out. That's a really good sign that they're probably not going to do a thorough job. Now, most, most mold inspectors that are, that are really thorough and do a good job. It's almost like when you're first buying a house and you'd get a home inspection where they're like, you know, four hours there. They're looking at every nook and cranny, you know, making notes of like every little problem in the home. It should really be that thorough because when the bottom line comes, there's so many different areas where mold can hide and it's especially areas that most people don't go up too often, or don't look at often, even behind walls. Like how can you, you can't see behind them, of course, that these guys have to be trained to look for the signs and these, they, they sometimes are so subtle, um, where they have this opinion that water intrusion could happen. And they started to test those areas. And these, these people should actually be testing and sending the data to a laboratory. Um, visual inspections, I think are not, are not, not going to cut it. Uh, they're only take visual inspections. They're just, just as good as you or I going down to the basin right now and saying, okay, yeah, I see a spot on the wall. We should remove that spot. Right. That's kinda what it leaves you to believe. We're not worried about what you could see worried about all the stuff you can't see. That's where laboratory testing comes into play. And, um, you know, a lot of this stuff, people think like, oh, if it's behind my wall, how's it getting it out in front of your wall? Well, because no house is hermetically sealed. So you have all these interstitial cavities and that happens in a house on a daily basis. It just brings this stuff out into the environment. So I would say you want to do something, someone that's thorough. And I would ask him what, you know, what types of testing do they typically do? Um, because there's a lot of different options, right? And, um, if you're looking at like really improving from a health perspective, like if you're going through something and you think that, you know, it could be environmentally related, you're going to want to probably do a little bit more extensive testing. And the average person, who's just, just doing a checkup, you know, as, as a, as a way of just making sure that there's nothing alarming going on. Um, and I think that it's important to kind of discuss that with the person as well. So you can make sure you've got the right person that's capable of helping you. And, um, they'll send that, that information to the laboratory, all these tests and the laboratory, which will be an accredited lab, will then analyze those samples and actually write a found from there that mold inspector will tell you based upon the results of what he thinks should happen in order for the home to be restored properly. And that whole process is really important. It without you're likely going to hire someone. That's only going to take care of what they see on the surface, and you're not going to get down to the root cause of the problem. It'd be kind of like going to the doctor and doing a surgery without like getting an MRI or without getting an x-ray or a second opinion. Um, you don't have the data to back it up. You're just going out and saying, yeah, this guy said he could, you know, I need a surgery. And I think that it puts things into perspective. Also, if you don't have unlimited funds, which, you know, most of us don't, um, you may want to prioritize like maybe the kitchens more toxic than the bathroom, you know, maybe you'd want to do the kitchen, you know, remediation and renovation before you would do the bathroom. Cause if you. Can't, can't that spread around the house, like if it's in the kitchen, it could migrate to the bathroom again, somehow. Can it, and that's why it's important that you, you make sure that it does it, you know, and that how you do that as you set up engineering controls to keep the work that you're doing in the kitchen confined, and you actually, you actually set up like a room inside of your kitchen to create a smaller microcosm of the house. Right? And you put that under negative pressure and how you do that as you have air movers that are vented out that are going to keep that air from going, you know, basically going out through the window, through this machinery as opposed to everywhere else. And so, yeah, by remediating the kitchen properly, now the kitchen is remediated. The source has been removed and it, the source is not going to come back because the problem that led to the opportunity for mold to grow in the first place is now resolved. Uh, there's still mold in the bathroom. We know that, but since the kitchen was, was a lot worse, we wanted to stop that from getting worse, fix that. And now that's now, now fixed and better. Um, it's you can't, once these problems are resolved properly, the work that's being remediated, won't be undone. Okay. I only have like 500 questions left. I. Have so many questions about this all, but I know we talked a little bit about symptoms already, and it's really difficult, but just listening to you talk, I was just curious if obviously everyone can have different symptoms, they manifest differently based on your body and your chemistry, but have you seen in your experience that there's any universal symptoms that people, if they're experiencing them right now, should consider getting a mold inspection? Yeah. And I would say brain fog is a big one. Chronic fatigue is another big one. I mean, those two are pretty much synonymous with, with mold exposure. Um, I, you know, definitely, you know, this changes obviously from person to person, but a lot of people will have some sort of skin issues, whether it's eczema, rashes, et cetera, they're developing some sort of, because what's happened is your, your, your body's trying to, you have an overload of fungus and you're inside your body and it's trying to, to fight it out. And a lot of this can impact your skin, especially it's cause it's a fungal load. Right. Um, the other things that I see is obviously respiratory issues, which obviously, you know, a lot of things, uh, see respiratory issues, but that's definitely a big one. Um, and you know, I would say the neurological, the anxiety, the sleeplessness, um, some people have either weight gain or weight loss, uncontrollably. Um, and, and I've experienced that, you know, 10 years of, of going inside people's homes, even, even protecting myself, you know, I still experienced, uh, you know, a lot of weight gain that. I mean, it made no sense because I was, uh, I mean, I still experienced this today, but if I eat, you know, let's say 2000 calories, but burn 2,500 that day, I should be at a 500 calorie deficit. How am I not losing weight? Right. And so you see these things and you're like, well, this is very, very remarkable. And, and a lot of people experience these types of things too. And, um, you know, like I said, it, it's, it's hard to really pinpoint because there's so many similarities to so many other diagnosises. But I think what I like to tell people is, look, if you're not feeling yourself and it's any of these things and you know, you have something like a water leak that's happened, or you just moved into a new place or something at your home or work, it just, it doesn't seem right. Look at the environment, you know? And I think that's, that's usually a big indicator and more often than not people come to me and be like, you, you were right. I listened to your podcast. It turns out I had mold. And, uh, you know, that that's helped them at least make the determination of what to do from there so they can get better. Well, I'm not done with my interrogation, but let's talk about your podcast for a hot second. What's your podcast? Where can people find it? What's it called? All. Right. So, um, well, I, I do podcasts like I'm on yours today. Um, but I do my own, it's called mold talks and, um, basically the mold talks podcasts, what it's about, it's about interviewing real people that have gone through traumatic mold experiences and, you know, kind of showcasing that, you know, the idea behind the podcast is really that, yes, these are real people. These are real problems and this is what they've gone through. Um, and my hope is that when people watch that, that may think that they're experiencing mold, but they're not totally sure that they can, it helps them connect some dots. And, um, it shows them that they're not alone, that they also have been through a ton of doctors and it took them years to figure out what was wrong before they were able to, you know, fix, fix things and get back on track. And, um, I think it just, it just kind of helps empower people that may be going through similar challenges. Um, and you know, for me, I guess the other thing is, if you're, let's say you're a man and you're not feeling well, and your wife doesn't understand because she's not experiencing it or vice versa. Um, you know, it, it, it can, it can be a good resource for you to say, look, honey, these are real people experiencing this. I'm not crazy. It's not all in my head. And, uh, you know, that, that, that also is important because I think that society, we just haven't really had enough experience in this realm to get there, to understand what people are going through. And I think that's also part of the problem in that change that we so desperately need. I think that's a really important call-out because we're all living from our own perception. And so it's very easy for us to hear someone say they're being impacted by something and write them off or think they're just being sensitive or baby or whatever, but we're all different. And we all have different sensitivity levels to all sorts of things. So it's really important to take people at their word and help them through their health journey. Because the worst thing you can do when a loved one says, they're not feeling well is just under right. You know what they're telling you? Yeah, no, it's, it's, it's a big problem, you know, from what I've experienced, you know, just, just people, like I said, it's hard. You, you said it perfect. That gets, you have your own perception. It's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes, especially if you've never experienced it. Um, and I think it's important for you to look at things in this perspective, like, okay, I may not know what this feels like. I may have no understanding of what, what they're going through, but I can see that all these other people have gone through similar challenges. So at least that gives me perspective outside of what I've heard from one person not can start to get through this. And maybe just, maybe we can fix this now that I understand more about it. You did mention before we started recording this, that you've experienced different differences women and their perspective on mold and toxicity. So I'm curious for you to dig into a little bit what those have been like. Yeah. Um, you know, I have a famous story that I, that I love is, um, um, so there was, uh, this couple in New York that I was working with and, um, she happens to be a pretty well-known doctor in this space. And so it was like really cool to be able to work with her. Um, I, I visited their home and, uh, you know, I saw a lot of different issues that were, that were going on. Um, they had done another remediation prior to me getting there and she still wasn't feeling well. And, you know, it made a lot of sense. It just, they just missed a lot of things. I, you know, I, at the time, I didn't know whether, uh, you know, their mediator caught on or didn't or if the clients decided they didn't want to do it, what have you. But nonetheless, there were issues that had to be corrected still. She wasn't feeling well. And I, I created a bid to fix those issues. The husband called me, um, cursing and basically calling me scam artists and saying that I was taking advantage of, um, taking advantage of women who were sick and, and preying on their fears or, or something like that. Right. And, you know, I was, I was taken off guard cause you know, obviously that wasn't true. I just genuinely saw these issues and I wanted to help them. And um, you know, lo and behold, maybe a month goes by. And I think they, they went with another company that did another remediation that didn't work. So finally, I get a call from this guy almost like with his tail between his legs. And he's like, Hey, I'm really sorry. I said some really mean things. Then if you're on my, well, you know, I'm here to help people, so I'm happy to help, but you know, I just want you to know, yeah, my prognosis probably isn't going to change. Yeah. It's a 20% upcharge for your own kind words. Basically what it cause the other remediation company They did like this whole fogging thing that literally it literally didn't remove anything. So all of the problems that existed that was allowing the water to insured that was allowing the mold to grow in the first place. It was never resolved. And so like, that was always the biggest thing for me. It's like, why are people selling solutions when not actually fixing the root cause of the problem? And so I'm like, look, I get that it's more expensive than fogging the place to roll your sleeves up and get some work done, but you know, this is what it takes to fix it. So finally, um, you know, we, we did the, we did the job, uh, she did start getting better and he's one of our biggest cheerleaders now, but it's just really, it's really interesting. And what goes to the show is like the initial knee-jerk reaction for men that we typically get, unless the man himself happens to be the one who sick, um, tends to be like, this can't be real. I don't need to do all this, you know? And you know, like I understand cause like when I was, when I was first getting involved in the industry, you know, like I said, I said earlier, I didn't think mold was as big of a deal as, as I know it is today. And it was mainly just because I came from this background, um, you know, most of society did where our elders just threw bleach on it. They painted over it. Like it was never this thing where like you needed to hire somebody to do some tests, to testing and identify the problems and then set up this, this, these engineering controls. Like it just wasn't like that people just ripped it out or they painted over it or threw bleach on it. Um, and because that was really the misinformation that, that was, that was out there. And so when I started realizing like the progression of people starting to do things better and starting to get into it, I started to realize, wow, not only are we, you know, still not where we need to be today in 2021, um, in terms of how we remediate. But I think we still have far to go and just figuring out what all, what all the impacts really are. Um, but I, I've definitely seen a lot of leaps and bounds since, you know, when I first started nearly a decade ago. Um, and then even in retrospect, going back to watching my dad, uh, do fire restoration and work with quote unquote mold remediators in his industry, which were all hired by the insurance company. It's, it's just, it's totally night and day. Um, when I can understand like the sentiment of, of the challenges, you know, kind of going through that, but you know, the thing about, um, me as a man, what I realized is, is like once, you know, you know, right. And it's, it's so hard to like ask for directions first to get the answers that you need to then know. Right. And so I think that's the biggest challenge that I, that I experienced. Um, just from the, you know, the differences between, um, men and women that I have noticed. Oh, so much we're already at an hour, but I have three more questions I have to get to because I'm just curious. And I think they're important, but we talked about air humidifiers a little bit. I was curious if you have any actual brand or product recommendations for air modifiers that you think are of the best quality in terms of mold control and managing that humidity in your home. So. Are we talking about humidifiers or dehumidifiers? I have no idea. I'm going to start with dehumidifiers because obviously look, it's about humidity control. So, um, like too much of anything is not good for you and including the reverse vector. If you have too little humidity, you know, your woodwork starts to crack, you actually can cause like structural degradations and things like that. So you, you want to have a good balance of humidity. Dehumidifiers are typically what's needed because most people have too much humidity. Um, and do you modify as a company that I liked the best called April air and, um, um, mainly because I can call them, um, and you know, if I need them, uh, if for any reason I can call them, they have a great warranty program. Uh, you know, I have a great relationship with them and, you know, at genuinely I like to work with people who want to help people and, and they're, they're very big advocates for education. Um, and they, they also are big into helping consumers understand how the importance of their equipment is. And, and, and not only that, but how it needs to be utilized properly because the tool is only as good as you know, how to use it. And so companies that just try to mass sell things without really showcasing how people can use it. Those are the companies that tend to prioritize profits over the actual help that they need to be giving. And, um, I try to stay away from those. Okay. April air will be the next company that I interviewed. Thank you. My second question, which fits in really well with that is how does it vary based on where you live in the environment you live in? So for example, I live in Arizona, which is typically very dry. We've had a very monsoon heavy summer season, so it's a bit more humid than usual, but it's pretty dry, but are there, should people living in certain states or certain coasts or with certain humidity levels be more concerned about mold than others? Well. Yeah, I mean, I, I, there's no secret the more humid of an area you live in, the more you have to combat humidity. Um, but you know, I've gotten calls from clients in Arizona and mainly because we still have a roof, we still have doors and windows and all of those things are, are gonna tend to leak at some point. Um, we still have, you know, showers, as we mentioned earlier that could be potentially built in properly. Um, so we have these situations where mold still can occur. Um, it's just, you're not having to deal with the humidity is a matter of fact, you're typically having to deal with the opposite part of the spectrum. It's so uncomfortable that you need to add humidity, right. And when I see people make mistakes there, that's pretty frustrating. I would imagine because I've seen people have so much humidity that it's literally sweating down their walls, um, because they're not paying attention to the humidifier or the humidistat it's broken or something like that. And, you know, if, if, if you're running something and you don't really know how it operates, uh, you may not think that it's the, the humidifier that's causing that issue. And I've actually seen that happen quite a few times in different parts of the country that are, that are more dry, um, or different seasons that are more dry, like the winter time that are actually developing a dewpoint, um, and allowing mold to grow that way. So just, you know, no matter what you're doing humidifying, dehumidifying, you know, try to just keep it in that sweet spot of like 35 to 45% and call it a day. You know? So if it's below that, add to it, if it's higher than that take away from, and if you can do that, I think you'll, there'll be comfortable. Um, you won't have any structural issues and you'll stay away from mold. Okay. Last question, ish, last question, animals, pets. How do they contribute to the problem if they contribute to the problem, or how are they impacted by mold as well? Well. I mean, if you, you know, don't bathe your dog regularly or your cat regularly, um, and they happen to go outside a lot and, you know, get in the soil and, uh, you know, just, uh, get, get soaking wet and, or, you know, getting your couch wet and things like that. You know, that's kinda how these problems can occur. So I would say if it's wet outside and your pets are outside, make sure you dry them off pretty well when they come in. Um, and you know, in terms of like how to keep your pet safe, it's, it's kinda the same situation because, you know, you're, if mold can impact you, it can certainly impact your pets. As a matter of fact, mycotoxins I, which I brought up a couple of times today, they are regulated in, in both animal food and, and human food. Right. So they know that there's a problem, right. Um, in terms of how mycotoxins come into development and So mold part of our agricultural, um, it's, it's a problem in our agricultural. And they actually do, uh, set limits on the amount of mycotoxins that can be in our food supplies for that specific reason. So if we don't want to be eating these types of things, we certainly don't want to be breathing them in. And that's, that's true for our pets too. And I have seen, you know, some pretty sad stories with pets, um, you know, either getting really sick as, as, as the person's also getting sick. Um, even even some cases where the pet, you know, unfortunately it doesn't make it. And, um, you know, it's, it's, uh, much more needs to be said about how environmental impacts can just as easily impact our pets. All I was thinking of is that Sarah McLaughlin commercials fit that, but yeah, I have three dogs, so that's why that was, uh, a point I wanted to hit on really quickly. But I super appreciate you spending this time with us before we get to quick hit questions. And we're just wrapping it up. I am curious if you service all over the country or how people can get in touch with you or get help, or, you know, anything you want to say about your business, your brand and how you can be of assistance. Sure. Yeah. I mean, um, so I own a company called All-American restoration and that's a service-based company and we do service all over the country. Um, and it's a specialty company, you know, we're, we're not like those big national chains that you call and we're there an hour later. Um, we're usually the company that you're dealing with some hidden issues. You're not sure what's going on. And we take a very, you know, ready aim, fire approach, where we're getting people in to do the testing, getting the diagnostics, the lab results we need, we're utilizing those lab results to put together comprehensive work plans to, to eradicate the problems. We're obviously working within your budget to make the renovations, um, and make these repairs as feasible as possible. And so it's a totally different dynamic than what you're used to in the space. Um, and then at don't, I don't know if you're familiar, but I wrote the book called the mold medic, and I'm working on my second book right now, which is going to zoom out a little bit for mold. There's going to be a lot about mold, but, um, just, just on environmental exposures as a whole and how there's various industries that, that, uh, works exposed to that also, if they were educated enough, could also provide solutions for, um, so hopefully that book also provides a lot of, uh, insight, um, and creates the, uh, you know, challenges that, that we need to overcome to, uh, to fix these things, um, and become more aware of as society. So, uh, you know, right now at me personally, my passion is to advocate for change. Um, so that, you know, hopefully one day my company is needed much less than it's needed now. And I think, um, that's kind of the reverse of how typical business owners think they just want more and more business for me, you know, I'd rather open up a sandwich shop and sell sandwiches to people for a living. Um, but right now at this juncture, I feel that it's, it's such a need. And until I can create the changes that we need from, from a society standpoint, um, I don't think that needs is going to slow down. So it's, it's, it's really, uh, I feel like my work is more important now in, in, in that advocate for change. Well, I think that authenticity just speaks to everything that you do, and that's really fantastic. And I hope one day you can open up your sandwich shop and if you do call me, cause I'll help you find healthier bread to serve healthier telling me it's a big problem. Let's get to some quick hit questions before I let you go. So, first question is what does having a clean body mean to you? What does having a clean body mean to me? You know, I'm still trying to figure that out every day, uh, you know, with all the misinformation on what a clean body looks like and eating clean and all of that thing, it's very confusing. You know, I think, um, I'm very conscious of sugar. Um, and you know, I think, cause I think is, is, is definitely a poison for us. And, um, I try to make the best decisions that I can to have a clean body. Um, as I mentioned earlier, you know, like I'm still trying to get my body back to where it used to be. Um, you know, with, with the amount of exposure to the environmental impacts career so far, um, which has been a challenge, but I think, um, you know, you have to just make these proactive decisions to just eat better exercise. I have this, uh, this NordicTrack equipment that stares it's staring at me right now and it forces me to work out every day. Um, and so anytime I have like 45 minutes in between an appointment, I just jump up and go over there. And, um, you know, it's just so important to me that I take care of myself because, uh, you know, you can't have anything if you don't have, uh, you, you don't have your health, you know. Well, something that I tell all of my clients is any movement is good movement. So even if you have five minutes, just get five minutes of movement and it's better than no movement, you know, that's, that's also the excuse. I give myself when I go to the gym and I'm like, that was a bad workout, but any movement is good movement. So just a cop out there. What are some other lifestyle habits that you have that you couldn't live without? So, um, I'm originally from New Jersey and I just moved to Florida last July, um, team at there. It is humid there. I love it though. You know, I sat at so, you know, it's humid. So I deal with that with the humidification. Um, and I just, I mean, the humidity kind of sucks when you're, you know, like running outside or something like that. But in terms of just the outdoor lifestyle here, it's really, it's really impeccable. Um, where I live to the left of me as a park, I have two little kids, so we do a lot of like family bike rides, um, you know, up, up to the park. Um, I got everybody rollerskates recently, which is hilarious because I'm roller skated since I was a kid. Then I put those things on the other day and I'm like, um, this is a lot harder than I imagined it would be. Yeah. So yeah, I'm trying to, I've been, I've been like slowly easing into it because the amount of leg muscles that I realized that I need to have to rollerskate well, um, it was, was overwhelming. So I'm easing into it and um, yeah, there's also a town to the right of me, so that there's this coffee place that I absolutely love. They have this, um, peanut butter, it's like this, a seasonal peanut butter cup coffee it's phenomenal. And, uh, and they make all their like own, you know, everything's organic and they make everything in-house, which is really cool. So, you know, I love walking into town and there's a juice place, um, that I love also. So between getting, you know, fresh coffee, um, I easily get over 10,000 steps in a day when I, when I'm walking into town, which is why I try to make it a point and I get to support, you know, a local business at the same time, which is always nice. Um, and then, you know, hanging out with the kids and going to the park and just this outdoor lifestyle, um, yeah, you just can't beat it. Absolutely. I love both of those last quick hit question for you. What are some other brands that you really love right now? What are some brands that I really love right now? Well, um, I'm a big apple fan. Um, I would say that and I really do enjoy Amazon. I'll be honest. I, when I have company meetings, I tell my staff that, you know, we're like the Amazon in 1996. Cause I, uh, like I just, I just always thought it was cool. Uh, the guy's story of how he, you know, kinda just worked on this thing, you know, starting with books and he realized there was a need and he filled that need. And I mean, now let's face it. You know, it's just so convenient to order something. Um, and it's there, we're just, just like magic this way. I needed a hard drive. I worded it like at 11 o'clock at night, one night, this thing comes at six in the morning. The next day I literally was like, did they, did they drive this over here in the middle of the night? I mean, it was, it was fantastic. I wasn't even expecting it to come that quick. Um, you know, so I'm, I'm, uh, I would say that it's, it's, I love the convenience factor, um, with, with having apple with Amazon. Um, and, uh, I know those are big, massive brands and whatnot, but, um, I just, I, I really do, those are the two things that I would, I could think of. Oh, and Tesla is my third innovation. I love when people, you know, come up with ideas that, you know, just make life better or more convenient or in some sort of way. And, and, and that's what I hope that I can accomplish, uh, in the future sometime. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Is there anything else you want to call out or mention for the listeners before we end this awesome interview and I schedule some kind of mold inspection for my home? No, I think that's it, you know, there's a lot of good information. Um, you know, hopefully that people get out of this and, uh, I hope that, um, I hope that it was informative and helpful and, uh, you know, the mold medic is a great resource. If you know, you're looking just to get the information to learn. Maybe you don't have mold right now, but you're like, Hey, you know, if we have one leak every 10 years, it's very likely that I'll have mold at some point, I'm going to read this book. I think it's a great resource. And yeah, if you need to reach me, you know, I'm, I'm very active on Instagram at the mold medic and I post a ton of free tips and information. Um, some that you might enjoy more than others, you know, there's, I just did one on a beauty, blender, and how boldly those get. Yeah, I don't use them, but I did see that. I mean, that, that can, that can really not be a fun post to read if you use them. So, um, but you know, the idea is we just want to educate and make you aware of things so you can do something about it, you know? Well, thank you so much. I applaud you for your work and trying to make a difference in the world. And I thank you so much for coming on my podcast and sharing all this information. So thank you so much. Thank you for having me. I, everyone, I hope you enjoyed that interview. As a reminder, this podcast is for educational purposes. Only. It is not a substitute for professional care from a doctor or otherwise qualified health professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that medical or other health related services. If you're looking for help in your journey, seek out we'll see you next time.