The EPA Scale ERMI To Assess A Home For Mold Can Be Misleading

Do not ever believe that all research is for the advancement of science. Some research study hinders development and makes us go backward. Have you heard about the most recent breakthrough in testing a house for mold with a single dust sample? It is based on DNA analysis of the concentrations of 36 species of mold. Sounds clinical undoubtedly. But is this test practical to test a home for mold? We state it is not.

As a result of a research study task, EPA researchers created a scale to assess a house for mold, called ERMI ©, for EPA Relative Moldiness Index. Then, the EPA patented their so-called “new technology,” and now the dust sample test in addition to the ERMI scale is touted as “the standard” for the field of mold testing.

Some background – The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD), together with the Case Western Reserve University Medical School, performed a five-year research study in the Cleveland location on the impact of mold exposure on children. Their results reveal that the occurrence of asthma in children in mold-remediated houses was incredibly low compared to their previous “moldy” home environment. Wow! What a revelation, it took five years to discover that out. They ought to just have asked us (or you) and we might have told them and spared the taxpayers the expense of such an ineffective study. No genuine damage done here, except for 5 million dollars down the drain. Mind you, we are not contesting the apparent outcomes. What is more disconcerting is that the test they developed for that particular research study is now being touted as the current development in testing homes for mold. Now, that is damaging! As skilled mold inspectors, we feel that this is going to hinder the development in accurately assessing a house or building for mold.

So, let us say you plan to buy a two-story home where there is carpet upstairs in the bedrooms, and all rooms downstairs are tiled – living room, dining room, and kitchen. A dust sample is gathered upstairs in the master bedroom and the tiles in the living room are vacuumed. Outcomes show an ERMI © score of “0”. So, we inform you that a rating of “0” is average, and according to the EPA it’s an “average mold problem.” Will you be satisfied with that? Keep reading.

Although the outcomes of the first task seemed obvious (if you remove mold the wheezing signs go away) we question the credibility of the dust test and the ERMI © scale. Let us take a look at the 2nd job: “Relative Moldiness Index as Predictor of Childhood Respiratory Illness”. We find numerous defects in that study.

If you were pleased earlier knowing that your ERMI © rating was average, that research study reveals that a score of -4.29, yes “-4.29” can anticipate the occurrence of health problems. Holy smoke!! Americans are doomed if more than 75% of our houses have enough of a “mold burden” to make us sick! And, if this holds, what is the point of doing any testing at all?

” Mold collects in houses with time and can be found in carpet dust and other accumulation websites.”

This is deceptive – mold does not accumulate in houses gradually. This would imply that older homes have more mold than newer ones. This is not real. During the Florida hurricanes of 2004, we discovered that most of the mold issues originated from houses less than 5 years of age. We will not go into detail here as to why this was the case.

Mold is discovered everywhere in the world and the amount of mold spores changes day by day according to the weather condition and geographical place. However, if a greater quantity of mold spores is discovered inside a house and/or if the genera are various than the outdoors it suggests that a source of mold is growing inside.

It deserves duplicating – mold is the outcome of a water or moisture issue. Mold grows when 3 things are present – a surface to grow on, organic food, and water. Water is the only thing we can manage. Without a source of moisture, mold can not grow. Duration!

The topic of mold is not well comprehended and this is why we wrote a book on mold: MOLD MATTERS – Solutions and Prevention, to educate home and structure owners about mold from A-to-Z and to teach mold avoidance. Much research is required specifically on the effects of mold on health. Since mold impacts individuals in a different way, many individuals are not taken seriously when they complain of numerous symptoms after being exposed to a musty environment. Research study on the impact of mold on health is long overdue and more research study must be done in this area.