Carl Grimes – Dust & Other Demons – Lessons from

Air Date: 9-27-2019|Episode 559

This week on IAQradio+ we welcome back one of our favorite guests, Carl Gimes of Hayward Healthy Homes and Hayward Score. Carl is nationally recognized as a professionally accredited Healthy Home Specialist (HHS) and a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC).   Equally important, he personally experienced a series of unhealthy homes. He is all too familiar with the uncertainty, exhaustion, and skepticism inherent with the struggle to finally recognize and accept that his home was perhaps not his safe and secure “castle,” but was instead contributing to his puzzling declining health and sense of well-being.   Since 1987 Carl has worked nationally as a private consultant guiding people who suffer from unhealthy houses.  He has developed action plans and verification methods designed to eliminate health issues in homes.  His clients include mothers, children, property managers, attorneys, health care providers, insurance adjusters, teachers, parents, architects, builders, and remediation contractors.

 In 1999, he authored the book Starting Points for a Healthy Habitat, based on his personal experience, as well as the experiences of his clients, living in unhealthy environments. This brought him to the attention of the national Indoor Air Quality Association.  He was elected to their Board of Directors in 2002, and recently served as their President. Carl is now the Vice President of Practice for the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Carl has served on, created, and chaired a variety of committees writing industry consensus standards. He has collaborated with leading experts and researchers, analyzing the best approaches for restoring the indoor environment. He has chaired a committee that developed the course, Healthy Home Assessment: Principles and Practice, which is the follow-on to the Essential Healthy Home Practitioner course by the National Center for Healthy Housing ( Carl brings to Hayward Healthy Home a unique combination of personal experience and professional expertise identifying and addressing the most critical issues in converting homes to healthy environments that fit individual needs.
Z-Man’s Blog:

Demon Dust and other Demons- Carl Grimes

Over 10 years, Carl Grimes journeyed from being ill and disabled to learning how to avoid and reduce the exposures that sickened him and using that knowledge to help many others as a private consultant. Carl has been healthier for the last 15 years and while he still reacts to the same triggers, it takes a higher and longer exposure dose to stimulate a reaction, he doesn’t react so strongly and he recovers more quickly. He travels extensively asan internationally recognized expert on and an advocate for healthy housing.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

  • Over this summer Carl attended two conferences in Europe, Lithuania and Netherlands. An Uber driver in Lithuania explained that while now Lithuania is a free country, his ancestors weren’t so lucky Lithuania was previously occupied by the Poland, Germany and Soviet Union. The International Societies of Exposure Science (ISES)and Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) held a joint conference, in Kaunas, Lithuania. “The built, natural, and social environments: impacts on exposures, health and well-being”.   International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE 2019) in Utrecht, Netherlands. While today the town square in Utrecht is peaceful; it was forcefully and violently taken over by the Nazi’s during WWII. The moral of the story is hearing about something is dramatically different than experiencing it firsthand on-site.
  • Like doctors who haven’t experienced their patient’s symptoms, good IEPs can help their clients by taking the time to ask the right questions and listening to the answers. Bad IEPs simply try to sell a product or service. If IEP practitioner got sick by doing their work they would likely find new occupations. The ones that don’t get sick while working with people in sick buildings are therefore less likely to believe what their clients tell them.
  • When Carl stays at a hotel he can tell within 10-15 seconds if the room will be acceptable. It’s not uncommon for him to reject several rooms before he finds one which is suitable.
  • Statistics of the percentage of US population adversely affected by their home vary between 2%-50%.
  • Many of the ISEE presentations were focused on people, how environments effect people. One presentation demonstrated a 20 point decrease in IQ based on mercury exposure from food. ISEE presentations looking more at people: physical, behavioral & cognitive effects.
  • Hayward Score is a free website where over 57K respondents have answered questions about their home, how they use their home and common environmental related health symptoms. Hayward Score’s data scientist looks at 80 different parameters and factors. Dust has emerged as associated with increased symptomology. Damp basements and crawlspaces show greater symptomology than dry basements. People feel better when they leave home and their symptoms improve. Hayward Score’s global overview suspects that both dust and wet basements are major contributors to environmental illness. As greater numbers of respondents around the USA obtain their Hayward Score bias is reduced. Hayward Score is now actively targeting people who aren’t having problems and wouldn’t otherwise participate.
  • Symptom Frequency by Chemical Proximity. Outdoor chemical proximity examples include: golf course, chemical manufacturing plant, gas station, refinery, drycleaner, airport, etc. What’s outdoors gets indoors. Hayward Score hopes to increase positive awareness and engagement, not create panic or hypervigilance. There is a delicate balance as the tendency is for impacted people to jump to conclusions. Similar to how non-impacted people jump to their conclusions about others.
  • Percentage That They Have Mold by Maintenance. 22% of respondents who perceive expert maintenance reported they suspect mold. 48% of respondents with somewhat maintenance reported they suspect mold. 76% of respondents with deferred maintenance reported they suspect mold.

Hayward Score’s Military Advocacy Work

  • Hayward Score became aware of the issue last spring.
  • Bill Hayward, Dana Sundblad, Carl Grimes and Joe Medosch are all involved.
  • Have attended congressional and armed forces hearings.
  • Branch secretary has visited Hayward’s model home.
  • Have toured the Presidio in Monterey, CA.
  • Joe and Bill have evaluated some military houses.
  • Have worked with military spouses including conducting a training course for them in Atlanta. Also, toured in Texas on a base where the majority of the housing has problems. Most things that can go wrong are happening. Developing ideas and programs to help all of them. Written Work Orders, occupants asking workmen about training, certification, standards, etc. Many workmen are untrained. Firms doing work often misrepresent about association memberships and certification.
  • Private companies control military housing.

RadioJoe Hughes-

  • Tom Bruton, with the Green Science Policy Institute opined that building occupants would be better off not being exposed to highly fluorinated found in carpet. The carpet pipeline is long, It takes as long as 15 years to affect change.

Carl Grimes-

  • According to Arlene Blum, PhD ( there are 80K chemicals in use and only 2K-3K have been studied. Her have placed most of them into six categories making it easier to comprehend and identify them. One indication of success is that Home Depot recently announced they willstopselling products which contain certain chemicals. Like replacement for urea formaldehyde in building products and theremoval of lead and VOCs from paint, safer products are now available.
  • UK in the 1800s identified both rising damp and dust as problems. They referred to the combination of damp and dust as “demon dust”. Dust is not just fine particles, over 230 substances including pesticides and fire retardants can be found in dust.
  • ISIAQ-ISES focus on how to measure semi volatiles (SVOCs), especially in dust.
  • Ultrafine particles are strongly associated with cardiovascular disease and can migrate to the brain
  • Dust is being identified as the common denominator for an increasing number of illnesses..


On Feb. 16, 2007 during episode 24 of IAQradio, the father of water damage restoration, Lloyd Weaver predicted that removal of dust would be the next big industry.

Z-Man signing off


Name the substance whose dust is responsible for Pneumoconiosis?