Don Weekes, CIH, CSP – Part 2: Science Based Approach?

Air Date: 10-15-2010|Episode 183

This week we have Part 2, of our series titled “Is the Approach to IAQ, Green Buildings and Mold Science Based?…

Full Description:

This week we have Part 2, of our series titled “Is the Approach to IAQ, Green Buildings and Mold Science Based? Regular IAQ Radio contributor Don Weekes, CIH, CSP of InAir Environmental will join us to discuss if it is practical to take a purely science based approach to IAQ, Green Buildings or Mold issues.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Weekes Speaks

Today’s guest on IAQradio, Don Weekes opined on the question “Is the industry approach to IAQ, mold and green buildings science based?” The question was the subject of a prior interview with a fellow CIH and industry colleague of Don’s, Ed Light.

Point by-Ed Light, CIH

Counterpoint by-Don Weekes, CIH


Indoor environmental issues aren’t new and have occurred throughout history. What is new is the growth of an industry to deal with it.

Agreed that IAQ problems are historical. Recent IAQ concerns have been related to: asbestos, lead, radon & mold. Opportunistic growth of the mold related IAQ business was based upon a lawsuit and media frenzy.


Mold is not a hazardous material.

According to the Green Book, toxic effects must include full range of adverse effects. Irritative effects and toxic effects are the same.


Normal healthy people aren’t affected by IAQ, while sensitive people often are. Unrelated health effects, psychosocial and political reasons need to be considered.

First step on an IAQ investigation is to talk to people and the last step is sampling. The most important tool is a flashlight to look in the dark places. Unaffected occupants can become sensitized. Sorting matters out is the art of industrial hygiene.


Silent majority feels that mold isn’t a big deal.

The silent majority don’t say anything, while a sizeable minority is loud and vocal.


Many building assessments are flawed due to being driven by a microbiological approach. Rather than a moisture based approach



Testing labs without medical training shouldn’t comment on health effects of microbial organisms.



Many building problems are routine, obvious and resolvable by building owners and managers without the need for complex and expensive sampling.

IEPs get involved because maintenance and repair are neglected or deferred and the obvious problems aren’t resolved.


IAQradio Newsman Glenn Fellman discussed the class action lawsuit which has been filed against the U.S. Green Building Council.

Today’s Music: Bullet Proof Weeks, Matt Nathanson

Z-Man signing off