Open Mic – Topics for this week include: Current Events, Certification, Standards, Training, Networking & Resources

Air Date: 2-8-2019|Episode 533

Today we are going to try something new and if it works we will make it a regular part of the line up. We are going to throw out some topics, invite a few friends and have a discussion about IAQ, disaster restoration and building science. We also encourage listeners to text in your questions or comments. Today we expect to hear from Jay Stake, Eric Shapiro, Carl Grimes, John Downey and Pete Consigli. The topics we will throw out for discussion will come from the list in this week’s show title. We have some of the leaders of the industry join us every week so lets take advantage of that and start a conversation.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Open Mic show #1

On today’s episode of IAQradio, RadioJoe and the ZMandecided to do something differentand test an Open Mic concept.Today’s guests included: John Lapotaire (environmental consultant), Jay Stake (President of IAQA), John Downey (Executive Director-Cleaning Industry Research Institute) ,Pete Consigli (Global Industry Watchdog), Joe Medosch& Carl Grimes from Hayward Healthy Homes.

As it was an Open Mic show, I decided to include listener comments.

Nuggets mined from today’s show:

TOPIC 1: Current Events- discussion of the New Green Deal from an IEQ perspective.

  • Listener Comment: Agree – homes are getting ultra-tight and minimum ventilation!
  • Listener Comment: We are not ventilating it right!

TOPIC 2:Where do you spend your spare professional time?

Where do you seek advice from peers or network?

What online resources do you use?

How much time do you spend per day, week, month and year in online participation or lurking?

Z-Man- On the online forums I’ve visited, I observe that when a newbie asks a question, they are seemingly pounced upon by a pride of lions, who inevitably lecture by parrotinginformation verbatim from IICRC standard or training course. I opine this quoting of the “industry gospel” suppresses creative thought.

Creates artificially intelligent, those that attended an IICRC course and bought a copy of the standards and think they know everything that is necessary about the subject to publicly opine on it. I see the suppression of alternate thought and I’m concerned.

Jay Stake-The IAQA is rebuilding its educational offerings from the ground up as it seeks to become the fountainhead for information.

Pete Consigli- Many answers can be found in history. RIA has a deep depository (70+ years) of knowledge. Historically, RIA used technical directors to provide and sort out information for members. There is value in reviewing the commonality and singularity among standards and research documents. Its costly to reformat information into searchable form. Some people who are searching only want the answer.  Sharing info electronically loses the personal touch of building relationships. Young people today text to each other at the same table.

Carl Grimes- Years ago, it was true when a doctor said it. And we believed them. Now there are doctors on opposing sides of the issues. There are many sites out there for every specialty. There is no communication between groups. Too much fragmentation. Further fragmentation among the fragmented. Advises the importance of due diligence. Quoted Ed Young (Atlantic Magazine), “you can’t change opinions with facts.” Sharing among Hayward Healthy Home people is making a positive difference in their lives.Citing a legal case in which he testified, the opposition witness agreed with everything Carl said except the conclusion.

John Lapotaire- Florida is overwhelmed with new industry organizations claiming to be “international” whose proprietary remediation system: ozone, chemical, enzyme, etc. will make sick people well.

Joe Medosch- We’re opining on other people’s opinions. Some guidance is based on a collective understanding of knowledge and best practices.

John Downey- There is an explosion in outlets for data. Too much information and not enough wisdom. Believes that much valuable scientific information is available, the challenge is that it is stored in silos which aren’t easily found and accessed.

  • Listener comment: Who moderates these sites – miss-information can compromise a site reputation.
  • Listener comment: There is too much information and too little wisdom available.
  • Listener comment: AGREE – “There is too much information and too little wisdom available.”
  • Listener comment: Agreed Too few thought leaders and influencers out there talking history and future
  • Listener comment: We, contractors, are the research
  • Listener Comment: Consumers have no idea what is fact or fiction.
  • Listener Comment: SO CORRECT!! This is a bad time for remediation
  • Listener Comment: Consumers need a place to go for actual science based industry supported assistance for help with issues involving their indoor environment and health.
  • Listener Comment: Research to practice to the people who are effective by the IAQ problem. These connections are not priorities for any of the professional organizations in their own little silo.
  • Listener comment: I have a lot of clients with health issues and I want to be able to direct them to credible resources for solutions. There are a lot of people suffering with mold related/environmental issues and they feel crazy because nobody believes them
  • Listener comment: It was a weeklong Summit online put on by Margaret Christensen, MD, FACOG, IFMCP. She had 5-6 talks from different people every day for a week.
  • Listener comment: I just bought and listened to the Toxic Mold Summit.
  • Listener comment: I also look at

Topic 3: Industry Standards:

John Lapotaire- Consultants must be familiar with minimum standards. In Florida he observes a shift toward the use of industry standards by mold assessors and consultants. He opines that many consultants and assessors aren’t citing the standards properly. Consultants shouldn’t sell.

John Downey- Quoted, Dr. Michael Berry, “show me your data”. Properly done, standards can bring science into practice.

Pete Consigli- Standards and opinions vary, facts don’t. Consumers want an authoritative source. There is value in reviewing the commonality and singularity among standards and research documents.

  • Listener comment: There will be MORE standards….just to confuse thing
  • Listener comment: even those who claim to follow a std, any std, never really know the details – rarely meet a contractor or ‘mold inspector’ who knows the details, or can interpret them correctly
  • Listen comment: too many are following “made up” SOP’s that have been passed down thru either misinformed training, or misinformed headquarters
  • Listener comment: I agree w/John – if you use a standard, don’t need to memorize, but know what and where to look in the std to JUSTIFY the actions being taken, or decisions being made
  • Listener comment: Standards, guidelines and guides, oh my! The difficulty is that each group that promulgates these documents have a bias. For example, the engineers think every problem can be solved by more ventilation. Many IH’s think that all problems can be measured by sampling. We need an overall approach that takes into account all the viewpoints.
  • Listener comment: As a “sampling professional”, I recommend and take less samples than anyone I know!
  • Listener comment: I use a List of over 32 References as my work “standard” support. Not just “standards” but those references that JUSTIFY my decisions – both for my own actions, and for the recommendations I provide to others (clients, owners, occupants, contractors)
  • Listener comment: I like the National Academy of Science (NAS) approach. Get the best and brightest in a series of meetings, work out the different approaches, and issue a science-based document.
  • Listener comment: And, if we don’t use 3rd party “consultants”, who else is going to do quality control over the pervasive poor performance of all those who claim to do remediation?
  • Listener comment: Self-Proclaimed experts as trainers.
  • Listener comment: have been involved with fire cases that were escalated due to SPF and “Toxic” chemicals
  • Listener comment: actually, you do have it (use of 3rd party consultants Z-Man)in fire – “hazardous soot”, “carcinogenic soot”, “corrosive soot”, etc.
  • Listener comment: Fire is a mess right now
  • Listener comment: Why don’t we ever see headlines “GREEN MOLD CLOSES SCHOOL”?
  • Listener comment: I just did a mold remediation project with(WXYZ Z-Man) that failed clearance 4 times!!  They don’t use consultants and I’m sure they leave a lot of clients in an unhealthy environment after the project is completed because of their company policy.  I was already on the project and the commercial client called in (WXYZ Z-Man)  after I had already completed the mold inspection and air survey.  They are causing more harm than good and I believe this is true with all the contractors that don’t have independent consultants following up behind their work.
  • Listener comment: Carl’s point about emotions trumping facts is so true. Unfortunately so.

Z-Man signing off

Trivia question:

Name the trio who independently developed the microphone?


David Edward Hughes in England and Emile Berliner and Thomas Edison in the US

2 correct answers: Tom Barnes III  Greenville, NC

Doug Kohnen, EraTech Environmental Dayton, Ohio

Great Show!