Mold Inspection Etiwanda Mold Testing Etiwanda County by a Certified Mold Inspector   M

Advanced Mold Inspections and Environmental Testing of Etiwanda California
1-800-369-8532

Advanced Mold Inspections & Environmental Testing

Home    About AMI    Services    About Mold    Testimonials    Blog    Online Payments    Contact Us

Click here to learn how to avoid mold scams in Etiwanda California
MOLD SCAMS and RIP OFFS
In a perfect world you could trust everyone, but it is not perfect yet. Be aware of the most common mold scams in Etiwanda and how to avoid them...  CLICK

Welcome to AMI Environmental Testing, San Bernardino's mold trusted mold inspectors.
Statistics show that between home, work, and school, most people in Etiwanda spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors. We like to think our homes, schools and workplaces are safe and healthy environments, but just how safe are they? Our health and the health of our families is the number one reason people call AMI. We specialize in testing both residential and commercial properties throughout Etiwanda, Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties for mold and other indoor contaminants including bacteria, , volatile organic compounds (VOCs), asthmas and allergen triggers.

All AMI Inspectors are certified IAQ professionals. Ancillary services include building diagnostics, moisture assessments, thermal imaging energy audits, and expert witness testimony. If you have any questions about our services that are not answered here in our web site, please call us toll free at 1-800-369-8532 to speak to a certified indoor air quality professional.

MOLD INSPECTION MOLD TESTING

AMI Certified Mold Inspector in Etiwanda CaliforniaMold inspections and mold testing are two different services. A mold inspection is designed to locate potential indoor mold growth and its source. Mold testing identifies mold types and concentrations. Most often inspections and testing work best in conjunction with each other, however, there are instances when certain questions can be answered with one or the other. Understanding the difference between inspections and testing will help you get the answers you're looking for. For information about Mold Testing please click here.

POST-REMEDIATION CLEARANCE

Mold remediation clearance testing in Etiwanda CaliforniaThe goal of mold remediation (mold removal) is never to "'treat" mold or "kill" mold; It is always to remove all indoor mold growth. Why? Because dead mold is just as harmful to people and animals as mold that is alive. Killing or treating mold may prevent further property damage, but unless all mold is physically removed from indoors it is still every bit as much of a health risk. Make sure your mold remediation contractor did a thorough job by hiring an impartial mold inspector to conduct post-remediation clearance testing. Read more here.

OTHER TESTING SERVICES

Mold, asbestos, bacteria, VOC, and other indoor contaminant testing in Etiwanda CaliforniaIn addition to mold inspections AMI performs a number of other indoor air quality testing, including arsenic, , bacteria, lead, indoor allergens, VOC and other toxic chemicals. AMI can also provide comprehensive, certified environmental data reports within 1/4 mile of your neighborhood for leaking underground gas tanks, landfills, EPA Superfund sites, hazardous waste sites, properties that were formerly used as meth-labs, CDC environmental health assessments. Click here to read more about EDR reports.
 
MOLD INSPECTIONS and MOLD TESTING
Mold inspections and mold testing work together to properly assess indoor mold growth.

What Is A Mold Inspection?
AMI mold inspections are non-invasive visual inspections for mold and conditions typically associated with indoor mold growth. Non-Invasive means we do not cut anything open. There are two reasons why that is important to you:

  1. If there is mold inside a wall or ceiling cavity, cutting that cavity open can release millions of harmful mold spores into the air, exposing the occupants to potentially dangerous levels of toxic mold. Those airborne mold spores will float into other rooms in the structure, eventually settling onto carpet, furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings.
     
  2. If there is not any mold inside a wall or ceiling cavity, destructive inspection procedures could end up costing thousands of dollars in unnecessary reconstruction costs.

Thermal imaging infrared camera used in every Etiwanda mold inspectionAMI mold inspections are performed using state-of-the-art inspection equipment such as thermal imaging infrared cameras and moisture detection instruments so no destructive measures are ever necessary. Thermal imaging cameras are now the standard by which true IAQ professional investigators are measured. Due to the high cost of thermal imaging cameras, very few Mold Inspectors use infrared technology. Thermal imaging cameras are used on every AMI inspection at no additional cost to our clients. If your mold inspection is not conducted with infrared technology, your inspection is inconclusive.

What Is Mold Testing?
As a rule, identifying mold problems and their source is fairly straightforward and can typically be done with just a basic visual inspection. But even with such technically advanced investigative instruments as infrared, in some situations a non-invasive inspection can have certain limitations. That's where testing comes in.


Mold Sample Types:
There are three primary sampling methods for testing mold; surface samples, air samples, and dust samples.

1. Surface Sampling:
The purpose of surface sampling is to determine whether or not a suspected stain, discoloration, blemish, or other irregular appearance on a particular surface is mold. Surface samples are usually taken with a sterile cotton swab or tape lift and are only relevant to the exact area where the sample is taken. The analytical data from surface samples should not to be relied upon for conducting a risk assessment as it relates to airborne mold spore levels.

When Should Surface Samples Be Taken in a Mold Inspection?
Before taking any type of sample, define what it is you want to know. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between mold and dirt. If you want to confirm that a certain stain or discoloration you see on a surface is mold or not, a surface sample will tell you. Other than that, surface samples are unnecessary. As a rule, seeing visible mold growing on a surface is enough to confirm indoor mold growth. Often times in litigation cases the attorneys will order surface samples along with air samples in order to make a connection between those samples and mold found in a client's blood.


2. Air Sampling:
Air sampling reveals when mold is growing indoors where you can't see it and whether or not it is a potential health risk. Occasionally during an inspection a suspicious condition is detected, such as high moisture retention in construction materials, but no visible mold growth can be seen. Comparing a sample of air from that location to a sample from outdoors will not only tell you if mold is originating from that suspect condition, it will also tell you how serious the problem is and whether or not it is a health risk. High concentrations of airborne mold spores, whether dead or alive, can trigger severe asthma attacks, cause long-term reparatory infections, and numerous other adverse health conditions.

When Should Air Samples Be Taken for Mold Testing?
Mold growth can spread exponentially inside walls, under under cabinets and floors, above ceilings, and deep into heating and air conditioning vents as long as the right conditions exist. By the time hidden mold is detected, it can cause thousands of dollars in property damage and pose significant health risks.
 

Hidden mold growing in a Etiwanda bathroom. Faulty shower door seal cause water leak that resulted in household mold in Etiwanda. Mold growing behind bathroom baseboard in Etiwanda California. Mold growing inside bathroom wall cavity in Etiwanda California.
At first glance there is no mold that can be seen, only a mold odor in this bathroom. Caulk around the outside of a shower door is a tell-tale sign of a known water leak. Black mold growing under the carpet and behind the base board wasn't the only problem. Extensive mold growth inside the wall cavity indicates long term mold growth.

Many people who call AMI say, "I don't see any mold". Truth is, most mold problems go unnoticed long before any visible signs appear, and the costliest mold repair jobs are the ones that no one knew were there until after the damage is done. The time to test for mold is when you first suspect you might have a mold problem. Musty odors, leaks from plumbing, appliances, roofs, flooding, cracks in walls around windows, even unexplained moisture accumulation are all conditions that cause mold to grow indoors. Prompt action can make the difference between an inexpensive repair project or several thousands of dollars in mold remediation work. Early detection of indoor mold growth can significantly limit the potential for adverse health risks as well.
 

3. ERMI Dust Sampling:
ERMI stands for Environmental Relative Moldiness Index. The purpose an ERMI dust sample is to provide a single-sample solution to determine if a building has certain molds that are considered to be exclusively found in properties that have had a water intrusion event that resulted in mold growth with an increased risk of respiratory illness.

The ERMI test method was originally developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a survey conducted by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in which it was determined that the vast majority of homes with a history of water intrusion will test positive for 26 specific molds that are directly linked to asthma and other respiratory illness.

When Should an ERMI Sample Be Taken for Mold Testing?
The ERMI test is ideal if you are considering buying a property and there is no visible indication or disclosure of a mold problem or prior water intrusion event. If the property had a mold problem in the past that was either not disclosed or not properly remediated, the ERMI will reveal it.

The ERMI test is also ideal if you are sensitive to molds but your symptoms in a certain house or building come and go. Air samples test results can be affected from one day to the next by the movement of air from open doors and windows, but carpet dust acts as a reservoir for mold spores and is more representative of mold levels over time versus short-term air samples. The ERMI test is consistently effective at evaluating the potential risk of indoor mold growth and associated health risks.


Need More Information?
To speak with Certified Mold Inspector about how these services apply to your specific situation, call: 1-800-369-8532
 

<< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

POST-REMEDIATION CLEARANCE TESTING
Getting rid of mold is one thing... documenting it is another.

What Is A Post-Remediation Verification Survey?
A Post-Remediation Survey refers to the inspection and testing of a mold removal job after all the work is done, but before any rebuilding begins, to determine whether or of not the remediation was successful. A post-remediation verification survey (sometimes called clearance testing) includes a visual inspection and moisture assessment of the construction materials to make sure they are dry and mold-free, and air quality testing to make sure that airborne mold spores are within acceptable levels.

A successful mold remediation means:

  1. No visible mold growth on any of the construction materials.
  2. All construction materials are thoroughly dry according to current industry standards.
  3. The cause of the mold growth (water or moisture source) has been resolved.
  4. Airborne mold spore levels are consistent with acceptable indoor air quality standards.
  5. No cross-contamination of non-work areas has occurred.

1. No Visible Mold Growth on Remediated Construction Materials
Picture of a bad mold remediation job in Etiwanda CAMold remediation means REMOVE the MOLD. The goal is never to KILL mold, it is never to TREAT mold, nor is it ever to COVER mold up with paint or other solid color coatings. The goal of mold remediation is always to REMOVE the mold.

This picture was taken during a post-remediation verification survey in Etiwanda. In the contractor's opinion the work was completed and ready for inspection. However, the obvious mold growth seen on the framing materials clearly shows that all of the mold had not been removed. A small amount moisture or humidity is all it would take for this mold start growing again and right back was it was before in no time at all. This remediation job clearly does not meet industry standards for the visual component of a post-remediation verification survey. Ultimately, as would be expected when visible mold growth is present, it did failed the air quality test as well.


Encapsulating Mold Growth
The concept of encapsulating (painting) mold stained construction materials was created by mold removal contractors. The idea is is 3-fold: 1. to cover up unsightly staining caused by mold growth;  2. to glue down any mold spores that might be trapped in small, hard-to-reach cracks and crevices;  3. to seal out moisture that would cause mold to grow by applying a water resistant, anti-microbial coatings. In theory it all sounds logical. But technically, if all the mold has been removed there should be nothing to encapsulate. Nevertheless, encapsulating has become an accepted practice when the purpose of doing it is to immobilize a few rogue mold spores that could fail a clearance test. However, applying encapsulants to hide or cover up mold that could have and should have been removed is never acceptable.

No inspector likes solid color coatings on a post-remediation survey in Etiwanda because he cannot thoroughly inspect for mold growth.This picture was also taken during a post-remediation survey to show what encapsulation does NOT look like. This is what painting over mold looks like. Painting and encapsulating are not the same thing. Painting over mold with products such as KILZ or any other solid color paint is simply covering up mold so it cannot be seen and that is never acceptable.

If you are facing a mold remediation project, ask your contractor before the work begins if he intends to encapsulate anything. Ask him to explain what materials he plans to encapsulate and why. If encapsulation must be part of the remediation process, insist on TRANSPARENT anti-microbial coatings only such as FIBERLOCK IAQ 6100 CLEAR or FOSTER 40-51 CLEAR. Paint products such as KILZ may temporarily cover stains caused by mold but they have no water proofing or anti-microbial properties and therefore offer no protection against reoccurring mold growth. Furthermore, solid color paints and even solid color encapsulants make it impossible for an inspector to know whether or not the mold was actually removed or simply painted over.

Picture of a perfect mold remediation job in Etiwanda California.This picture was also taken from a post-remediation survey to show what a first-class mold remediation job looks like. Notice the framing materials are thoroughly dried and restored to original, mold-free condition. No encapsulation coating were necessary, however, as a precautionary water-proofing measure a clear encapsulant was sprayed on to the lumber from the floor to 12 inches high that was virtually invisible, making all of the salvaged construction materials readily accessible for inspection. This is an perfect example of proper and successful remediation job.

Why is it so important to remove all mold?   For two reasons:

#1. Mold that has been killed, treated, or covered up can always begin grow again if moisture reoccurs - even if the moisture is just high humidity.

#2. Dead or dormant mold still releases mold spores into the air. While mold must be alive to cause further property damage, dead mold spores - when inhaled - have the exact same effects on people and animals as mold that is alive. Mold can be killed, treated, or covered up but if it is still in your building, all of the health risks associated with mold are still there to.

2. All construction materials are dry according to current industry standards.
Mold grows on wet construction materials. Inexpensive mold contaminated materials such as drywall, wood trim, cabinets, etc. are typically removed and replaced. Other materials that are generally too costly to replace, such as wood framing, studs, joists, etc. can usually be remediated by scraping, sanding, and wire brushing off mold growth.

Infrared camera image shows framing materials are still wet.This picture was taken during a post-remediation inspection. The infrared image shows that some areas of the construction materials were still wet after mold remediation (the blue spot in the center frame is moisture). In this remediation, no visible evidence of mold was present on any of the remediated materials. However, the wood framing was not thoroughly dried. If new drywall had been installed over this wet lumber, mold would have begun to grow again.

Infrared cameras are use in all AMI post-remediation verification surveys to insure all construction materials are dried out in compliance with industry standards. If your post-remediation inspection does not include infrared thermal imaging, your results are inconclusive.

3. The cause of the Mold Growth Has Been Resolved.
In a Post-Remediation Verification, a visual inspection is performed inside the containment area to confirm that the source of water intrusion that caused the mold growth has been remedied.

The water source that caused mold to grow inside the wall has not been corrected.This picture was taken during a post-remediation inspection. The contractor said the job was ready for reconstruction. Yet you can clearly see by the dark stains on the framing lumber and sub-floor that the lumber was still wet and the plumbing leak that caused the mold problem to begin with has not been resolved.

Any new materials installed here would have been wet immediately and within 2 to 3 days new mold growth would be certain. Obviously, this remediation was unsuccessful.

 

4. The indoor air quality is within acceptable standards.
The final test of a successful remediation job is the airborne mold spore levels inside the containment area are the same or less than outdoors. This is accomplished by collecting a samples of air from both locations using specialized equipment designed specifically for this purpose. Test result are simple and straightforward. For example:

If there are more molds in the containment air than the outdoor air, or if there are different types of mold in the containment air than outdoors, the remediation was unsuccessful.

If airborne spore levels inside the containment area are higher than outdoors, the remediation was unsuccessful.
In a Post-Remediation Verification Survey, air sampling is provides analytical data to scientifically confirm that which cannot be confirmed visually. Many mold remediation contractors provide post-remediation testing, however, hiring clearance testing out to a disinterested, unbiased third party mold testing company can insure against fraudulent testing.

5. Cross-contamination of non-contained work areas has not occurred.
When suspicious conditions are visually observed which raise concerns that cross-contamination may have occurred in other parts of a building during the remediation process, testing the air in those areas is done to confirm or rule out that concern.

Cross-contamination typically occurs when a containment area has been breached and mold spores have been blown out of the contained work area and into other parts of the building. Suspicious conditions that cross-contamination has occurred include:

  • Improperly or poorly installed containment walls and doors.
  • Tears, holes, and broken seals in the containment plastic or tape.

The following pictures will help you recognize the difference between a proper containment job and an improper one.

From a distance this containment doesn't look too bad but up close (see right) obvious defective gaps can be seen. This is the same containment as in the picture to the left. The bottom is torn and attempts to repair other tears can be seen in multiple places. This containment would draw mold spores from outdors into what should be a virtual sterile environment. This containment is a complete fiasco constructed by workers who do not understand the basic fundamentals of mold remediation. Bad mold remediation containment job in Etiwanda
This was the entry way into a containment work area. The excessive use of tape indicates a lack of contractor experience in establishing secure containment barrier walls. Rips, holes, and gaps are seen between the plastic and the tape that is intended to secure it. Mold-filled air from inside the work area is being blown into a non-work area by high-volume air filtration machines. This make-shift 3-sided containment was wrapped so closely around kitchen island cabinets that there was no room to work inside. The worker broke the tape seal several times, cross-contaminating kitchen air with containment air. 1 of 2 breaches in the tape seal at the floor. The seal had been broken so many times that the tape no longer held the plastic down. Breaches in containment materials cause cross-contamination of areas outside the contained work area.
       
Good containment job Bad containment job Exterior view of a professional mold remedition containment job. Interior view of a professional mold remedition containment job.
Classic mold blooper story! This contractor did an excellent job at installing the containment materials. The plastic was tight and perfectly sealed around all four sides. But the plastic in the room right next to the one on the left was never sealed at the bottom. This minor detail blew mold spores through the entire first floor. This is an example of a properly installed containment area. Unlike the make-shift example above, metal pole framing was used to keep the plastic tight and straight with no breaches in the tape seal. Even though the actual remediated area was a small section of wall, the contained area is large enough to work in without damaging any of the materials or putting stress on tape seals.
       

Choosing A Qualified Remediation Contractor
Before choosing a "qualified" mold remediation contractor consider this:

1. Not all mold remediators are licensed contractors.
Currently in most States including California, there are no licensing requirements for people who remove mold. In California, removing mold is classified as janitorial work. That means that legally, anyone who can wash windows or sweep floors is allowed to perform mold remediation. This is important to know because many mold removal jobs require the removal of cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, and HVAC components, all of which should only be removed or installed by licensed carpenters, plumbers, electrical contractors. For that reason, it is important to know your mold remediators legal qualifications to address the entire scope of work, and not just the removal of mold.

The best person to trust your mold remediation work to is a licensed contractor who is certified to perform mold removal. See more on certifications for mold remediation contractors below #3.

2. Not all licensed contractors are mold remediators.
If you or a loved one had a life-threatening condition that required brain surgery would you choose the best brain surgeon you could find or a podiatrist that came highly recommended by Aunt Martha? Obviously that is a rhetorical question. Yet every day people choose highly qualified repair contractors to do mold removal work that they are not qualified to do.

There are many excellent, reputable licensed contractors who are highly-qualified to perform room additions, kitchen and bathroom remodels, and even construct an entire building from the ground up. But that does not necessarily qualify them to perform mold remediation. Proper and safe mold removal requires specialized knowledge and expertise. If mold remediation work is not done properly, significant collateral damage can occur to other mold-free areas of a building by cross-contamination of airborne mold spores. Furthermore, failure to implement adequate safety measures to protect the occupants of a building before, during and after remediation work can result in serious health risks and costly litigation.

Choosing the best kitchen and bath contractor to perform mold remediation work is rarely a wise decision. It is always best to hire a certified mold remediation contractor to perform mold remediation.

3. Always Choose An AmIAQC or IICRC Certified Contractor.
AmIAQC stands for American Indoor Air Quality Council. In mid 2009 the AmIAQC was renamed the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) to better reflect the exclusive prestige of being the only IAQ certifying body with CESB accredited certifications.

Council-certified mold remediation contractors are required to maintain the highest industry qualification standards including a rigorous continued education credits program and mandatory recertification every two years. When searching online for a Council-certified mold remediation contractor look for one or both of these logos.

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. IICRC is a non-profit certifying body for cleaning and restoration professionals. It was founded in 1972 to establish and monitor educational programs and standards most phases of property restoration. When searching for an IICRC certified mold remediation contractor online search for this logo.

Again, the best person to trust your mold remediation work to is a licensed contractor who is certified to perform mold removal. The second best would be one who may not be a licensed contractor but who is certified by one of these two certifying bodies. The least desirable choice would be a licensed contractor with no mold remediation certifications.

A Council-certified or IICRC certified mold remediator is always the best place to start. But always ask for at least three references and never assume that a contractor must be OK just because they give you references. CALL THEM! In fact, always ask for references that are at least one year old and call them. Why? Because right after a mold removal job is done everything looks great and everyone is happy to be rid of their mold. But if that job was not done right it might take 6 to 9 months before anyone knows it. A referral might have nothing but praise for the contractor immediately following a job, but nothing good to say about him a year later.

Get referrals and call them. Call the State Contractors Board to check on their license. Call the Better Business Bureau to check their rating. If you don't get satisfactory answers, call another contractor.

Who Pays For Post-Remediation Verification?
You do! That's another reason why it is so important to choose the right remediation contractor. If a remediation job fails to meet industry standards the contractor must find out why and correct the problem. Then the work must undergo a second post-remediation verification. And if that fails, a third. And if that fails, a fourth. And every post-remediation verification costs the same as the first one.

During the interview, talk to your contractor about post-remediation verification (also called clearance testing). Most contractors do not pay for testing. If they do they usually insist on doing it themselves or having someone they know do it. But even the best contractors don't fail their own work. For obvious reasons it is always in your best interest to have a third-party independent Inspector perform clearance testing.

If you paid to get rid of a mold problem and the clearance test fails, you still have a mold problem. If you still have a mold problem, you will be dealing with it again sooner or later. An independent testing company can help you avoid future problems by insuring that your remediation job was done properly.

Tips.
Here are a few tips to help you better understand post-remediation verification. Discuss these things with your contractor.

1. Tears, holes, and gaps in containment materials can cause a clearance test to fail. Additionally, breached containments cost more because areas outside the contained work space require testing to confirm or rule out cross-contamination.

Increase the likelihood of first-test clearance with air-tight containment. Stay out of the containment during remedial work. Traffic in and out increases the probability of a breached containment and a second test.

2. Post-remediation verification should be done after all the mold has been removed but before any new construction materials are installed. The Inspector should be able to examine all salvaged remediated materials. If new drywall is installed and the clearance test fails, the new drywall will likely have to be removed to find out why.

3. If anti-microbial coatings are going to be applied, (a step some contractors call "encapsulation"), it should be done after verification as a precautionary measure to help construction materials resist moisture in the future, not to cover up water stains or hide mold growth. If for some reason the contractor chooses to encapsulate prior to verification, only clear coatings should be used. Solid color coatings, paint and stain hiding products like Kilz are often used on framing materials to cover up mold that was not removed. A containment full of freshly painted wood framing may look nice, but if the clearance test fails it is virtually impossible to see why.

Ask your contractor if anti-microbial coatings are going to be used. If so, insist on clear products only. Also, Kilz is strictly a paint and should never be used as an encapsulant. It is not an anti-microbial coating nor does it have any water-proofing properties whatsoever. It serves only one purpose; to cover stains. Often times water damaged framing wood is permanently stained and damaged. But there is a distinguishable difference between water-stains and mold. Water stains don't fail a clearance test, mold does - even when it is painted over with Kilz.

The best way to minimize post-remediation clearance testing costs is to educate yourself on the remediation process from start to finish. Recognizing when something is wrong early in the process can save time and hundreds, even thousands of dollars as the job draws to a close.

If you have questions or concerns about clearance testing that are not addressed here, please feel to call AMI at 1-800-369-8532 and speak to a Certified Post-Remediation Specialist.

<< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

OTHER AMI TESTING SERVICES
In addition to mold inspection and mold testing in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, AMI also conducts testing for the following indoor contaminants:
 

1. Allergens and Asthma Triggers

Mold and other indoors allergens in Etiwanda County. Call AMI for testing 1-800-369-8532
Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. We like to think of our homes, schools, and workplaces as safe, but just how safe are they? Since indoor allergens can play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks it is important to recognize potential asthma triggers indoors and reduce your exposure to those triggers. Some of the most common indoor asthma triggers include secondhand smoke, dust mites, mold, cockroaches and other pests, household pets, and combustion byproducts. You may not be affected by all of these triggers. However, your doctor can help you to determine which triggers affect your asthma or may lead to you developing asthma and help you develop a customized asthma management plan. With today's technology, indoor environments can be tested for asthma triggers and allergens quickly and affordably.

Dust mites in Etiwanda California. AMI can test for dust mites.
Allergens / Dust Mites

Dust Mites are too small to be seen, but can be found in almost every home in mattresses and bedding materials, carpets, upholstered furniture, stuffed toys and curtains.

What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny insects that are invisible to the naked eye. Every home has dust mites. They feed on human skin flakes and are found in pillows, mattresses, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and feces from dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with allergic reactions to dust mites, and exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.

Actions You Can Take

  • Cover mattresses and pillows with dust proof ("allergen-impermeable") zippered covers.
  • Wash bedding (sheets, blankets and bedcovers) once per week in hot water.
  • Choose washable stuffed toys, wash them often in hot water and dry them thoroughly.
  • Keep stuffed toys off beds.
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30-50% relative humidity.
  • Humidity levels can be measured by hygrometers which are available at local hardware stores.
  • If you are purchasing a home it is strongly recommended that you have the home tested for the presence of dust mite allergens (Der p I and Der f I)

Common house dust may contain asthma triggers. When you are treating your house for dust mites, try these simple steps as well.

  • Remove dust often with a damp cloth.
  • Vacuum carpet and fabric-covered furniture to reduce dust build-up.
  • Using vacuums with high efficiency filters or central vacuums may be helpful.
  • People with asthma or allergies should leave the area being vacuumed.


AMI tests for all types of mold in Etiwanda California. Call 1-800-369-8532 now!Allergens / Molds
Indoor mold growth is one of the leading and most debilitating causes of asthma attacks.

What are Molds?
Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant and animal matter. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they grow on virtually any substance when moisture is present. Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce, just as plants produce seeds. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Some molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and even dynamite. There is no practical way to eliminate all molds indoors; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

How Does Mold Affect Asthma?
For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can cause an asthma attack, there is new evidence that indicates exposure to high levels of indoor molds can actually cause children to develop asthma.

Actions You Can Take
If mold is a problem in your home, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

  • Wash mold off hard surfaces and dry completely. Absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be replaced if they are contaminated with mold.
  • Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water.
  • Keep drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator and dehumidifier clean and dry.
  • Use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchens and bathrooms when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher.
  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
  • If you are purchasing a home, or suspect that mold may be present at high levels in your home, it may be prudent to have your home inspected and tested.
     
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30-50% relative humidity. Humidity levels can be measured by hygrometers, which are available at local hardware stores.


Allergens / Cockroaches
Etiwandaa cockroaches can cause asthma attacks and other allergic reactions. AMI can test for cockroach allergens.
Droppings and body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins, called allergens, are found in cockroach feces and saliva and can cause allergic reactions, or trigger asthma symptoms, in some individuals. Cockroaches are commonly found in crowded cities and the southern regions of the United States. Cockroach allergens likely play a significant role in asthma in many inner-city areas.

Actions You Can Take
An important key to pest management is to remove places in your home for pests to hide and to keep exposed areas free of food and water. But remember, pesticides you may spray to prevent pests are not only toxic to pests, they can harm people too. Try to use pest management methods that pose less of a risk.

Tips to prevent cockroaches and other pests include:

  • Do not leave food or garbage out.
  • If you are purchasing a home it is strongly recommended that you have the home tested for the presence of cockroach allergens (Blag I)
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Clean all food crumbs or spilled liquids right away.
  • Wash dishes as soon as you are done using them.
  • Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and clear of clutter.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and other moisture problems.
  • Seal cracks or openings around or inside cabinets.
  • Remove piles of boxes, newspapers and other hiding places for pests from your home.
  • Make sure trash is stored in containers with lids that close securely, and remove trash daily.
  • Try using poison baits, boric acid or traps first before using pesticide sprays.

If sprays are used:

  • Limit the spray to the infested area.
  • Do not spray where you prepare or store food, or where young children play, crawl or sleep.
  • Carefully follow instructions on the label.
  • Make sure there is plenty of fresh air when you spray and keep people with asthma out of the room while spraying.
  • After spraying, the room should be thoroughly aired out.


Allergens / Domestic Animals
AMI can test for dog and cat dander in Etiwanda California.Warm-blooded pets (such as cats and dogs) skin flakes, urine and saliva can be found in homes where pets are allowed inside. Your pet's dead skin flakes, urine, feces, saliva and hair can trigger asthma. Dogs, cats, rodents (including hamsters and guinea pigs) and other mammals can trigger asthma in individuals with an allergic reaction to animal dander. Proteins in the dander, urine or saliva of warm-blooded animals (e.g., cats, dogs, mice, rats, gerbils, birds, etc.) have been reported to sensitize individuals and cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma episodes in individuals sensitive to animal allergens.

The most effective method to control animal allergens in the home is to not allow animals in the home. If you remove an animal from the home, it is important to clean the home (including floors and walls, but especially carpets and upholstered furniture) thoroughly.

Pet allergen levels are reported to stay in the home for several months after the pet is removed even with cleaning. Isolation methods to reduce animal allergen in the home have also been suggested by reputable health authorities (e.g., keeping the animal in only one area of the home, keeping the animal outside or ensuring that people with allergies or asthma stay away from the animal) but the effectiveness of these methods has not been determined. Several reports in the literature indicate that animal allergen is carried in the air and by residents of the home on their clothing to all parts of the home, even when the animal is isolated. In fact, animal allergen is often detected in locations where no animals were housed.

Often, people sensitive to animal allergens are advised to wash their pets regularly. Recent research indicates that washing pets may only provide temporary reductions in allergen levels. There is no evidence that this short term reduction is effective in reducing symptoms and it has been suggested that during the washing of the animal the sensitive individual may be initially exposed to higher levels of allergens.

Thus, the most effective method to control exposure to animal allergens is to keep your home pet free. However, some individuals may find isolation measures to be sufficiently effective. Isolation measures that have been suggested include keeping pets out of the sleeping areas, keeping pets away from upholstered furniture, carpets, and stuffed toys, keeping the pet outdoors as much as possible and isolating sensitive individuals from the pet as much as possible.

Actions You Can Take

  • If pets are one of your asthma triggers, strongly consider finding a new home for your pets.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and other sleeping areas at all times and keep the door closed.
  • Keep pets away from fabric-covered furniture, carpets and stuffed toys.
  • Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture two or more times per week.
  • If you are purchasing a resale home it is strongly recommended that you have the home tested for the presence of cat or dog allergens (Fel d I and Can f I)


Allergens / Nitrogen Dioxide
Nitrogen Dioxide is an odorless gas that can be a byproduct of indoor fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, gas or oil furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and unvented kerosene or gas space heaters. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) can be a byproduct of fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, gas or oil furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and unvented kerosene or gas space heaters. NO2 is an odorless gas that can irritate your eyes, nose and throat and cause shortness of breath. In people with asthma, exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections. Long-term exposure to high levels of NO2 can lead to chronic bronchitis.

Actions You Can Take

  • Properly ventilate a room where a fuel-burning appliance is used and use appliances that vent to the outside whenever possible.
  • Do not idle the car inside your garage.
  • Have the entire heating system -- including furnace, flues and chimneys -- professionally inspected and cleaned annually.
  • Always open the flue on your fireplace before building a fire to ensure that smoke escapes through the chimney.
  • Make sure the doors are tight fitting on your wood-burning stove and follow the manufacturer's directions for starting, stoking and putting out the fire.
  • Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper fuel use on unvented kerosene or gas space heaters and keep the heater properly adjusted.
  • Open a window slightly or use an exhaust fan in the room while using the heater.
  • Install and use an exhaust fan over a gas stove and vent it outdoors.

< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

2. Bacteria Testing
AMI can test for bacteria in Etiwanda CAHas your building or home had a sewage back-up or toilet over flow, or a sprinkler system leak? If so, dangerous bacteria such as Fecal Coliform, Total Coliform, and E. coli could have contaminated much of the building surfaces contacted during the water loss or sewage back-up.

What Is Bacteria?
Bacteria are microscopic, one-celled organisms usually classified as plants (in a division called fungi). Bacteria typically originates in human and animal wastes and can enter a water supply from septic tank drainage, sewage and sewer back-ups, a toilet overflow, feedlot manure or direct drainage of surface runoff into wells. In addition to contaminating construction materials, bacterial contamination remains the most common water quality problem for individual (private wells) and small community public systems (under 1,000 service connections).

Mold inspection and bacteria testing in Etiwanda Mold inspection and bacteria testing in Etiwanda County Raw sewage back up contamination bacteria, When a toilet backs up or over flows there is a potential for bacterial contamination. When a black or gray water flood occurs there is a potential for bacterial contamination. When a sewage line breaks or backs up there is a potential for bacterial contamination. Under certain conditions even sprinkler systems leaks can cause bacterial contamination.
Black water bacteria testing in Etiwanda California Etiwanda irrigation water contamination.

How Do You Come In Contact With Bacteria?
Humans and animals can come into contact with bacteria through several ways:

  • Skin contact: walking, laying, crawling on floors and other construction materials that have been exposed to black water (sewer water).
  • Inhalation: breathing bacteria contaminated air.
  • Ingestion: drinking bacteria contaminated well or tap water.

Fecal coliform bacteria are mostly found in drinking water that comes from private wells and small water systems. This is partly because private water supplies, small rural public water supplies and private wells are not required, by law, to be tested. Every time you drink water from one of these sources, you may be exposed to harmful levels of bacteria, which can pose immediate threat to your health. Families drinking non-chlorinated water such as from an underground well and apartment dwellers roof-top wood storage tanks are especially susceptible to bacterial contamination. Home water treatment devices utilizing GAC (Granular Activated Charcoal) as a singular filtering device may also become a breeding ground for bacteria.

What Can Bacteria Do To You?
Fecal coliform bacteria in drinking water can lead to diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera, though these diseases are rare in the United States. Fecal coliform bacteria contamination can also lead to infectious hepatitis and dysentery, which are more common. Some experts believe that exposure to high levels of bacteria in drinking water can also make infants more susceptible to the toxic effects of nitrates in drinking water. Symptoms associated with bacterial contamination include digestive problems, fever, nausea, diarrhea and cramps.

Bacterial Infection VS Viral Infection
Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria and viral infections are caused by viruses. Infections caused by bacteria include strep throat, tuberculosis and urinary tract infections. Diseases that result from viruses include chickenpox, AIDS and the common cold.
Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that thrive in many different types of environments. Some varieties live in extremes of cold or heat, while others make their home in people's intestines, where they help digest food. Most bacteria cause no harm to people.

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and require living hosts — such as people, plants or animals — to multiply. Otherwise, they can't survive. When a virus enters your body, it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery, redirecting it to produce the virus.

Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren't effective against viruses. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether bacteria or a virus is causing your symptoms. Many ailments — such as pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea — can be caused by either type of microbe.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create strains of bacterial disease that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications. AMI can test to determine if bacteria contamination has occurred by taking surface and cultured samples. If the black water loss is positive for bacteria, AMI can oversee the decontamination project of all building materials through your sewage abatement contractor.

< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

3. Arsenic Testing

Arsenic testing in Etiwanda County CaliforniaWhat Is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.

Several studies have shown that arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate1. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have determined that inorganic arsenic can cause cancer in humans.

Arsenic can can skin irritation.Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), arsenic can enter the water supply from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. Arsenic is a natural element used for a variety of purposes within industry and agriculture. It is also a byproduct of copper smelting, mining, and coal burning. Industries in the United States release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the environment every year. Once released, arsenic remains in the environment for a long time. It is widely believed that naturally occurring arsenic dissolves out of certain rock formations when ground water levels drop significantly. Surface arsenic-related pollutants enter the ground water system by gradually moving with the flow of ground water from rain, melting snow, and so on. High arsenic levels may come from certain fertilizers, animal feedlots, and industrial waste. High levels of arsenic found in well water are often used to indicate improper well construction, or the location or overuse of chemical fertilizers or herbicides.

NATIONAL ARSENIC OCCURRENCE MAP
EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.

Arsenic water map.This map is intended to show the general areas that are hardest hit by the highest levels of arsenic. However, to determine whether arsenic has been found in a particular public water system, according to data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, refer to the table of water systems reported in Appendix A. The map cannot be used by itself to identify whether a particular water system has an arsenic problem, because often there are several water systems located immediately adjacent to each other, and the map was generated at a scale that cannot be used to identify precisely which water system contains a given level of arsenic.

What should I do if I have concerns about arsenic exposure?
One thing you can do is have your water tested. For pricing on testing water for arsenic call 800.369.8532. You should also see your health care provider to discuss your concerns. For more information, call the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Division of Toxicology at 1-888-422-8737.

How is arsenic exposure diagnosed?
Talk to your doctor about tests that measure the level of arsenic in your body. Arsenic can be measured in blood, urine, hair and fingernails. Testing urine will tell you if you have been exposed to arsenic in the last few days. Testing hair and fingernails will tell you if you have been exposed to arsenic in the past six to twelve months. These tests will tell you if it was arsenic that made you sick. However, the tests cannot tell if the arsenic will make you sick in the future.2

What is the treatment for arsenic exposure?
There is no effective treatment for arsenic exposure. Your health care provider can only help provide relief from your symptoms.3

Can I remove arsenic from my drinking water?
Yes. There are several types of point-of-use, in home filters that can be used to remove arsenic from drinking water, which use methods such as reverse osmosis, ultra-filtration, and ion exchange. Distilling the water can also be used to remove arsenic. If you want to know more about these removal technologies, please contact NSF International, an organization for public health and safety through standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management. Contact information is provided below. Boiling water will not remove arsenic and could slightly increase the concentration of arsenic in your water if you continue boiling and lose a large amount of water as steam. Chlorine (bleach) disinfection will also not remove arsenic.

Is my private well at risk from arsenic?
Like many contaminants that enter drinking water supplies, arsenic is potentially hazardous at high levels. Because you cannot see or taste arsenic in water, it is up to the well owner to test for arsenic. Arsenic tends to occur more frequently in ground water supplies, especially when demand causes significant drops in water levels in certain areas. It is best to consult your local health department about this situation and ask about your area. You may also wish to talk with your state geological survey office or USDA agent.4

< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

4. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Do ever you get headaches or feel sick at home or at work for no apparent reason? Do you feel fine after you leave an environment that you feel sick in, and then feel sick again when you return to that environment? If so, it is entirely possible that the building you feel sick in contains one or more toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOC).

VOC's are to cause a number of adverse reactions in humans, such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea & vomiting, dizziness, and worsening of asthma symptoms. Long-Term (chronic) symptoms of exposure to high levels of VOCs are an increased risk of cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and central nervous system damage. Some doctors believe that VOC exposure can cause Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome (MCS) while other doctors disagree. But when you are afflicted with MCS, you don't want differing opinions, you want relief.

MCSS ~ MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVE SYNDROME
Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome is a disorder that seems to be triggered by exposure to low levels of multiple identifiable or unidentifiable chemical substances commonly present in the environment. 1 MCS is more common among women than men. In addition, 40% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome and 16% of people with fibromyalgia have multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome as well.

Some people start having symptoms after a single exposure to high levels of various toxic substances. Symptoms may include a rapid heart rate, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue, flushing, dizziness, nausea, choking, trembling, numbness, coughing, hoarseness, and difficulty concentrating. Your doctor can perform testing to diagnose allergic disorders, including blood and skin-prick tests. AMI can perform VOC testing on your home or any other indoor environment to determine what chemicals are present.

< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

5. Mold Health Effects
AMI is the number 1 Mold Inspection company serving Etiwanda and most of Southern California. Mold inspection mold testing in San Bernardino California for Stachybotrys Aspergillus Penicillium Black Mold Toxic Mold. Stachybotrys and many other species of mold and mildew may produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to people with mold sensitivities and cause adverse health effects. Common effects from molds such as Stachybotrys atra, Penicillium, Cladosporium and several strains of Aspergillus include asthma, pneumonitis, upper respiratory problems, sinusitis, dry cough, skin rashes, stomach upset, headaches, disorientation, bloody noses. Severe exposures can lead to internal bleeding, kidney failure, liver failure, pulmonary emphysema, permanent memory loss. If you are experiencing ill health or adverse health symptoms and you believe you may have been exposed to high concentrations of airborne mold spores produced by indoor mold growth, you should consider seeing a doctor, specifically a toxicologist and/or immunologist, since most general practitioners do not have the same level of expertise and often time misdiagnose mold-related health issues.

< BACK TO TOP OF PAGE >>

Resources:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Arsenic and Drinking Water from Private Wells, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/healthywater/factsheets/arsenic.htm

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Arsenic and Drinking Water from Private Wells, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/healthywater/factsheets/arsenic.htm

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Arsenic and Drinking Water from Private Wells, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/healthywater/factsheets/arsenic.htm

4. Environmental Protection Agency: Arsenic in Drinking Water,
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic/basicinformation.html

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE LINKS:
US Dept. of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Wikipedia - Arsenic Poisoning

National Library of Medicine - Aresenic


 
 


Site Map l Terms of Use l Privacy Policy l Online Payments l Contact Info

Copyright 2010 AMI ~ Advanced Mold Inspections and Environmental Testing, LLC ~ All rights reserved
AMI is the leading provider of mold inspection and mold testing services in Riverside and Etiwanda County California