I realize that I am supposed to have some heartburn with some recent news I just heard—but I do not.
The news, fresh out of the moldy swamps of Louisiana, is the announcement that the governor of the State of Louisiana has signed into law a change to Louisiana Home Inspector Standards of Practice that requires home inspectors in Louisiana to report on mold. Here is the exact wording:
A licensed home inspector shall include in his written report of the home inspection the presence of suspected mold growth if during the course of inspecting the systems and components of the structure in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and board rules and regulations, the licensed home inspector discovers visually observable evidence of suspected mold growth on the inside of the structure.
If anyone is going to have any heartburn with this new requirement, it should be about how the law apparently does not recognize that there are women home inspectors–even in Louisiana.
The important thing about this new law, and why I don’t have any heartburn with it, is that it does not require home inspectors to “TEST” for mold; it merely states that if they see “suspected mold” (I SO LOVE the word “suspected“!!) they have to say they see it, and the information goes in the inspection report.
Why would any home inspector have an issue with that?
I am pretty sure that most of us do that already—I know that I do.
I am guessing it is the mold testing industry that is having the most heartburn with it, and their assertion that home inspectors are not qualified to call a duck a duck when they see it—especially if it is a toxic duck.
What this new requirement supports however, is the reality that mold is everywhere, testing is a waste of time, and if we see it, it should be cleaned up properly and the cause fixed. I know that the mold industry does not want to hear this, but to date this is what the real science supports. Here is what Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Alert has to say about it:
Toxic mold. Popular reports about the health effects of mold are likely to include the term “toxic mold.” But that term can be misleading, the experts say. They point out that only certain mold spores produce toxins, and only under certain circumstances. Just because a particular mold can produce toxins doesn’t mean it will. Even if the mold is producing toxins, a person must breathe in a sufficient dose to be affected. It is highly unlikely that you could inhale enough mold in your home or office to receive a toxic dose.
Mold and Asthma. While allergic responses to inhaling mold are a recognized factor in lower airway disease such as asthma, studies show that outdoor mold is more likely to cause problems for asthmatics than mold found indoors. A better assessment of the effects of indoor mold on people with asthma would require studies that follow people over a long period and take into account factors that could affect the results, such as humidity and other airborne allergens and irritants.
Mold and Allergies. The link between mold and allergies is even weaker, the experts say. Current research doesn’t provide a persuasive case that exposure to mold in the outdoor air plays a role in allergies, and studies linking indoor molds to upper airway allergy are even less compelling.
You can check out the rest at: Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Alert
All of this may be consistent with the pendulum rightfully swinging the other way on the mold issue–hopefully it will not swing so wildly again, but stay within the grasp of science.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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