Why MOLD is something we need to take very seriously.



"We estimate that it's between 80 and a hundred million people that are impacted in the U S alone. So how many of those people don't know? I would say probably 30 to 40% are walking around and have no idea" -Michael Rubino

I have often heard of the dangers of mold in our homes but little did I know it can cause health issues in people of all ages and in many cases, it is not visible. Below is my interview with Michael Rubino AKA The Mold Medic. Michael explains what we need to look for an what to do if you suspect your home might have mold. If you would prefer to watch the interview, you will find the video at the bottom of this page.



Natalie:

We often hear people talk about air quality. And usually they're talking about outdoor air quality, but today I want to talk about indoor air quality specifically when it comes to mold. The scary part about this and the type of quality that we're talking about in air is that people don't even know that mold in their indoor air could be affecting their health. And today I'm talking to the man known as the mold medic Michael Ravino. Tell me how you got into this and specifically how dangerous indoor air quality can be and how it can be affecting our health. And we might not even realize it. Yeah,


Michael :

Sure. I mean, you know, basically I've been around construction my entire lives and some five years old, my dad was a contractor. So being around construction and he was a restoration contractor as well, typically with fires. And, you know, as you know, when you have a fire, it gets put out with water. One of the big things with mold can actually be impacted by because water obviously gives it the opportunity for mold to grow. At that point, you know, just being exposed to these things and seeing how, in retrospect, the way insurance companies looked at mold and things like that. I think a lot of restoration even still today, unfortunately it doesn't get done properly and gives us this false insecurity. So when it comes to mold exposure and indoor air quality, you have these particles that get into our body. Typically at eye amounts can really disrupt our immune system. Some of the symptoms you'll really hear about is brain fog, chronic fatigue, respiratory respiratory disease, and respiratory infection allergy like symptoms like the onset of a cold that quite never goes away. So it's confusing cause it can correlate the so many other diagnosises, but I think if you're not feeling well, you really want to include indoor air quality as part of the picture and optimizing your health. How


Natalie:

Would someone even know? You know, you, maybe you have a cold, you just think it's a cold, but do you always see mold? Should you be looking for it or is it invisible? Well, it


Michael :

Actually, it's so small that it's 25 times smaller than, than what the naked eye can see. So when you do see it on your wall, you know, there could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of it present, colonized in that one area. So most of the time it's going to be hidden behind a wall cavity or some sort of leak that's been ongoing for awhile that you may not be aware of. So it can make things a little tricky. What you want to do is a, if you want to see if mold is a problem, you should hire a mold inspector to do testing of the home, to identify what's there. How much of it, you know, how much is there and what you need to do about it? You also can actually test the body as well to see if there's mycotoxin exposure created by these sources of mold. And that can correlate with the data found testing in the home.


Natalie:

So how many people do you think are affected by mold toxins? And they don't know it and they don't know


Michael :

It. It's hard to say we, when we look at all the diagnosis surrounding mold toxicity, we estimate that it's between 80 and a hundred million people that are impacted in the U S alone. So how many of those people don't know? I would say probably 30 to 40% are walking around and have no idea.


Natalie:

They're just sick. They always have a cold or allergies and they're, they're taking allergy medicine, not realizing it could be something in their home. Yeah. Yeah. And if,


Michael :

Think about it, you know, we take 20,000 breasts per day. You're, you're consuming more air than water or food or supplements for that matter. And we never even think about air quality in something that can impact our health. And it's probably the most detrimental to our health.


Natalie:

Yeah, for sure. Okay. So step number one, have some, have yourself tested, have your home tested? What do you recommend? I would say do both,


Michael :

You know, because I think it's a two-part process. You have to remove yourself from the exposure. So you do that by, you know, remediating the home, fixing the mold issues that are prevalent inside the home, but you also need to quote unquote, remediate the body and how we do that. As we detoxify, we get the mold, you know, the mold and the toxicity that it creates out of our body, taking things like binders, seeing a functional medicine or a naturopathic doctor to help kind of change your diet and lifestyle. So


Natalie:

Let me, let me just be sure that I'm really clear. So if there's mold in your home and you're having symptoms, maybe the brain fog, you said, or allergy like symptoms, are you saying that it, that it kind of establishes itself in your body? So just leaving the home or the area where you might be having the mold exposure isn't enough, like it lives in your body. Yeah. So it actually


Michael :

Will like disrupt the intestinal, you know, the GI track definitely messes with the gut microbiome and it, there is a, a level of inflammation that it creates where you actually do want to detoxify the toxins out of your body. People do feel better when they remove themselves from the exposure, but I would say to really get that hundred percent back, you would definitely want to probably intentionally detoxify and go on like an anti-inflammatory diet.


Natalie:

Are you doing the same type of work like that other companies are doing? Are they all treating the mold the same way and how do they get rid of mold in a house if they find it? Unfortunately


Michael :

Not. I mean, pretty much I've developed these three fundamental procedures. If you will, that you have removed the colony of mold. We talked about that earlier. That may be what you physically see growing on a wall inside of a wall, cavity cetera. But two, you have to correct the actual opportunity that led to the mold growth in the first place. Maybe a window is leaking and that window needs to be fixed. Maybe you have a leaking pipe, something like that. The third and final important part is you want to remove the contamination that's been created by that source of mold. And unfortunately, that's really not part of our standards and mold remediation. It's really not taught in these classes. When you go to get your certifications, it's, it's really a thing that we've kind of left by the wayside. And I think that's the missing ingredient when it comes to someone who is sensitive to mold or, you know, has some sort of auto-immune deficiency already, that's going to make them more susceptible to environmentally acquired illness. These particles that are left in the environment thereafter, they still can get kicked up into the breathing zone, entering the body or research-related through the HVAC. So it's really important to do that final cleaning step. And


Natalie:

How are you treating it? Is it a chemical that gets rid of it? Are you scraping it off? Or how do you get rid of mold?


Michael :

Should we use all botanical products? So no chemicals. However, there are chemicals that, that are on the marketplace that you could use if, if that's something you'd prefer but really you want to remove it. And that's the key, you know, in the past we looked at it like trying to kill it, right? It's it's a living organism, so you want to kill it. We started realizing that even dead mold can actually still impact the body. It could still cause a reaction because really any allergic reaction, essentially as a foreign substance entering the body and your body kind of starts to attack it. Right? So we want to, we want to make sure we're removing the mold and not trying to spray things to kill it. So HEPA vacuums that are special vacuums that can filtrate smaller particles, such as mold you know, microfiber towels and our cleaning solution has basically a, a good mix of surfactant to disinfect it. So it does soap up a bit, giving you like that. Degreaser helping separate mold from the surfaces and wipe it away. And then you throw the towel away. I'm


Natalie:

Fascinated by this because, you know, we, there's so many cleaning products on the market and I go to clean a shower or something, and you think, I just want to kill stuff, but I worry as a mom three kids and pets in the house that we're creating another problem with harsh chemicals. Is that what you found to be the case? I'm hearing you talk about panicles and that a lot of these chemicals


Michael :

They're, oxidizers, they're not good for our organs. They're oxidizing or organs you know, they're, they do more harm than good that they actually try to solve. So I think a lot of what can be done today can all be done with organic or botanical products. Plant-Based no chemicals, really all you're trying to do when you're cleaning anything is you're trying to remove what's there.


Natalie:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I, I'm fascinated by that. And I think it's really important sometimes overlooked that we kill things with chemicals that we create and other problems. So I'm glad you mentioned that. Where do you most often find mold? Is it around doors and showers because of the moist atmosphere? Yeah, so I


Michael :

Would say probably basements and crawl spaces are the most prominent because they're below ground. So you have that hydrostatic pressure that allows moisture to intrude into the space, raising the relative humidity and creating that environment for mold to grow. It only takes 60% humidity for mold to start to grow. So it's something you want to be conscious of. The other, the other hotspots are going to be kitchens and bathrooms, of course, with pipes and, and, you know, having water present, there's a potential for leaks and things like that. And believe it or not addicts are, are another big ones. Sometimes people get new installation installed. They just install it right over their existing installation. They block their ventilation that is supposed to, you know, the addict's designed to breathe. And so unfortunately they caused themselves some harm. There don't allow that humidity to escape the attic the way it's supposed to. And it can cause some mold growth there. And I've seen that a lot. And I'm guessing


Natalie:

Areas like where you are in Tampa, coastal are more common areas for this issue then like I'm in Colorado and drier climates. Do you still see mold issues in drier climates? Yeah, I think


Michael :

So. I mean, you know, we've, we've gotten calls from Arizona, which happens to be a drier climate of course. And I think, you know, it's kind of one of those things where when you're in a drier climate, you inadvertently do things to kind of make it more comfortable, such as add humidity to your environment. And if you do something like that and you're not paying attention to it or the humidistat breaks or something, and you're actually creating so much humidity that you can almost see the moisture developing on the windows or the walls, you know, you've got too much humidity and now you have an environment where mold can grow. So we have to be careful of how we counteract certain things and, you know, really thinking about mold and, you know, as we make these types of decisions. So


Natalie:

The first step is I'm going to call somebody, make sure that there's not mold living where I can't see it in my basement and my air ducts, whatever. And who am I looking for? I mean, obviously you, but if you're not there, are you Googling someone in your area that is air quality expert? What would you look for? Yeah. I mean,


Michael :

You can even go on like the ACAC is a big organization that certifies ML professionals you can go on the ACAC website and it's literally acac.org and go and find a professional who's certified to do it. Cause I think that's really key in some states you have to be licensed, but not in all states. So you want to at least find someone who went through the trouble to get certified, went through the educational process to say I'm a professional. But I think the also kind of want to look at it, like I'm asking them enough questions to really understand what they plan to do is key. It really should be like a home inspection. You know, when you buy a house, you have this like four-hour home inspection that takes it takes a long time, but they find a lot of issues typically that you know, that you can correct. That's how a mold inspection really should be. It should be like four or five hours really going through every nook and cranny of the home to try to find anything they can find to test and make sure that there's not an issue. Obviously you don't want to find stuff, but you'd rather find it than not. Right. So I think that that's really what it comes down to. You want to find someone who's good in thorough?


Natalie:

Yeah. And then asking them how they're going to treat it if they find it exactly. Can you a lot of DIY wires out there right now, can you do this on your own? Can you test and can you treat yourself, is this going to be effective as an individual?


Michael :

You can do anything on your own. I think it's really just coming down to do you have the knowledge right. To do it because you can, you can make things worse. So for instance, let's say you open up a wall and you don't have your engineering controls set up properly to prevent that mold from cross contaminating and another areas. What you could end up doing by accident is just by opening up the wall, you can release hundreds of thousands, if not millions of molds board that can cross-connect into other parts of the home. So at that point you wouldn't really be removing the mold. You'd be redistributing it to other parts of the home. So that, that's the one thing you gotta be careful when you're doing the actual removal process and then testing too. I think when you're, when you're testing for mold, you really want to make sure that you have a good grasp on what to look for, how to sample properly use utilizing there's actual sampling methodology standards to collect the samples. So you can make sure that you have an accurate picture of what's there.


Natalie:

So if say someone finds what they think would be mold spores. I don't know what else it could be in a shower. Are you, would you be pretty confident it's if you're seeing it somewhere like that, that it's prevalent throughout that area. It's not just what you're seeing with the physical eye. Yeah.


Michael :

So typically, I mean, grouts semi porous. So you, you tend to see it a lot in grout cause obviously there's moisture in the shower area, but it's typically indicative of a problem elsewhere, right? Typically there's already a source of mold inside of your house that it just has the opportunity because the sport's already in the environment that when there is moisture prevalent in the, you know, hit the, the kitchen, the bathrooms, you'll start to see that mold growing in inside the grout. So I would say it's probably a good time to get your house checked and make sure, because you may be driving yourself nuts, keep cleaning the bathroom when really the problem is.


Natalie:

Yeah. And I have family with allergies and we just assume it's pollen in the air, you know, but it might be something else. So an incredible topic and one that we just don't think of enough. So I appreciate you bringing it to light your book. You've become the mold medic. I don't know if you, if you wanted that moniker, but it's a good one. Tell me about the book. What will people find in your book? So the book is


Michael :

Really seven years of research and development, working with people who are immunocompromised. And I think that's really what, what the book has really highlighted that I'm doing things at a level of standard that no one else is. And I kind of go through that, those levels of standards and what the consumer should be doing. And what the, the contractors who do exactly what we do should be doing for these people. In my opinion, right now, there should be one standard that covers everybody, whether you're sick or not, right, because then it would be the same standards right now. We seem to have this disparity where if you are sensitive to mold, you almost need a specialist, but it doesn't really make sense, right? Because we're, we all call ourselves mold remediators. So why is there this disparity between one specialist and a regular contractor, if you will.


Michael :

So the book really dives into that and, and how things need to change and what we can do about it. And I give, you know, very simple steps of what to do from top to bottom between remediation the HPAC system, reconstructing it. So you don't have a reoccurring issue. And I go into, you know, all the different types of molds, how they impact the body, what you can do on the health side. I actually teamed up with a Dr. Michael BiaMonte to write that section of the book to kind of go over the body and how you handle the body. And, you know, it's really informative, especially if, if you think you have mold, it's really gonna help put up, put these steps in proper sequence for you.


Natalie:

So the book is, is for professionals, but for the consumer as well, for someone like me to say, you know, I, I think one of my kids might have, what's not an allergy. It could be mold that I could dive into the book and know if maybe that's what's causing it. Yeah. And


Michael :

I wrote, I wrote it in very simple layman's terms so that you didn't need a college degree to read the book and understand how mold can potentially impact you and what you can do about it.


Natalie:

Michael, thanks so much. I really appreciate the information. I think it's really important. I'm all about natural health and helping people empower themselves to figure out what the problem is. And this is one, I think it's overlooked often. So thanks for shedding some light. Yes. And thanks for having me and helping with that. You bet we'll take care and we'll talk again soon. Perfect.


Link: MIchael's book on Amazon


INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE:




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