At the heart of our service is a commitment to objective, tenable, scientific principles and methodologies.
Our staff have experience in developing sampling and testing protocols for projects as “ordinary” as a residential inspection for household moulds or as exotic as tracer gas migration studies for the National Center for Atmospheric Research; all using the same, sound scientific concepts and controls.
Our studies and investigations are designed to address the unknown, present objective information in a tenable fashion based on sound scientific foundations and documented practices and procedures. Our analytical and technical support teams include some of the finest laboratories in the country.
We take investigations beyond “cook-book chemistry” and mindless collection of samples, and employ goal oriented problem solving with solid foundations in scientific principles.
The work product is a fully documented report of observations, rationale, protocol, conclusions and recommendations.
Recent media attention has raised the indoor mould issue to a fevered pitch that is more science fiction than science.
There is no such thing as “toxic mould” and most home owners are sufficiently skilled to deal with moisture intrusion and mould colonization issues on their own.
Mould "testing" as performed by self proclaimed "certified mould inspectors" and other such titles is virtually always meaningless and is used merely to impress the client. The "testing" and "sampling" commonly performed by these individuals almost always is meaningless, misleading, and entirely uninterpretable.
Legitimate experts involved in the assessment of indoor moulds virtually never will collect a sample, or perform a “test.”
Although legitimate sampling and testing protocols are available, those protocols are very expensive, usually starting as about $1,500 and are virtually never needed for a building assessment.
In most states, anyone, regardless of actual training and experience may simply sit at their computer and print out their own “certificate” and automatically declare themselves a “certified mould assessor” or other similar term. Legitimate experts virtually never use such terms and more typically are identified as “Industrial Hygienists” “Mycologists” “Microbiologists” and other recognized fields of legitimate science.
Due to the mysterious nature of microbes, and media hype, frequently an expert is required to put things into perspective, and FACTs provides that consultation. Read the following scientific discussions on “toxic mould.”
FACTs has prepared the following discussions on the issue of indoor moulds.
Although all of our work is strictly confidential, and not avaialble to the public, some of our clients have placed their reports on the web. Here is an example of a typical mould report:
FACTs has exentsive experience in clandestine drug laboratories and contaminated properties; a list of projects is available here. Most states are moving toward regulations concerning clandestine drug lab clean-up, and paramount to the remediation, is a need to understand the degree and type of contamination that is present. Industrial hygienists frequently have backgrounds in analytical chemistry, sampling theory and toxicology and are ideally suited for performing risk based chemical exposure assessments.
In some states, only authorized Industrial Hygienists are permitted to perform the work.
FACTs provides the entire range of assessment services, including the preparation of "scopes-of-work" and helping the client solicit and select an appropriate remediation company. Due to a conflict of interest, under no circumstances should a property owner/manager allow a remediation company to perform the assessment or perform final clearance sampling.
In addition to performing field assessments, FACTs provides Certified Meth-Lab Safety Training for First Responders through private contract and through the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute (Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice). We have provided over 215 hours of methlab training for officers in over 25 Colorado Police agencies, 20 Sheriff’s Offices, federal agents, and probation and parole officers from several Colorado judicial districts. We have provided meth-lab lectures to prestigious organizations such as the County Sheriff’s of Colorado, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, radio programs and the National Safety Council.
Our training courses are designed for both law enforcement sensitive and general public audiences. Our law enforcement sensitive classes include step by step manufacturing processes, and tactical considerations for entry.
Some consultants are unlawfully identifying themselves as "Industrial Hygienists" (a term defined by most State's statutes). Below is a standard "Statement of Qualifications" for FACTs lead Industrial Hygienist complete with a link to a detailed list of projects.
FACTs has prepared Several web discussions on methlab and clanlab issues:
Indoor Environmental Quality is an assessment of the totality of the environment in relationship to the human occupant. Frequently the onset of symptomology or discomfort in an indoor environment is automatically blamed on poor indoor air quality (IAQ).
However, more often than not, reported discomforts and symptoms are not related exclusively to the quality of the indoor air. In many cases, resolution of “IAQ issues” have nothing to do with addressing the air or ventilation at all.
FACTs performs extensive work in soot and smoke damaged properties to determine the residual contaminants and their potential hazards. Smoke damage can occur in properties following wildfires as well as proximity to other structural fires.
A very broad approach to resolving indoor air quality problems therefore is required to improve the possibility of success. FACTs is an active member of the ASTM International Standards D22 Committee on Air Quality, and has actively written portions of the various ASTM International Standards.
Indoor Air Quality Assessments have, for decades been within the prevue of the Industrial Hygienist. More recently, pseudoscientific organizations and some Home Inspection organizations are offering “certificates” in Indoor Air Quality to their members. Typically, the newly “certified” IAQ consultant spends useless time collecting useless samples of unnecessary parameters, and send the samples to laboratories designated by their organization. Resolution of IAQ issues hinges more on experience in understanding building systems, toxicology, and physiology than in collecting unnecessary samples.
FACTs has provided a brief discussion on Indoor Air Quality:
Although many employers dread receiving a letter from OSHA advising of a potential violation, for the most part, regional OSHA offices are very helpful and very professional. Their primary objective is not to prosecute the employer, but rather to help the employer provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.
For the employer, healthy and active employees result in greater productivity and better profit margins. Everyone wins!
OSHA offices are a great sources of help and information, and FACTs employees have many decades of experience providing the necessary liaison services between OSHA and the employer. FACTs can help the employer navigate the regulatory waters by performing the necessary compliance auditing work, and providing recommendations on how to improve compliance.
In about half of our OSHA compliance assessments, FACTs finds that the employer is in compliance and no further action is necessary. In the remaining cases, typically, only minor administrative or procedural changes are needed to achieve compliance.
Where major changes to work practices are required, FACTs can help the employer achieve those goals in a cost sensible manner.
So whether it is lasers, radiation, sound and noise, chemical exposures, confined spaces, or issues surrounding personal protection equipment, FACTs can help you achieve your goals to ensure a healthy, safe, compliant workplace.
Science for the Real World
Your …[discussion] … is as good a statement of the mold problem as I have seen. There is far too much mold hysteria by the general public. This is due to misinformation, the 24 hour news cycle, the lack of scientific education by the general public, and occasionally industry avarice. It is easy for various mold remediation businesses to feed this hysteria, both by deliberately exaggerating the mold risk, and by well meaning individuals ignorant of, or just misunderstanding the scientific facts.
I commend you for your willingness to engage in the debate on this list.
John F. James, Ph.D., MPH, DPH,(ABMM)
Department of Epidemiology
Your explanations are invariably meticulous, balanced and erudite. Your intellectual and moral integrity is one of the few respites in this debacle. Thank you again for your exemplary professionalism.
R. Garrett, M.D.
I read your paper regarding Indoor Fungal Concentrations. I couldn't agree more with your
Michael Geyer PE, CIH, CSP
KERNTEC Industries, Inc.
Your State of Knowledge document is the best I have seen at summarizing the current knowledge on the health effects related to mold. I have read many of the documents you discussed and a document like yours would be very useful in providing a concise document to individuals who have a limited amount of time to spend becoming knowledgeable about a subject.
I hope we are able to use this document and if you have any questions please contact me at this email or feel free to call me.
By the way, your web page is GREAT!
LCDR William Crump, CHEM, R.S., M.P.H.
Rhinelander District Environmental Health Officer
Well researched and thorough. I enjoyed reading it and agree with you entirely.
Bill Albrecht, Ph.D., CIH, DABT
NEXUS Environmental Group, Inc.
Thank you for sharing your experience on molds (UKOH); it is perfectly timed... Your papers support the advice that I have given them, which was essentially that a mold free environment is unattainable, that they should check for and address moisture problems, maintain their HVAC system, effect good housekeeping, and keep RH levels around 50%.
Dwayne A. Curtis
Chief Public Analyst
Department of Environmental Health Services
P.O.Box N 8903
Your article on mold is almost exactly what I teach to our new hires when we talk about indoor air quality issues. I explain that our 21st century society has been very misinformed regarding mold by the news media.
Bruce E. Cunha RN MS COHN-S
Employee Health and Safety
Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield WI
Thank you very much for your excellent presentation on “Regulations and Industrial Hygiene Implications Pertaining to the Cleaunup of Methamphetamine Laboratories” during our June meeting.
Lisa Barnes, PE CIH
American Industrial Hygiene Association
Rocky Mountain Section
Dear Mr. Connell,
Not only are you an excellent public speaker, but you did an amazing job of breaking down complex science and data interpretation. My Middle School classroom recently produced a test result of 4 Pc of radon and I couldn’t for the life of me understand the concept of measurement units or why such a “dangerous carcinogen” wasn’t regulated….especially in a school!
I watched your videos and read the website to educate myself and my colleagues about our immediate situation, but was so fascinated by your presentation of the science behind the radon mystery, that my husband and I watched for an hour!
Thank you for a fascinating, informative lecture.
The presentation you gave today on methamphetamine was excellent. Our employees learned a great deal and requested further meetings with more in-depth information. Many individuals related to me that they thought this was “one of the best” in-service meetings we ever had.
Cheri Z. Clymer, AAS, CPTDI
Thompson School District
Caoimhín is an investigator of the highest caliber, who meticulously researches problems, notices details, is skilled in following standard protocol for data collection and management, and documents all details of his work. His interpretation of the data and his written reports have always accurate and thorough. I’m always confident when presenting his reports to our scientists—they are tough critics!
Milenda L. Powers, CIH
Health, Environmental and Safety Services
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
InSure Fire, Water, and Mold has worked with Caoimhín P. Connell many times over the past five years. With every job he has done for us he has been extremely thorough and his honesty is beyond reproach. He has always had a strong work ethic, great follow-up and the patience to educate us. He has always been available to answer any questions we may have regarding a certain job.
Director of Operations
InSure Fire Water and Mold
As a fellow professional, I know how difficult it is to put time aside to prepare and practice to present a course. It was obvious by your skillful delivery and presentation that you made the necessary effort to prepare for the AIHA/RMS 2006 CIH Preparatory Course (Biosafety).
The participants rated the course a worthwhile investment of their time. These positive results were a direct consequence of you and your fellow volunteer instructors’ efforts.
James L. Lieberman, CIH
Education Committee Chair
American Industrial Hygiene Association
Rock Mountain Section
You have posted the best review of toxic mold I've seen. I have a professional interest as an industrial hygienist, and have read and sampled mold a substantial amount in the last six months. You make the best case for the unscientific nature of the problem. …
Philip R. Boehme, CIH, CSP
Should you ever need a Seattle Fan Club, I would like to be President.
Barbara A. Trenary, CIH,
Principal, Trenary & Associates, LLC
SKC Inc. (www.skcinc.com)
I have appreciated your input on this list which I have followed for four years now. Keep hammering.
Miles Athey, PhD, Toxicology
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts. I keep all of them as reference material. And your wonderful sense of humor is an extra bonus ! Thanks for sharing and participating. We certainly can use some of your wisdom !!!
Indoor Environmental Testing Inc.
You have some great writing on mold and IAQ in general.
Marty E. Sanders, P.E.
Executive Director of Facilities Services
School Board of St. Lucie County
Port St. Lucie, FL
I just wanted to write and tell you how much I appreciate your posts to the IAQ list. I have gotten into the habit of searching for your name so that I can read your well-reasoned responses. You communicate well and, in an area where it is difficult to always say who is absolutely right or wrong, your positions are at least well explained.
Michigan Department of Community Health
Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
Dear Ms Carty,
Thank you very much for the report and for sending this invoice. I was so relieved when I read the lab results! Anyhow, we are so glad that your company was able to accommodate our inspection request and that we received the report in a timely manner. We will certainly recommend your services to friends who might still be house hunting.
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