Despite the major challenges which accompany mold exposure, there are many things you can do to reclaim your health. The first, and most difficult, step with mold treatment is to get out of exposure. Over the years, one of the most common questions I have received is “How do I do this the right way?” In this article, I’ll be sharing some excellent remediation and air filtration resources that can help guide those who might be facing mold and other indoor environmental concerns.
ISEAI Consensus Statements
The International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) is a non-profit organization that I co-found which aims to help both professionals and patients in the environmental health field. ISEAI recently released a step-by-step reference developed by our expert committee of indoor environmental professionals. This is the single best reference I know of for successful remediation tips. Get it, keep it, and share it with anyone you know who is about to undertake the first step of mold treatment – getting out of exposure.
One of the biggest concerns people commonly have when considering remediation is “How will I possibly afford this?” The financial considerations are certainly going to be different for everyone depending on the specific type(s) of remediation needed but there are some steps that can be taken to address issues in a more affordable way. The “Chronic Illness on a Budget and a Prayer
” podcast from Michael Schrantz, CIEC, CMI covers this topic and is well worth the listen.
This third suggestion is possibly my favorite discovery of the year! The Corsi-Rosenthal Box is a simply constructed homemade air cleaner for you home. It was originally developed for schools during COVID and has so many uses in the mold world. Clean air means free of mold, fungal fragments, bacteria, viruses, dead skin, pollen, dust, animal hair, other allergens, VOCs, car exhaust, smoke particulates, and the list goes on.
Clean air is vital for health and, unfortunately, very few buildings or homes really do much to improve air quality. Having an affordable, easily obtained air cleaner, can do a lot to improve our collective health and wellbeing. The section below highlights some really great applications of this method, along with resource links for creating your own Corsi-Rosenthal Box.
Beyond Mold: VOCs, Wildfires, and More
My patients sometimes find themselves reacting to air contaminants other than mold. For instance, one of my patients moved into a new home that is mold-free but found themselves reacting to VOCs in the environment. One thing that can be done in this case is to make a cube with carbon activated MERV-12 (or better) filters. This will soak up a lot of the VOCs nicely. My patient did this and had a very livable home within several weeks.
Because of the reduced cost to make this fan it is possible to make several of them. Including multiple units allows the filtration process to really speed up. I suggest using the Lennox carbon filter linked below or something similar. Other uses include attaching it to garages, use with indoor/outdoor rooms, use while waiting for remediation, or implementing in classrooms or conference spaces.
The use of just one filter strapped to a box fan can also make a big difference in the event of a wildfire. The Nordic Pure filters linked below were incredibly helpful during the Bighorn wildfire we had here two years ago. The way they are made provides so much surface area that they have very little pressure drop, allowing for a lot of air circulation.
We were able to strap the 20 x 20 filter to a box fan without any trouble. Our box fan picked up so much smoke and particulate matter that it looked like a dryer filter someone had forgotten to clean for months. The dust was dripping off it from just three weeks of exposure – much better on a filter than in your lungs!
Lennox X7935 Carbon MERV 16 Filter
Nordic Pure MERV 12 Plus Filter
This video discusses how to make the DIY filter.
You can also read my January blog for additional clean air considerations.