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Mold Exposure as a Precursor to Asthma in Infants

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, January 25, 2016

In a recent study examining the likelihood of developing asthma after being exposed to mold, researchers have found a high positive correlation between infants who were exposed to mold and their development of asthma by the age of 7. Interestingly, mold has often been swept under the rug so to speak, in terms of the public (and medical professional's) perception of the extent of danger it may pose. The University of Cincinnati found in this longitudinal study that those children who were in homes as infants with air conditioning, interestingly- had a slightly lower rate of asthma by age 7 than their counterparts. This is thought to be a result of the effects of AC on relative humidity, insofar as slowing mold growth in slightly less humid environments. The take away message for this study is not only to be extra cautious with infants in situations where there may be mold present, but that those in restoration and remediation can work with scientists and researchers aiming to examine the long term effects of mold exposure with a wealth of information that can in most cases, be developed into a standard coding scheme for industry wide interaction and contribution.

Mold Exposure Linked to Clinical Depression

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Thursday, January 21, 2016

Brown University Epidemiologist Edmond Shenassa first uncovered the link between mold exposure and clinical depression in 2007. His study was the largest at the time in examination of the correlates between mold and mental state(s) of the ~6,000 subjects. Interestingly, Shanassa first set out on this investigation with the ultimate goal of debunking earlier literature that suggested a link between mold and depression. This groundbreaking study opened Pandora's Box for scientists studying depression, since statistically speaking moving forward, controls for household mold would be a staple in any future studies.Mold's mycotoxins have historically been known for 'impeding function of the frontal cortex' the control center for behavior, socialization, problem solving and memory. Mycotoxicity has also been linked to a host of neurological infections including fungal meningitis. Interrupting neural circuitry that is essential in everyday activity can certainly result in behavior significant of DSM criterion for clinical depression, however the precise function of mycotoxin exposure and how it interrupts specific neural processes has yet to be uncovered.

State of Emergency in Waterford/ Halfmoon in Effect

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Since Waterford/ Halfmoon cannot take water from the Hudson river because of the extraordinarily high levels of environmental contaminants, they source their supply from the City of Troy. With Troy's water main break over this  past weekend, Waterford/ Halfmoon has declared a State of Emergency requiring all large customer water consumers to go offline for the time being. Residents of Waterford have been asked not to use the water for anything other than critical needs. Water is being brought in for residents currently by the truck load.

Normally running at 14,000 gallons per minute, the water is not even reaching the pipelines according to officials, as it runs now at  a rate of 1,200 gallons/ minute. Troy officials do not know why the water line that fractured is effecting the water flow into Waterford. However, residents are being asked to boil any water they DO use critically. East Greenbush, another locality that receives water supplied by the City of Troy also is feeling the pressure without good pressure. They do not have a boil water advisory currently, but are eagerly awaiting resolution.

Water flowed through the streets of Lansingburgh this past weekend, permeating everything in it's path. If you or anyone you know was affected by this issue, the American Red Cross is handing out cleanup kits to residents. For more information, please call (518) 462-7461. If you need assistance drying or with water mitigation, please call us 877-MACFAWN

Cleaning Your Lint Trap to Prevent Dryer Fires

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, January 18, 2016


One of the leading causes of fires in a residence is the dubious lint traps in the dryer that we often overlook each time we make the transfer. It is imperative that each and every time the dryer is used- that the lint trap is cleaned. According to the US Fire Administration, there are ~3000 dryer fires each year that lead to on average, 5 deaths, 100 injuries and over $35 million in damages collectively.

Lint can often not only accumulate in the lint trap itself, but it can also accumulate in the back of the dryer. It is recommended that the dryer vent is cleaned out once every three months. Don't be one of the 3000 Americans that suffer lint fires!

Mold Legislation New York State

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, January 15, 2016

As you may know, as of January of 2016, New York State has adopted new legislation that requires Mold Remediation professionals to attain New York State Licenses from the New York State Department of Labor for their respective trades. In order to do so, the state requires Remediation Professionals and Workers in the industry much attend formal training and likewise Mold Assessment professionals must do the same. This is to ensure that consumer protection is in place; from fraud and from dangerous mold by poorly trained or untrained ‘professionals’ who may not carry out mold remediation or abatement properly.

This legislation, now formally in effect also requires an independent assessment be completed prior to the mold remediation work. This must be completed by either a Licensed Industrial Hygienist or Assessor who will take samples indoors and out and then delineate for the Remediation company, a formal Remediation Plan. Once the remediation has been completed, the space must be passed through clearance testing; whereby the [independent] Assessor will then take another set of samples to ensure that the work has been completed properly. Furthermore, the legislation requires that remediation companies both use and provide documentation of EPA approved disinfectant products and that their respective licenses and project description be posted on each job site.

In light of the many issues home owners and business owners have faced in the years following Hurricanes Katrina and Irene, putting legislation such as this in place, is intended to afford residents protection from not only ill defined scope(s) of work in their home(s) or business(es), but protection from dangerous industrial chemicals that have been used by companies looking to save money and sidestep EPA regulated disinfectant products. The legislation will also provide a paradigm shift in the way remediation and abatement services are carried out with a more secure system of checks and balances in place with multiple parties weighing in on remediation plan(s) and a clearance test to ensure that there is no residual mold in the space(s) being remediated. In recent years, mold has come to the forefront of attention amongst health professionals and scientific research as its’ byproducts have been discovered to lead to chronic health issues and death. As a result of these discoveries, it is pertinent to explore every facet of mold, including the professional industries that aim to remove it from public (and private) space(s). This legislation marks a new age in Mold Remediation; offering protection to both consumers and professionals.

Space Heaters Are The Worst Kind Of Fire Hazard

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, January 15, 2016


Portable heaters during the winter months are commonplace in the Northeast as temperatures plummet to the sub-zeros and linger for months. However, space heaters are in fact one of the leading cause of fires during the winter months; causing on average 79% of all fatal home fires. If you should choose to use a space heater during the winter months, it is imperative that you remember to move any flammable materials, textiles or objects away from the unit. The heat that eminates from a portable heater is extensive and objects near or around the unit, all too often catch on fire without enough time to react; especially when a portable heater is left in a room unattended.

In 2007, the National Fire Protection Association reported an overwhelming 66,400 fires of which 580 lost their lives in due to portable heating units. In that year, 1850 were injured and the cost of total damages from this subtype of fires exceeded $600 million in losses. The bottom line is, turn your heat up if you are cold. Space heaters use an extraordinary amount of electricity and can lead to devastating loss that one may not ever fully recover from.

Mold is a Real Threat To Human Health

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

As you may know, as of January of 2016, New York State has adopted new legislation that requires Mold Remediation professionals to attain New York State Licenses from the New York State Department of Labor for their respective trades. In order to do so, the state requires Remediation Professionals and Workers in the industry much attend formal training and likewise Mold Assessment professionals must do the same. This is to ensure that consumer protection is in place; from fraud and from dangerous mold by poorly trained or untrained 'professionals' who may not carry out mold remediation or abatement properly.

This legislation, now formally in effect also requires an independent assessment be completed prior to the mold remediation work. This must be completed by either a Licensed Industrial Hygienist or Assessor who will take samples indoors and out and then delineate for the Remediation company, a formal Remediation Plan. Once the remediation has been completed, the space must be passed through clearance testing; whereby the [independent] Assessor will then take another set of samples to ensure that the work has been completed properly. Furthermore, the legislation requires that remediation companies both use and provide documentation of EPA approved disinfectant products and that their respective licenses and project description be posted on each job site.

In light of the many issues home owners and business owners have faced in the years following Hurricanes Katrina and Irene, putting legislation such as this in place, is intended to afford residents protection from not only ill defined scope(s) of work in their home(s) or business(es), but protection from dangerous industrial chemicals that have been used by companies looking to save money and sidestep EPA regulated disinfectant products. The legislation will also provide a paradigm shift in the way remediation and abatement services are carried out with a more secure system of checks and balances in place with multiple parties weighing in on remediation plan(s) and a clearance test to ensure that there is no residual mold in the space(s) being remediated. In recent years, mold has come to the forefront of attention amongst health professionals and scientific research as its' byproducts have been discovered to lead to chronic health issues and death. As a result of these discoveries, it is pertinent to explore every facet of mold, including the professional industries that aim to remove it from public (and private) space(s). This legislation marks a new age in Mold Remediation; offering protection to both consumers and professionals.

Testing For Mycotoxins

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, January 06, 2016


Testing for mycotoxins can be a very difficult and complicated venture. Some of the most advanced cases of mycotoxicity may even go un-noticed with false negative tests. This is because mycotoxins have a way of 'hiding' within cells as intracellular dwelling substances. When mycotoxins are sequestered within cells, they are free of detection by most tests. However, there is a strong body of evidence that suggests that certain kinds of detox including sauna treatments will force the mycotoxin out of the cell dwelling, making them available for more accurate testing outside of the cells in which they will attempt to inhibit. Testing IgG, IgA and IgM (ImmuneGlobulins) can paint a much clearer picture as to whether or not someone who is demonstrating signs and symptoms has been effected by mycotoxins. IgG, IgA and IgM are all antibodies that are created in the presence of certain types of mold/ biotoxin. Their presence or absence are good indicators of the presence or absence of certain types of mold in the home and mycotoxins in the body.

Another approach to testing for mycotoxins that has bene very successful is HLA testing. Every person has an HLA allele from each parent. Depending on the characterization of this allele, a trained practitioner can generally determine if the type or combination of types is more or less susceptible to mold.  This is a sort of baseline test that will help to delineate the treatment. More susceptible persons (as determined by HLA type) respond very differently to various treatments and likewise do those who are less susceptible respond better to different treatements (or mycotoxin binders).

Last, but certainly not least testing for biomarkers such as TGF-β1, C4a, C3a, MSH, VIP, VEGF, and MMP-9. that are all associated with mycotoxicity can help to uncover the type of biotoxin or mycotoxin that is causing illness(es) in patients.

Frigid Winter Weather Hits the Northeast Check For Drafts

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The El Nino season sure has left the Northeast with some unseasonably warm and suddenly very cold weather patterns. Between the 72 degree weather on December 24th and the 2 degrees this morning, many of us are scrambling to re-seal those windows and doors where cool air drafts can sneak into the interior structures. It is very important to be sure to eliminate any of these drafts, especially this evening with the temperature falling to 0 or below in many locations around the Capital Region.

If you are in a pinch, using a towel or throw rolled up against the door will eliminate a good amount of air that may move through from outside. In this weather, remember how quickly a glass of water can freeze to a solid state (30 minutes flat) and recall that water expands as it transforms into ice. When this happens inside plumbing, what seemed like a cold day before, can turn into a nightmare if a pipe bursts and you're dealing with cleanup crews in and out of the house!

Be safe, stay warm and check for drafts throughout the house tonight! It may save you a bundle!

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Mold Exposure

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, January 04, 2016


Mold legislation in New York State is now in effect starting Jan 2016 due to the nature of mold, effects on human health and consumer protection against overpriced remediation and improper remediation. Starting this year, mold remediation in New York state requires that mold first be assessed by a licensed assessor, generally an Industrial Hygenist who will identify the mold genus and species, a plan for remediation and a ballpark figure of cost. Since Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, many Florida and New York Residents have not only assumed disasterous mold resurfacing after poorly completed remediation jobs, but more importantly debilitating health effects from [chronic] mold exposure.

A well established, causative link between mold; mycotoxin exposure and kidney/ liver cancer(s), respiratory infections, sinus infections, skin infections, brain infections (fungal meningitis) and death has been made and validated time and time again.  There also appears to be a close association with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (or what has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia/ CFS without first testing for mycotoxicity). In a recent study, almost 95% of the people diagnosed with CFS also tested positive for high levels of mycotoxins versus the control group (healthy individuals) who had a 0%; yes ZERO PERCENT mycotoxicity rate as delineated by many laboratory tests.

It goes without saying, that mold exposure seems to be a much bigger issue at large than what the CDC presently reports. While mold itself may be a relatively benign substance, it's byproducts are deadly and can take a serious toll on your health!