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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!

Mold Detoxification How to Remove Harmful Mycotoxins From Your System

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, December 28, 2015

 Once you've been exposed to mold, it's important not only to remediate the mold from your home(s) and business(es), but to remove it from your system as well. Mold's mycotoxins, biotoxins and endotoxins have a great propensity to 'hide' within cells, thus rendering them difficult to test for and identify with standard laboratory examinations. Dr R. Shoemaker has been a pioneer in both identification of biotoxin pathways in the body, but also in formulating treatment regimines for those who have been exposed to toxic mold using mycotoxin binders. 

Mycotoxin binders are substances that have a great propensity to detox the system of harmful environmental toxins via the GI tract. By ingesting binders such as chlorella, fruit pectin, clay and food grade charcoal (all available at your local healthfood store), one can essentially detox their system using these substances (among many others) by ingesting prescribed amounts (under the care of a trained  practitioner) which will in effect, bind the harmful mycotoxins to itself and exit the body via natural digestion processes. 

For obvious reasons, substances such as clay and food grade charcoal must be consumed in small (and explicitly recommended) amounts so as not to interfere with natural digestive processes. Chlorella has been well evidenced not only to work well as a mycotoxin binder, but also as an anti-inflammatory and detoxifer for many other harmful internal pollutants. Fruit pectin, like chlorella has also been evidenced to have a great propensity to remove heavy metals from the system and has been used in alternative medicine for treating cancer. 

Family Effected By Mold Needs Your Help

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, December 21, 2015


Generally speaking, while we know mold's toxic byproducts are some of the most deadly known to man, we tend to overlook the individual case studies of persons/ families whose lives have become consumed by mold. We recently learned of a devastating case of mycotoxicity and these folks need y(our) help.

Mr. Parsons and his son were living in a dwelling that, over the years had instances of leaking moisture that eventually resulted in long term and chronic exposure to a myriad of mycotoxins that invaded their health, their bodies and yielded their livers incapable of metabolizing toxic substances, a reduction of 50% of [Mr. Parson's] lung capacity and a host of problems that can only be treated in ways their health insurance will not cover. If you are reading this, it's not too late to make a donation to these folks.

Things To Do Around The Capital Region This Holiday Season

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, December 18, 2015


There is lots to do and see this holiday season in the Albany area and all around the Capital Region! A personal favorite for holiday cheer and historic landmark in Albany, is the Palace Theatre. Tonight, the Palace will screen the Christmas favorite, 'It's a Wonderful Life.' Tickets for films at the Palace Theatre for adults is $5 and for children, $3.

Also performing this evening, December 18th 2015, is Disney on Ice at the Times Union Center in Albany. And if you are a fan of the full Christmas Story experience on the holidays, you can enjoy a special stage performance at the Capital Rep Theatre this evening only!

Tomorrow, Sunday and Monday evening, watch as the stage comes to life for A Charlie Brown Christmas special, a rendition hosted by Albany's own Park Playhouse. If you are closer to Schenectady, you can also enjoy a special stage performance of A White Christmas at Proctors Theatre downtown; another amazing historic landmark.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your relationship with snow) it doesn't look like we will have a white Christmas here in the Capital Region with the 60 degree forecast ahead, but Proctors will make a White Christmas possible after all!

Finally, if you haven't made your New Year's Eve plans, now's the time to start planning. We have First Night in Saratoga and lots to do in Albany this year! Moe is coming back for another encore NYE performance for all yee jamband fanatics if First Night doesn't strike you as something you'd like. MiSci is hosting a special Noon Year's Eve for a special child friendly New Year's Eve celebration of the New Year at 12:00 PM at their site in the RPI Tech Park. For a comprehensive review of all Capital Region events, galas and family friendly activities, sign up to receive our newsletter each month and never miss another great Capital Region event again!