Archive for the ‘News’ Category

NORMI Offers Remote Florida Licensing Examination Option

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Abita Springs, LA     August 2014

“We have received many questions regarding the Florida licensing law and want to clear up any confusion regarding that process,” reported Doug Hoffman, Executive Director or NORMI.  “Florida licensure is becoming a national model in an industry where such regulation is necessary  because of its reasonable approach to the industry.  Interestingly, the MRSA and MRSR license and NORMI credentials have proven valuable to mold professionals, no matter in which state they work.”

In November of 2013, NORMI was approved to offer the State of Florida proctored examination for licensure.  As a result, NORMI has partnered with many safety councils across the State of Florida to administer the proctored examination and applicants from all over the country are now finding it easier and more convenient to apply for the Florida license.  Simply by paying the examination fee, the applicant is directed to the proctoring location closest to him/her and given information on how to schedule the examination.  The examination, proctored on location, is then taken online and the results are immediate.  Verification documentation is then emailed to the applicant referencing his/her passing grade.  This testing documentation along with his training document are a part of the initial licensure requirements.

“Although the State of Florida does not require a specific number of hours of initial training (like the 24 hrs. the State of Louisiana requires, for instance),” said Hoffman, “those who challenge the examination are advised to consider taking a course in preparation for the examination (either MRSA or MRSR Prep Course).  The State of Florida DOES require documentation that the applicant has been trained (no specific hours) in ‘mold, moisture and respiratory protection’ and that training can be provided by a variety of training providers.  We have also been approved by the State of Florida to provide that training, as well as the 14 hours of continuing education required for license renewal.”

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediation and Mold Inspectors, offers fourteen certifications and is a non-profit certifying trade association dedicated to support mold and IAQ professionals in the industry.  NORMI is currently aggressively pursing licensure for every state.  For more information, contact 877.251.2296 or email support@normi.org

Happy Birthday to NORMI

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Abita Springs, LA–July 1, 2014

On July 4, 2004 NORMI was created to train and support the mold licensing law in Louisiana, the first of its kind in the nation.  With the help of Tom Blalock and Arnold Schnabel (still on our Board of Directors), Doug Hoffman created the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org) and put it on a course to fill the industry need for highly relevant and accurate mold training for professionals across the country.

Since its inception, NORMI has trained thousands of professionals domestically and internationally through onsite and online programs and developed unique technologies and tools to support the mold industry.  Recognized now as leader in the industry, an approved training provider in multiple states and by major organizations, NORMI continues to lead the industry in the placement of well-qualified professionals into the field by preparing them for licensure in all states that currently require licensing.

With the support of its active membership, the efforts to expand our influence and reach into the marketplace strengthens our position as a real problem-solver to those who are seeking long-term, permanent solutions to both mold and IAQ issues inside their work or living environments.  As we begin our tenth year, we want to thank our active members for their encouragement and support.  NORMI is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people every year and we are proud to be a part of the solution.

For more information on NORMI contact support@normi.org or 877.251.2296

For an ACTIVE NORMI member near you, go to www.NORMIPro.com and search by zipcode.

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Structural Mold from Recent Flooding

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 02, 2014 (Abita Springs, LA) A few simple steps can save property owners thousands of dollars of damage due to structural mold growth, according to Doug Hoffman, executive director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org), a nonprofit organization involved in providing training and certifications for mold and indoor air quality professionals. Taking the necessary steps to avoid structural mold growth will not only preserve the integrity of a building but also the health of its occupants, further explains Kurt and Lee Ann Billings, authors of the book MOLD: The War Within, which details lessons learned from Katrina.  Disaster area residents must be proactive, act quickly, and use proper personal protection equipment when implementing the following ten steps:

1)      Remove standing water—remove wet carpets, rugs, draperies, personal belongings (if possible) and  exterior mulch against the foundation walls, etc., to allow the subflooring and foundation to dry

2)      Dry the structure out as quickly as possible—this is the most important thing you can do as structural mold will begin to form in the first 24-48 hours.  Remove water-saturated sheetrock 18 inches above the highest watermark to increase structural drying

3)      Turn up the heat and use a dehumidifier—when drying out a structure and/or its contents, reduce the indoor humidity to less than 60% and use heat to speed the drying process. Hot, dry air dries things faster than cold moist air

4)      Circulate the air—turn on fans and dehumidifiers or open windows if there is no electricity to get air moving around to increase drying

5)      Don’t seal it up until its dry—siding, sheetrock, and flooring repairs should be done only after the substrates are completely dry. Only use plastic to prevent further water damage.

6)      Don’t use bleach—it is an effective sanitizer but will not remove mold at its root. The mold will look like its gone but it won’t be

7)      Check your attic—undetected roof leaks can become big structural mold problems later

8)      Inspect windows on the outside of the structure—check for possible water seepage through the caulking/seals

9)      Use the sun to your advantage—if you can, move it outside. Let nature do its job

10)  Spray the structure with an enzyme cleaner—as soon as the structure is dry to kill any organism such as mold and bacteria. Use sanitizers on any portion of the structure contaminated by sewage or flood waters. 

 

For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto www.normipro.com or call 1.877.251.2296. 

CONTACT:

Doug Hoffman, CEO

877.251.2296

mediaalert@normi.org

FLORIDA Approves NORMI Assessor and Remediator Examinations for Licensure

Monday, October 21st, 2013

10/18/2013 Tallahassee, FL   The State of Florida Mold-Related Services Board has approved the NORMI Assessor and Remediator examinations for licensure by the State. NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, now joins a small group of select not-for-profit trade organizations with whom the state has partnered to provide competency examinations for the mold industry.

“This is a big day for NORMI,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director. “Since 2004 NORMI has provided direction for great training through its strategic partners in the areas of assessment and remediation for mold contaminated properties. As a certifying agency, the NORMI standards for conduct and professionalism have allowed it to be included in stakeholders for those states who have or are considering mold licensure. This recognition assures the NORMI members and those interested in being a part of our organization the kind of credibility they deserve in a field where competency is critical to the health and welfare of the public.”

“This examination is not easy,” reported Wenford Taylor, Senior Trainer. “Even with the years of experience I have in the field, the State of Florida requires a high level of competency, field knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of this dynamic industry. I recommend the student take a refresher course before sitting for this exam. Though not required to take the exam, current training in the areas of moisture and moisture control, protocol writing and remediation techniques will definitely help.”

NORMI will be offering the two-hour proctored exam at various locations throughout the state for those who are interested in being licensed. Application for examination may be made through the NORMI Examinations link at its homepage (www.NORMI.org) but candidates for licensure must then meet the State of Florida requirements which include a background check and field experience. NORMI Certification automatically follows successful passing of the examination(s) but licensure is not guaranteed as that decision is left entirely to the state for which licensure is requested.

The website at www.NORMI.org  will be changed shortly to reflect the criteria to challenge the examination but for more information on the NORMI Examination, call 877.251.2296 or email support@NORMI.org  For verification of State approval see FLORIDA DBPR Examinations

 

Mold Free Construction by Doug Hoffman

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Mold Free Construction

Mold Free Construction by Doug Hoffman

Every contractor is aware of the great problem of moisture in the home building process. The building protocol followed by a construction company can make an enormous difference in the indoor environment of a home. Water damage to ceilings and walls, problems with the HVAC system, and rampant mold can make a homeowners worst nightmares come true. That is why Doug Hoffman’s book Mold-Free Construction is so timely and important.

Doug Hoffman is more than qualified to write a book addressing building science. As a licensed general contractor, roofing contractor, plumbing contractor, indoor air consultant, indoor air quality and water purification environmental consultant, former NIAQI advisory board member, and executive director of NORMI, he developed the Mold-Free Process of Construction as a result of a wide variety of experience in the home building industry. Every homeowner, home builder, and construction partner should read this book. Doug points out a variety of common mistakes that can lead to devastating mold problems in a home.

Doug writes with an easy to follow, common sense approach to the problem of mold free construction. He outlines each area of the home, and the necessary considerations that a homeowner should take. He gives practical advice for avoiding a mold problem that a contractor will be able to implement. Even better, there is a convenient homeowner check-list at the end of the book so you can be confident that you have secured each area of the home against mold.

Doug’s book can be purchased on Amazon for $14.99, and should be a staple in the library of every homeowner and contractor. Purchase a copy today to find out for yourself how simple the Mold-Free Process of Construction really is.

Governor Chris Christie addresses members of the press in NJ

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Toms River Police Department

Ocean County NJ

07172013Governor Chris Christie addresses members of the press and a small group of select invitees about disaster recovery funding for essential services in the region.  Federal funds became available to help offset the potential 30%-40% property tax increases which would be necessary for the townships in the area to continue providing school, public works, and emergency services at currently funded levels. The tax base has been reduced due to the Hurricane Sandy damage to homes and businesses in the area.  This government assistance is designed to help reduce additional hardships to the affected areas by maintaining needed essential services.  Lance Eisen, the Executive Director of the NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force was present at the briefing. He said, “It was good to hear that positive events like these were occurring in the affected areas. There is much education and work to be done.  However, this kind of funding a very good start and we are proud to be a part of the solution.” 

 

The Governor continued to address the press and the invitees about several other regional and state issues.

REPRINT–”Pollution, Lung Cancer Link Grow Stronger”

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Published: Jul 9, 2013
By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Action Points

Long-term exposure even to low-level air pollution may increase the risk of lung cancer and adenocarcinoma in particular.
Point out that analyses related to traffic intensity on the nearest street, increased road traffic in proximity to residence, and nitrogen oxide concentrations showed no significant associations with lung cancer.

Long-term exposure even to low-level air pollution may increase the risk of lung cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, an analysis of 17 European studies suggested.

Ambient air concentrations of particulate matter <10 micrometers and <2.5 micrometers had statistically significant associations with adenocarcinoma of the lung, the most common lung cancer histology. Both types of air pollution were associated with >50% increased risk of lung adenocarcinoma, reported Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, PhD, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, and colleagues.

Concentrations of particulate matter <10 micrometers also had a significant association with any lung cancer, they wrote online in The Lancet Oncology.

“This very large multicenter study shows an association between exposure to particulate matter air pollution and the incidence of lung cancer, in particular adenocarcinoma, in Europe, adding substantially to the weight of the epidemiological evidence,” Raaschou-Nielsen’s group concluded.

“The cohort-specific analyses consistently identified smoking-related variables as the most important confounders, in accordance with the fact that smoking is the most important risk factor for lung cancer,” they noted. “Information about smoking variables was available for all the cohorts, and we would expect only weak confounding, if any, from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.”

Multiple studies have implicated ambient air pollution as a potential cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer incidence has stabilized in recent years in most developed countries, but major shifts in histologic subtypes have occurred, the authors noted.

Specifically, the incidence of adenocarcinoma has increased substantially, accompanied by substantial decline in the incidence of squamous-cell carcinomas. Of note, adenocarcinoma accounts for a majority of lung cancer cases among smokers and nonsmokers.

The European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE) maintains data from 17 European cohort studies that have investigated associations between various levels of air pollution and lung cancer. Raaschou-Nielsen and colleagues analyzed ESCAPE data to address three hypotheses:
Ambient air pollution at the residence is associated with lung cancer risk
Air pollution has a stronger association with lung cancer among nonsmokers and people with low fruit intake
The association is stronger for adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma than for all lung cancers combined

The primary outcome was all lung cancer, and key secondary outcomes pertained to adenocarcinomas and squamous-cell carcinomas.

The 17 studies comprised cohorts representing 12 cities and nine countries. Investigators analyzed data for each cohort, and cohort-specific estimated effects were combined by meta-analysis. Exposure estimates were derived from land-use regression models.

The land-use models included particulate matter <10 micrometers, <2.5 micrometers, 2.5 to 10 micrometers, soot, nitrogen oxides, and two traffic indicators.

The overall analysis comprised 312,944 study participants and about 4.1 million person-years at risk. During a mean follow-up of 12.8 years, 2,095 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed. The meta-analyses showed a significant association between lung cancer and particulate matter <10 micrometers, represented by a hazard ratio of 1.22 (95% CI 1.03-1.45 per 10 micrometers/m3). An HR hazard ratio of 1.18 for particulate matter <2.5 micrometers did not achieve significance (95% CI 0.96-1.46 per 5 micrometers/m3).

Analyses of associations between air pollution and adenocarcinoma lung cancer showed significant associations for particulate matter <10 micrometers (HR 1.51, 95% CI 1.10-2.08) and <2.5 micrometers (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.05-2.29). Associations were strongest for participants who resided at the same address for longer periods of time.

Analyses related to traffic intensity on the nearest street, increased road traffic in proximity to residence, and nitrogen oxide concentrations showed no significant associations with lung cancer.

The author of an invited commentary credited the investigators with designing and performing a study that “is sophisticated and overcame several limitations of previous air pollution studies.”

Nonetheless, Takashi Yorifuji, MD, PhD, of Okayama University, and Saori Kashima, PhD, of Hiroshima University, both in Japan, lamented the lack of recognition of air pollution as a contributing factor in lung cancer. For example, the 18th edition (2012) of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine excluded air pollution from a list of lung cancer risks.

“Although smoking is undoubtedly a strong risk factor, evidence for an association between air pollution exposure and lung cancer is also accumulating,” Yorifuji and Kashima said. “Although the lung cancer risk associated with air pollution is much lower than that associated with smoking, everybody is exposed to air pollution. Thus, the public health effect is quite large.”

“At this stage, we might have to add air pollution, even at current concentrations, to the list of causes of lung cancer and recognize that air pollution has large effects on public health, although fortunately, like tobacco smoking, it is a controllable factor,” they added.

For more information on how to combat indoor air pollution, contact NORMI at support@normi.org or call 877.251.2296 CLICK ON “Participate in our Survey” to take FREE IAQ survey of your home.

NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force Seminars a Success

Monday, June 24th, 2013

EFT Seminars

Lance Eisen, educating our attendees.

On June 19th and 20th the NORMIPro Environmental TASC Force hosted two Free Public Seminars and a CMI contractors class in Monmouth County NJ. It was well attended by members of the public and officials from several non-profit and government organizations. Channel 12 News covered the event.

We noticed a lack of credible information and consistent direction for the victims of Super Storm Sandy in the NJ/NY Metro area. Many untrained and uninsured contractors have been offering quick, but inadequate solutions to the desperate property owners. Victims of Super Storm Sandy are continuing to be victimized by unqualified contractors because of the lack of contractor regulations and a feeling of urgency to resolve problems as quickly as possible. The uncertainty caused by the stress of decision-making is causing emotional stress and other health issues for the victims. Without the proper information, homeowners don’t know whether to hire a contractor, repair it themselves, wait for the insurance adjuster, or wait for the government to release funds. When help does come, a homeowner with faulty information is unable to defend themselves against the inadequate solutions being offered.

Public education, contractor training, and consistent regulations are desperately needed in the industry. Our goal is to help the agencies supporting the disaster recovery efforts and the law makers in achieving these goals. The best tool in the disaster recovery process is information.

We want to thank all of the attendees that were at the events on the 19th and 20th, and again extend our support to the agencies working with the recovery efforts.

Hurricane Video Posted at Hurricane.NORMI.org

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

June 22, 2013 Abita Springs, LA

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org) has posted a new hurricane preparedness video on their homepage to help the public be prepared for hurricane season. The information included therein is a compilation of information collected from government and public sources in an effort to centralize information people need before evacuations are called.

“We experienced Hurricane Katrina and have helped folks in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy,” said Executive Director Doug Hoffman, “so we know what people should be thinking about before a hurricane approaches and how they should be prepared. The results of inaction can be worse if the storm is stronger than anticipated or more wide-spread. Hurricanes are so unpredictable that it’s vital we plan to protect ourselves and our families.”

For more information contact NORMI at support@normi.org or call 877.251.2296

Top Ten Things to Avoid Toxic Structural Mold from Flooding

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

June 22, 2013 (Abita Springs, LA)—A few simple steps can save property owners thousands of dollars of damage due to structural mold growth, according to Doug Hoffman, executive director of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (www.NORMI.org), a nonprofit organization involved in providing training and certifications for mold and indoor air quality professionals. Taking the necessary steps to avoid structural mold growth will not only preserve the integrity of a building but also the health of its occupants, further explains Kurt and Lee Ann Billings, authors of the book MOLD: The War Within, which details lessons learned from Katrina. Disaster area residents must be proactive, act quickly, and use proper personal protection equipment when implementing the following ten steps:

1) Remove any standing water—use a pump or a wet vac.
2) Remove wet carpets, rugs, draperies and personal belongings. Clear mud and debris from floors and foundation walls to allow the subflooring and foundation to dry.
3) Remove and discard water-saturated sheetrock and insulation—18 inches above the highest watermark to increase structural drying. Remove water-damaged flexible ductwork.
4) Remove all mold growth on remaining structural building materials—by mechanical means or complete removal if necessary. The easiest and most effective way to initially clean mold from structural building materials is with the use of a commercial wet/dry HEPA vacuum, followed by wiping, scrubbing, scrapping or sanding for complete removal.
5) Don’t use bleach to clean mold—it is an effective sanitizer but will not remove mold at its “root”. The mold will look like its gone but it won’t be.
6) Use sanitizers—on any portion of the structure contaminated by sewage or flood waters.
7) Dry the structure out as quickly as possible—as structural mold will begin to form in the first 24-48 hours. As soon as the above removal steps are completed, turn up the heat, circulate the air with fans, and use a dehumidifier to keep the indoor humidity below 60 percent. Hot, dry air dries things faster than cold moist air. If there’s no electricity, open windows and doors to get air moving to speed up the drying process.
8) Check your attic—undetected roof leaks can become big structural mold problems later.
9) Inspect windows on the outside of the structure—check for damaged caulking and seals that could lead to future water leaks.
10) Don’t seal it up until its dry—siding, sheetrock, and flooring repairs should be done only after the substrates are completely dry. Confirm moisture content by using a moisture meter.

For more information on water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector or remediator in your area, log onto www.normipro.com or call 1.877.251.2296.