GAINESVILLE — Allergy and asthma sufferers soon may have a new weapon in their fight against airborne enemies: an indoor-air cleaning system that uses light and simple chemicals to destroy the dust mites and mold spores that cause many allergies.
Developed at the University of Florida’s Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, the photocatalytic air filtration system has been tested in medical and industrial settings and already has proven successful at zapping odors and impurities caused by chemicals, viruses and bacteria. It soon will be available for home use, said Yogi Goswami, professor and director of the laboratory.
“This technology will revolutionize our notions about the quality of indoor air,” said Goswami. “With people spending more and more time indoors, it becomes increasingly important to provide clean air.”
The system uses light, which reacts with a titanium dioxide-based chemical catalyst as air passes through. The result is oxidation, which attacks and destroys microbes by disintegrating their DNA. The reaction also kills dust mites and mold.
Goswami said that the photocatalytic process is superior to conventional techniques using filters, which must be changed and disposed of.
“With this system, contaminants are destroyed rather than transferred. No toxic chemicals are employed,” said Goswami. Allergy and asthma suffers may find great relief once dust mites and mold spores are eliminated from the air they breathe, he said.
“Dust mites in the air cause allergic reactions in an estimated 15 to 20 percent of the population, and have been linked to the development of childhood asthma. The droppings of dust mites live in bedding and carpeting, but they also circulate in the air,” said Goswami.
“Inhaled mold spores are also responsible for many allergy symptoms and aggravate asthma. Mold seeds are microscopic and need to be 100 percent destroyed. Otherwise they lie dormant and grow back. Because mold spores also circulate in the air, cleaning an environmental surface is not an efficient way of eliminating molds. This system eliminates molds altogether.”
Goswami said the system has been tested successfully in medical research settings where the air in laboratories must be microbe-free.
“We’ve tested the photocatalytic air cleaning system on a variety of indoor air problems, including toxic bacteria, such as those found to cause Legionnaire’s disease,” said Goswami. “Surgical suites and hospital nurseries are just two obvious places for this system. Sick building syndrome will be a thing of the past where this system is used. The photocatalytic system can quickly kill off 100 percent of bacteria in indoor air,” said Goswami.
The technology is being readied for the market by Universal Air Technology at the Sid Martin Phototechnology Development Institute, a biotechnical business incubator of the University of Florida. The home units, Goswami said, may cost as little as $500.
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Good indoor air quality is important for homes, but also for businesses. A poor work environment leads to more sick days and sluggish employees. All of this combines to poor productivity and employee performance. An investment in clean air for a workplace can repay itself many times over.
OSHA says the following about workplace indoor air quality:
“The quality of indoor air inside offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers’ comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.”
If you are interested in determining the state of your workplace indoor air quality, contact one of our NORMI certified indoor air quality professionals at www.normipro.com.
Abita Springs, LA
NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspector, is happy to announce that it received confirmation today from ASHI®, the American Society of Home Inspectors, that after reviewing the course material, speaker qualification, class length, etc. for content, quality and pertinence to home inspection professionals, announced that participants who successfully attend the designated program are eligible to receive the number of Continuing Education Credits (CEs) in the amount of 1 hour for 1 hour. An example of the designation on each applicable course website will read as follows: Certified Mold Assessor Course is approved for 24 hours of ASHI® Continuing Education Credits.
“Many Home Inspectors in the State of New York do not realize that they will be required to get licensed in New York as a Mold Assessor,” said Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI. “We have been training Home Inspectors in Florida for years on the assessment process because they are often in situations where their clients ask about probable mold contamination. The professional Home Inspector avoids the discussion unless he is trained. For New York to be pro-active about filling this need is pretty impressive. Our New York approved courses for Assessor, Remediation Contractor and Abatement Worker will provide the information Home Inspectors need to do their job correctly and, thus, avoid litigation.”
“ASHI® has over 2200 members in the State of New York and over 3000 in the State of Florida so we have a lot of opportunity to train Home Inspectors,” said Linda Eicher, National Training Director for Best Training School. “Attending our licensing class and getting their re-certification credits toward their ASHI® Certification is a win-win for us and them. NORMI provides training throughout the US and Canada for licensure and certification for mold professionals.”
The courses now approved by ASHI® include New York Mold Assessor, New York Remediation Contractor, New York Abatement Worker, Florida Mold Related Services Assessor, Florida Mold Related Remediator, NORMI Certified Mold Assessor, NORMI Certified Mold Remediator and NORMI Certified Mold Worker. For more information on classes or certifications contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or email email@example.com
October 16, 2015
Abita Springs, LA
NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, has been approved as a training provider under the New York State Labor Law and will shortly begin holding classes in the State of New York for Mold Assessor, Mold Remediation Contractor and Mold Abatement Work (MTP-005). Required training for licensure includes 32 hours of classroom training for Mold Assessor, 24 hours of classroom training for Mold Remediation Contractor and 16 hours of classroom training for Mold Abatement Worker.
“The mold industry has been plagued with charlatans who have taken advantage of the public,” reported Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI. “We are excited to be a part of these efforts to regulate this industry. We are pleased that New York has seen the need for training to enhance the quality of the work because it insures that mold professionals are kept up to date with the latest techniques and technologies.”
Listed on the New Department of Labor website as an Approved Mold Training Provider, NORMI continues to build its training team by providing high quality onsite and online courses in IAQ (indoor air quality) and, specifically, mold. Offering over thirteen (13) certifications, NORMI promotes the concept of healthier living through solution-based training.
“We are very excited that New York is including training and an approved proctored exam for each certification,” said Linda Eicher, National Training Director, “because that insures the public that those licensed in the State actually know what they’re doing. NORMI prides itself in connecting professionals to our association so the active members are current in their certifications and training. You can always find a well-trained professional at www.NORMIPro.com.”
NORMI partners with local businesses to provide ONSITE training with individual companies or for the public to meet the applicable state law. Training partners, like Best Training School, are using the following designations for the NORMI Approved New York license classes: NYMA (NY Mold Assessor), NYRC (NY Mold Remediation Contractor and NYAW (NY Mold Abatement Worker). For more information, call 877.251.2296 x 833 Become a part of NORMI at www.Join.NORMI.org
Poor indoor air quality has increasingly become an issue in the school system. According to The Environmental Work Group, “Every breath matters, especially for their developing lungs, and approximately 75 million Americans live in communities with unhealthy air. In addition, the EPA reports that half of the 115,000 schools in the United States have problems linked to indoor air quality. So it’s not too surprising that 6.8 million American children have asthma, and the number is climbing.”
Improving the air in your child’s school is very important and EWG has a few suggestions on how to do that. For more information, read their article: here.
Schools tend to be a hot bed for mold, mildew, dust mites, and other IAQ issues. Long ignored, school districts are starting to pay attention to the health and learning issues that can be caused by the air in their buildings. To assist, the Environmental Protection Agency has recently launched a new app to help school officials detect indoor air quality issues.
“Kids learn best in a healthy school environment. Now there’s an app for that! This app puts a powerful tool in the hands of people at the state, district and school level to protect children’s health” said Janet McCabe, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This mobile app is our latest effort to provide updated, user-friendly guidance to help schools identify, resolve and prevent indoor air quality problems, using low- and no-cost measures.”
For more information, click here.
Many Americans are living or working in buildings contaminated by mold, mildew, bacteria, particulate, dust mites VOCs, etc. This very often can contribute to a variety of health issues. The American Lung Association says on their website that, “Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases such as asthma. In addition, it can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. People who already have lung disease are at greater risk.”
For more information on the kinds of contaminates to be concerned about, and how it contributes to your health visit their website.
Abita Springs, LA
Some people our industry view training as unnecessary. Whether initial training or continuing education training, they view any legislation regarding licensing “unnecessarily burdening” if it includes a requirement for training, either in the field or in the classroom. This seems to ignore some pretty important reasons for training.
“When I was working as a Roofing Contractor in the State of Florida, the rules and regulations, along with the Building Codes changed on a regular basis,” proclaimed Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI. “Hurricanes and other wind events required the administrators of these rules to review them on a regular basis and make changes to the regulations as they needed. Frankly, had I not been required to take 14 hours of continuing education every year for my license, I would still be nailing every single with three nails instead of five! It’s cheaper and, after all, it was good enough for my Dad!”
The mold industry is very dynamic. New chemicals are being developed every year that are less toxic and more eco-friendly. New air scrubbing techniques have been produced which are less expensive and more effective. The understanding of symptoms related to building illnesses is ever expanding as is the medical world beginning to link health concerns with indoor environmental issues. How would a mold professional be incentivized to stay up with this trend if they aren’t required to do so? Realistically, there is little incentive.
Many professionals come into this mold industry with little or no field experience. They see an opportunity to make a lot of money but don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete projects expeditiously and economically. The legal industry is jammed with lawsuits against incompetent and untrained contractors who hold themselves out to the public as “certified” when they got their certification through an online agency without having taken a single class.
The State of Florida is setting the standard in the industry for Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation. There is little doubt that they have written a solid licensing law which requires both initial training and continuing education for its licensees. Washington DC has followed their lead and, we suspect, more States will. Louisiana, the first state to put a licensing law in place, requires 24 hours of training with an additional 4 hours of Law and Business Ethics. Frankly, how else would a professional understand his legal obligations to the citizens of the state without such training?
We encourage all legislators who are considered licensing this industry to take a good close look at the elements of the licensing law they are requiring. Require certifications from good, competent and credible certifying agencies who, in their certifications, require some level of training and field experience. The public is relying on your expertise to protect them from the incompetent, untrained contractor who, just yesterday, was working as an unlicensed handyman.
For more information on the licensing requirements in your state or for information on NORMI, contact us at 877.251.2296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Abita Springs, LA
May 7, 2015
We are pleased to announce that thirteen of our NORMI members have been honored by HomeAdvisor with the “Best of HomeAdvisor Award”! HomeAdvisor is the premier lead-sourcing program in the construction industry and NORMI members are encouraged to take advantage of the lead-sourcing they provide which benefits their individual business and the public.
“I am so proud of these entrepreneurs who have been certified with us, connected to us and provided outstanding service to the public,” remarked Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors). These folks are doing exactly what we encourage them to do and have proven successful following our model. Congratulations to them for their dedication to providing the best service in the industry!”
HomeAdvisor said, “Thank you for being a partner of HomeAdvisor. We value our relationship, and we look forward to continuing to develop and grow our partnership in the coming year.
“We are pleased to announce that 13 pros in your network have received the ‘Best of HomeAdvisor Award’ for 2015! This distinction recognizes top industry professionals based on quality, service and value in the HomeAdvisor network. These members were chosen because they exemplify superior work practices, are committed to first-rate service and provide a fair value for the work they’re performing. Only the top pros in the HomeAdvisor network are bestowed this prestigious award!”
Recipients of the 2015 Best of HomeAdvisor Award are:
Curtis Roberts Mold Inspection
Green Way Solutions
AirTech Solutions 4U
MicroClean Technology, Inc.
Integrity Air Quality Solutions
Residential Air Quality
Jose Technologies, Inc.
A Healthier Home, LLC
Environmental Services Group Carolinas, LLC
Pure Air Solutions, LLC
The Best Restoration, LLC
Gnl Enterprises, LLC
DMC Environmental Service
For more information regarding training and certifying with NORMI, see www.NORMI.org, contact us at support@NORMI.org or cal 877.251.2296 NORMI is an approved training/certifications provider for multiple states and offered thirteen certifications.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nonprofit Contact Person: Doug Hoffman
877.251.2296 ext. 876 email@example.com
January 28, 2015 (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 using a pump or a wet vac. If the water damage is from a broken pipe, be sure to turn off the water supply.
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 and water-damaged insulation around metal 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 by using a commercial wet/dry HEPA vacuum, followed by wiping, scrubbing, scrapping or sanding for complete removal.
5. Don’t use bleach to clean mold. Bleach is an effective sanitizer but it will not remove mold at its “root”. The mold will look like it’s gone but it is not; it will only grow back.
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 50 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, if weather permits.
8. Check the attic as undetected roof leaks can later become big structural mold problems.
9. Inspect windows on the outside of the structure, checking for damaged caulking and seals that could lead to future water leaks.
10. Don’t seal it up until it’s 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 toxic mold, water damage and flood resources, please see www.Flood.NORMI.org or to locate a certified mold inspector, assessor or remediator in your area, log onto www.NORMIPro.com or call 1.877.251.2296 and follow us at www.Facebook.NORMI.org