IAQ Radio, Political History of Toxic Mold, & Moi

IAQ Radio is the “Voice of the Indoor Air Quality Industry”.  The weekly Internet show, which airs on Fridays at noon ET, is owned and operated by Joe Hughes and Cliff Zlotnik. Together, they have a combined 70+ years experience in the IAQ industry.
A good tool for seasoned researchers or novices to IAQ matters, IAQ Radio offers an extensive audio library of Toxic Mold and other issues related to the indoor environment (IE). Beginning 2006, program guests are typically scientists, physicians, IAQ pros, and others who influence policies, standards and practices impacting IE. One can access their outstanding archives HERE.
Today’s guest is Lew Harriman, who is speaking on the subject of investigating and avoiding moisture-related problems in existing buildings.  Mr. Harriman was a contributor to the new EPA Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance and his presentation will include information from this important industry document. Listeners  with IPod/IPad talkshoe.com/i/iaq takes you to IAQ Radio’s Talkshoe page. Listeners with a PC talkshoe.com/iaq takes you to IAQ Radio’s Talkshoe Page
Every Thursday, Cliff and Joe e-blasts the “IAQ Radio Z-Man Blog” with a recap of the prior week’s interview and an announcement of the current week’s guest.   One can subscribe to the weekly blog  HERE.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of joining Joe and Cliff as their interviewee. The subjects I primarily spoke of was the sordid political history of the Toxic Mold issue; along with what the future holds — now that the false science, which claimed it was proven Toxic Mold does not harm, has been removed from US public health and workcomp policies and US courts. You can listen to last week’s broadcast by clicking HERE.
There is still much work to be done and many wrongs to be righted over the Toxic Mold issue.  If you have an interest in seeing/causing IAQ policy changes for the good of public health and safety, please listen to the broadcast.  It should help you to understand just how nasty the politics of this issue has really been and what you can do to help bring about change.
Some key excerpts from yesterday’s Z-Man’s Blog:
Disconnect between public policy and patients
“…This week we invited back Sharon Kramer to follow up on her progress with respect to the ACOEM statement and what its recent removal from public health policy means for the advancement of science and medicine. This is an issue that we have followed closely and we look forward to hearing from the advocate that got the ball rolling and continues to try and make a difference.
Nuggets mined from last week’s  episode:
  • Due to an energy crisis construction standards changed in the 1970s utilizing more manmade water damage susceptible building materials. People began experiencing health effects from living in water damaged buildings. The internet allowed concerned people to communicate.
  • In an effort to shutdown liability, insurance carriers turned to hired guns to influence public and medical policy. Applying math to a rodent study “experts” concluded that mold wouldn’t harm people; resulting in thousands of sick people being denied help in the court system and being labeled as hypochondriacs and scam artists.
  • Insurance companies instituted mold exclusions and capped coverage at a few thousand dollars, making it difficult for the IAQ industry to perform work which protects the public.
  • Sharon Kramer traces the origin of her journey in public advocacy to a botched remediation for an icemaker leak that damaged her home,the health of herself (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and threatened the safety of her daughter who suffered from cystic fibrosis and aspergillosis.After her insurer sued the Kramers for not accepting $30,000 to fix the home; the family counter-sued and received nearly a half a million dollar settlement in 2003.
  • Realizing most families were not so fortunate and could not afford to fight for their children’s safety in court, she began advocating for them in 2004.
  • Toxicologist Bruce Kelman, PhD, is a co-author of the ACOEM mold statement. According to Sharon, their paths first crossed in 2002, when he was retained as a defense expert witness in the water damage claim at her home. His testimony helped her to make her case. As a toxicologist with a PhD, he informed the insurer that a physician with detailed knowledge, would need to be consulted for the potential health hazards from mold in the home, for the Kramer daughter with cystic fibrosis and aspergillosis (which is not a toxicological affliction). The case settled favorably for the Kramer family approximately one month after Mr. Kelman’s deposition in October of 2003.
  • In 2005, Sharon published the first public writing of how ACOEM, Mr. Kelman, and a US Congressman were connected to a think-tank and the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform when mass-marketing the false concept that Mr. Kelman and his business partner, Mr. Hardin, had proven Toxic Mold does not harm.
  • While attempting to stop the information from coming to public light, Mr. Kelman, Mr. Hardin and their corporation, Veritox, Inc. sued Sharon for libel for five words in the writing, “altered his under oath statements”. Kelman and his attorney claimed Sharon had malice for Mr. Kelman because she was “apparently furious that his science conflicted with her dreams of a remodeled home” in her mold lawsuit.
  • Retired Judge Michael Orfield first oversaw the libel case. He was the same judge who oversaw the Kramer mold litigation and had signed the three settlement agreements awarding nearly a half a million dollars to the Kramer family. He was provided, but ignored, the direct evidence that Mr. Kelman was misstating fact to manufacture a libel law required, reason for malice.
  • The libel case, and a second one to silence Sharon of the fraud in the first, drug on for eight more years. As a result, the false concept that mold toxins in water damaged buildings do not harm, remained in public health policy and US courts until 2015. To date, no one has been punished by any government policing agency.
  • Sharon credits D. Michael Hodgson, MD, MPH as being the primary person to cause the ACOEM position paper to be removed from policy; and for his unyielding advocacy against it since its publication in 2002.
  • Doctors must realize illness exists in order to treat it. “Enviro injury” is physical illness not mental illness.
  • She will be giving a presentation on the Political History of the Toxic Mold Issue, at Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s “Cutting Edge of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome; second annual conference” in November 2015, Phoenix, AZ.
-Can you comment on which medical providers seem to be having the most success with helping people that have lived in water damaged buildings?
Those who follow the Shoemaker protocol, the AAEM doctors, and the functional medicine doctors.
Do you think all homes should be remediated to the level that some claim is necessary or is this only necessary for the most sensitive?
I think it needs to be understood that if someone is experiencing symptoms indicative of illness from a WDB, that extra precautions should be taken to assure they don’t become sicker from the remediation process.
Who is going to pay for this level of remediation?
Once the doctors are trained to realize WDB’s are causing some pretty serious illnesses, I would think the insurer would.  The liability to not do a complete job which encompasses protecting occupant health, will become greater than the cost savings of not doing it.  The risk/benefit shifts with the education of the doctors.
Getting beyond the medical community and govt. What hurts your cause the most?
Gossiping ninnies who are promoting within the mold community that I’m lying about the Cal courts fixing the SLAPP suit — to make me appear that I was a liar for exposing how the fraud got marketed.  It’s made it 1000 times harder on me to get the false science of ACOEM out of policy.  You should see some of the horrible things they write about me.  These are people I set out to help and its cost me all to do it.
-Did anyone pay a price for fraud and injustice? No, and she didn’t seek to punish them. Not all members of the ACOEM, in fact the vast majority are good.
-What’s next for you?
I’m writing a book and will be involved in further litigation over the fixed SLAPP suit. I am also continuing to lobby key gov’t officials/employees to cause physician re-education/awareness re: illnesses from Toxic Mold
-Is there anything else you would like to add?
I mainly want it to be known that its time form mainstream doctors to be taught that these illnesses are real.  ACOEM’s gone. NIH just put out a doc saying Chronic Fatigue is real.   To quote a key part:
“Although psychological repercussions (e.g., depression) may accompany ME/CFS, it is not a primary psychological disease in etiology.”
To quote from the NIH Report:
“Both society and the medical profession have contributed to ME/CFS patients feeling disrespected and rejected. They are often treated with skepticism, uncertainty, and apprehension and labeled as deconditioned or having a primary psychological disorder. ME/CFS patients often make extraordinary efforts at extreme personal and physical costs to find a physician who will correctly diagnose and treat their symptoms while others are treated inappropriately causing additional harm. Overall, the debilitating effects of ME/CFS can result in financial instability due to the consequences of the illness (e.g., the loss of employment, home)”….economic burden estimated to be between $2 billion and $7 billion in the United States. ME/CFS results in major disability for a large proportion of the people affected.”
Comments from Global Watchdog Pete Consigli:
  • Factoid: A Texas jury indicted the adjuster of Melinda Ballard’s claim on charges of child endangerment.
  • Anytime you hurt a mother or a child, especially the child of someone experienced in marketing/public relations, you can expect the lioness to come out.
  • Health and IAQ are public policy issues, how much money will be allotted and where will it go?
  • The Codes of Ethics of Disaster Restoration, Indoor Air Quality and Industrial Hygiene Organizations increasingly advocate for protection of the public.
  • The restoration and IAQ industry are increasing collaboration with academia.”
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CA State Auditor says State Bar has failed to protect the public from bad attorneys.

 On June 18th, California State Auditor Elaine Howle issued the report to the Legislature and Governor Brown entitled, “State Bar of California It Has Not Consistently Protected the Public Through Its Attorney Discipline Process and Lacks Accountability

State Bar of California  It Has Not Consistently Protected the Public Through Its Attorney Discipline Process and Lacks

Ms. Howle’s cover letter to Governor Brown and the Legislature states,

“This report concludes that the State Bar has not consistently fulfilled its mission to protect the public from errant attorneys and lacks accountability related to its expenditures. The State Bar has struggled historically to promptly resolve all the complaints it receives, potentially delaying the timely discipline of attorneys who engage in misconduct. A primary measurement of the effectiveness of the State Bar’s discipline system is the number of complaints it fails to resolve within six months of receipt, which it refers to as its backlog. In 2010 the backlog reached 5,174 cases, prompting the State Bar to take steps to quickly reduce it.

Although the State Bar succeeded in decreasing the backlog by 66 percent within a year, it may have compromised the severity of the discipline imposed on attorneys in favor of speedier types of resolutions….Thus, to reduce its backlog, the State Bar allowed some attorneys whom it otherwise might have disciplined more severely—or even disbarred— to continue practicing law, placing the public at risk.

Moreover, instead of focusing its resources on improving its discipline system—such as engaging in workforce planning to ensure it had sufficient staffing—it instead spent $76.6 million to purchase and renovate a building in Los Angeles in 2012.”

KEY FINDINGS of the Bureau of State Auditor (BSA) audit:

“During our audit of the State Bar’s discipline system and its finances, we noted the following:

To reduce its 2010 excessive complaint backlog of over 5,000 cases to just over 1,700 cases in 2011, the State Bar frequently settled cases and may have been too lenient and allowed some attorneys whom it otherwise might have disciplined more severely—or even disbarred—to continue practicing law.

The years the State Bar focused its efforts on decreasing its backlog, the State Bar settled over 1,500 cases—more than in any of the other four years in our audit period.

The level of discipline the State Bar recommended as part of some of these settlements was inadequate—of the 27 cases the California Supreme Court returned to it for further examination, the State Bar increased the level of discipline it recommended in 21 cases, including five disbarments.

The information the State Bar submits to the Legislature in its Annual Discipline Report is problematic—the State Bar continues to report fewer cases than the law permits despite the similar concern we raised in our 2009 audit.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The State Bar should adhere to its quality control processes to ensure that the discipline it imposes on attorneys is consistent, regardless of the size of the case‑processing backlog, and it should take steps to prevent its management or staff from circumventing those processes.

The BSA report may be read in its entirety HERE  Nowhere in the report is any directive of what the State Bar needs to do to mitigate the damage to the public from its prior unethical conduct.

FORMER STATE BAR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BLOWS WHISTLE

Joe Dunn is a former CA Senator from Orange County.  He is also the former Executive Director of the State Bar who was fired last year.  In late 2014, Mr. Dunn filed a whistle blower lawsuit against the Bar and its Board of Trustees.

With regard to Mr. Dunn’s complaint and consistent with the BSA audit, the LA Times reports,

“Shortly before Dunn was fired, he filed an anonymous ‘whistle-blower’ complaint alleging, among other things, that a bar official was manipulating records to hide a huge backlog in untended complaints against lawyers. Dunn later identified himself as the whistle-blower and said he was fired in retaliation for the complaint.

‘The bar is just further descending into a banana republic,’ said Golden Gate University law professor Peter Keane, who tried unsuccessfully decades ago to overhaul the association. ‘It is totally dysfunctional and should be unraveled.”

The Sacramento Bee reports,

“While bar officials have said little, Dunn’s complaint said that employees under State Bar Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim’s direction unlawfully altered case backlog reports released to the board of trustees and the public.

‘This was done to benefit Ms. Kim in her upcoming evaluation and to fraudulently inflate the productivity of her office,’ Dunn’s complaint contends, calling her conduct ‘shockingly rampant.’..

Once Kim learned that Dunn and other bar employees had discovered the alleged improprieties, she filed a complaint against them with the board of trustees, according to the lawsuit. In the suit, Dunn said he has never seen a summary of the complaint.”

What does this have to do with thirteen years of the defrauding of the American public, worker and taxpayer over the Toxic Mold issue — by use of unbridled criminal means in the California courts, you ask?

More to follow in two weeks.  In the meantime, listen to this INTERVIEW I gave for IAQ Radio last week for a behind the scenes understanding.

Sharon Noonan Kramer

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600 court cases under review in California corruption probe

By the Associated Press | June 15, 2015 | 8:55 PM EDT

“There has been a clerk somewhere that was entering false information … getting cash in exchange for making stuff disappear,”

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of Orange County court cases are being scrutinized amid suspicions that someone was paid to fix DUI and other traffic violations by falsifying court records.

The FBI and county prosecutors are investigating, and about 600 Superior Court cases, some dating to 2006, are going before a judge this month to determine whether they should be reheard, the Orange County Register reported (http://bit.ly/1B8TvRo).

The probe involves suspicions that some employees recorded fake sentence reductions and dismissals for drunken driving and misdemeanor traffic cases and in at least one case, falsely made it appear a defendant had served jail time, the Register reported.

No arrests have been made. Representatives for the FBI, the court and the county district attorney’s office declined to comment.

On Friday, 110 attorneys and former criminal defendants were summoned to the courtroom of Judge Thomas Borris and told there were errors in the court records. “You are here to convince me there is not a mistake in your case,” Borris said.

“There has been a clerk somewhere that was entering false information … getting cash in exchange for making stuff disappear,” said Sheny Gutierrez, one of the attorneys who appeared.

Ramon Vasquez said he was given a work program in 2012 after pleading guilty to driving on a suspended license. The judge said the case would be undone unless he produced documents, the Register said.

“I think it’s injustice,” Vasquez said. “If there’s a flaw in the court system, it’s on them, it’s not on us.”

Borris eventually reversed settlements in about a dozen cases. The defendants were given the options of negotiating with a prosecutor or the judge or hiring a private attorney.

Jesus Sanchez, 29, drove from Arizona to appear. His misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license was dismissed in 2012. After appearing before the judge, he agreed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor and pay a fine.

FBI agents waited in the hall outside of the courtroom to question defendants and show them mug shots, the Register reported.

The judge also ordered the immediate arrest of Harania Farias, who had said she had served three months in a private jail in La Verne on a 2013 DUI charge. She was taken into custody in court and held without bail, the newspaper reported.

Not only did the private jail confirm Farias never was there, documents showing that she was allowed to serve time there appeared to be forged, and Lolita Kirk, the attorney who supposedly submitted the documents, told the Register she never had represented the woman.

Other lawyers listed as attorneys of record told the judge that they had never represented the defendants. Attorney Charmaine Druyor said that, in the courthouse on Friday, she met the person she supposedly had defended and realized that she had never represented him.

“It’s very odd, everything going on here today. It’s just bizarre,” she said.

___

Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Wonder when they will start the San Diego County probe?  I have a bunch of falsified court documents in my possession, i.e. remittiturs, judgements, abstract of judgments, liens, and many more in two SLAPP suits trying to shut me up.  They were falsified by multiple court employees to aid the scientific fraud that it was proven toxic, moldy buildings do not harm, to continue in U.S. public health and workers compensation policies. As time went on, more documents and court records were falsified to cover-up the prior ones.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, REFUSED MULTIPLE TIMES to prosecute her corrupt friends in the local courts while also aiding the public defrauding to continue.  Instead of stopping fraud caused by corruption in the local courts, she used the DA’s office’s Fraud Assessment Commission funds to advertise herself as one who stops fraud. She used county money to put her picture on billboards as she ran for mayor of San Diego.No 2 Corrupt Courts

Needless to say, I have no intention of shutting up until six of the Fourth District Division One Appellate Court justices are off the bench and Dumanis is out of office — and they are all behind bars with the achitects of the fraud in policy (plaintiffs in the SLAPP suits) along with their California attorney.  Falsifying court documents to defraud the United States public and worker is a felony.

Sharon Noonan Kramer

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June 16, 2015 ~ Nat’l Institute of Health Re: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The NIH released their findings today re: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  It appears to be a step in the right direction of helping those who suffer the debilitating, physiological symptoms of CFS.  Eliminating much of the unnecessary degradation of being deemed hypochondriac kooks by uneducated physicians, the NIH Report establishes,
“Although psychological repercussions (e.g., depression) may accompany ME/CFS, it is not a primary psychological disease in etiology.”
To quote from the NIH Report:
“Both society and the medical profession have contributed to ME/CFS patients feeling disrespected and rejected. They are often treated with skepticism, uncertainty, and apprehension and labeled as deconditioned or having a primary psychological disorder. ME/CFS patients often make extraordinary efforts at extreme personal and physical costs to find a physician who will correctly diagnose and treat their symptoms while others are treated inappropriately causing additional harm. Overall, the debilitating effects of ME/CFS can result in financial instability due to the consequences of the illness (e.g., the loss of employment, home)”….economic burden estimated to be between $2 billion and $7 billion in the United States. ME/CFS results in major disability for a large proportion of the people affected.”
Do you think that maybe just maybe exposure to biocontaminants in water damaged buildings could be a cause of the CFS symptoms? They sure sound similar to many of the symptoms people report after being exposed in moldy buildings.  A growing number of researchers and physicians are of the opinion that exposure to biocontaminants, particularly toxins, is a cause of CFS. To determine if they are right, wouldn’t U.S. physicians being directed by the CDC to question their CFS patients about their past environmental exposures, help to establish or rule out the connection?  If the connection is made as a matter of public health policy, many illnesses would be prevented and lives would be saved.  It is well understood within the mold issue that removal from exposure to causative agents helps to curtail the symptoms from becoming long-term and debilitating.  Early detection seems to be the key along with physician awareness/education.
Medscape also blogged about the NIH and Institute of Medicine (IOM) findings on the subject of CFS.   (BTW & FYI, IOM is now NAM)
In the fourth paper, an editorial, Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, notes that these new documents, along with the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on ME/CFS, combine information from thousands of articles that demonstrate the biological underpinning of the illness.Indeed, the position paper cites “strong evidence” that “immunologic and inflammatory pathologic conditions, neurotransmitter signaling disruption, microbiome perturbation, and metabolic or mitochondrial abnormalities” are “potentially important for the definition and treatment of ME/CFS.”Taken together, Dr Komaroff says, the NIH and IOM reports “should put the question of whether ME/CFS is a ‘real’ illness to rest. When skeptical physicians, many of whom are unaware of this literature, tell patients with ME/CFS that ‘there is nothing wrong,’ they not only commit a diagnostic error: They also compound the patients’ suffering.”…
The Annals papers are the final product on ME/CFS from the NIH’s “Pathways to Prevention” (P2P) program, designed “to host workshops that identify research gaps in a selected scientific area, identify methodological and scientific weaknesses in that scientific area, suggest research needs, and move the field forward through an unbiased, evidence-based assessment of a complex public health issue.”…I believe the NIH will use this document to think about what needs to be done in the field.”
Now that the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s “Adverse Human Health Effects from Exposure to Mold in an Indoor Environment” is finally removed from U.S. public health policy; there is no bogus science that is standing in the way of properly educating U.S. physicians that moldy buildings can cause debilitating, neurological damage.
Training the doctors to ask their patients questions about the patients’ environmental exposures, seems a logical place to start when gaining greater physician understanding how to recognize, diagnose and treat CFS and all forms of illness caused by water damaged buildings.
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THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE TOXIC MOLD ISSUE Part 2

Part 1 may be read at: https://katysexposure.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/the-political-history-of-the-toxic-mold-issue-part-1/

If one watched the documentary “Moldy” that is linked in Part 1, they would understand that countless U.S. citizens have been seeking help for debilitating neurological illnesses after exposure to biocontaminants in water damaged buildings (WDB).  Help is rarely found within the mainstream medical community.

Crying JusticeInstead, the sick are typically deemed mentally ill or suspect insurer scammers by uneducated and miseducated mainstream physicians of America. Their friends and family don’t understand why they can’t function and typically believe that if the doctors say they are nut-jobs, they must be nut-jobs.  They are sick, fearful for their future and that of their children, financially devastated and shunned by those who they need most, in their time of dire need.

The typical complaint of symptoms which are wrongfully deemed psychological or deceptive in origin, rather than appropriately physiological by cause, are: newly acquired blurred vision, memory loss, concentration loss, numbness of limbs, digestive problems, sudden weight loss or gain, inability to tolerate certain smells, breathing difficulties, extreme fatigue, joint pain and a whole host of other symptoms which are indicative of neurological complications from exposure to toxic substances.  The sick are bounced around by referral from uneducated doctor to uneducated doctor with little to no relief found and with the symptoms becoming worse as time goes on.

The #1 Complaint of mold sufferers, once they have figured it out on their own that a water damaged living or working environment is causing the symptoms is:  “Why didn’t any of the doctors I saw, tell me to look to my indoor environment as a cause of the symptoms?

Again, this history is being written for the purpose of causing accurate environmental public health policies and advisories by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Accurate information needs to be provided by agencies which fall under HHS’s supervision to state and federal agencies, policy-writing NGO’s, medical schools, insurers, real property related industries and to the general public.

The CDC comes under the HHS. It collaborates with NGO non-profit medical and industrial hygiene associations as a means to educate (or miseducate) U.S. physicians and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) professionals as to the causes of environmental illness.

Two of the key NGOs which assist the CDC in educating (or miseducating) U.S. physicians with regard to environmental illnesses are the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU).  They are located at taxpayer funded medical schools around the country (and a couple in Canada and Mexico). They receive funding from federal agencies which come under the supervision of the CDC.  AOEC oversees the funding for PEHSU. So…occupational physicians control the funding for pediatric physicians in this scenario as the monies are used to educate U.S. physicians in medical schools regarding the causes of environmental illnesses.

Two of the sub-CDC agencies which fund the AOEC and PEHSU are the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR).  What is determined by the collaborative effort of the CDC and the NGOs, then becomes “evidence based” environmental public health policy taught to U.S. physicians all across the United States. Medical science which is deemed to be “evidence based” is then used to influence U.S. physician practices of how to treat patients, including children, made ill by environmental exposures.

Many physicians affiliated with the AOEC are also members of the NGO, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).  ACOEM writes occupational medicine policy that workman compensation physicians must follow when treating injured workers.  This policy is then used to determine if workman’s comp insurers and employers are financially responsible for the care of workers claiming injury from their place of employment.

If the worker illness/injury is wrongfully determined not to be the responsibility of a workcomp insurer, based on flawed policy and erred physician education, the burden of care for the injured worker and their family then shifts to the taxpayer via social service programs.  The term for this is “cost-shifting”. Because of the intertwined relationships of the HHS, CDC, NIOSH, ATSDR, ACOEM, AOEC, PEHSU and publicly funded medical schools around the county – policies which are written to influence whether or not workcomp insurers are liable for care of environmentally injured workers also influence the treatment of children made ill from environmental exposures.

According to the CDC, the government funded PEHSUs practice what is known as the Precautionary Principle as a matter of policy when treating America’s children for environmental illnesses. “Consistent with the clinical imperative to ‘do no harm,’ the precautionary principle states, ‘When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”  When it comes to the Toxic Mold issue, it is a false concept that the precautionary principle is being taught and practiced with the use of taxpayer funded U.S. physician education via PEHSU.

So, REMEMBER THESE ACCRONYMS: CDC, NIOSH, ATSDR, ACOEM, AOEC, PEHSU.  They are key to the Political History of the Toxic Mold issue and why those injured by biotoxins and biocontaminants in WDB can get no help from mainstream U.S. physicians.  It should be noted that there are many honorable men and women in these government agencies, NGO organizations and other organizations, who have fought hard against politics taking precidence over public health and safety in the Toxic Mold issue.  To date, there has been no apparent success of helping those with neurological complications and systemic inflammations resultant from WDB exposures, as a matter of public health policy.

I have a degree in marketing.  By 2004, I could see that there was a dangerous disconnect between reality of illness and what America’s physicians were being taught — that causes physicians to treat the Toxic Mold injured with utter distain. By 2004, I knew it had to be caused by mass-marketing of misinformation among policy decision makers. The number of children being harmed is what caused me to spend so much time in Washington D.C. to try to stop the mass marketing of misinformation.

So back to the key year of 1999 in the Political History of the Toxic Mold Issue.

As stated in Part 1, the late Melinda Ballard did a great job raising public awareness that people are experiencing debilitating neurological complications, etc., after exposures in WDB.  With the advent of the Internet, what she exposed spread like wildfire among the general population who were seeking answers for why they were so sick.  People began putting two and two together on their own. Those with financial stakes in the buildings were extremely concerned for their potential liability, particularly if it became understood as a matter of policy that the buildings were causing these illnesses.

In 2006 (or 2007/8?), I received a phone call from an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)  professional who told me that another IAQ pro told him he had attended a meeting in Washington D.C. in 1999. The first IAQ pro gave me the second IAQ pro’s phone number.  I called him.

What he told me was that the 1999 D.C. meeting he attended was sponsored by five Republican legislators.  There were several IAQ pros and others at the meeting.  He said that they all had to sign confidentiality agreements. What the legislators wanted to know from the pros was if it was plausible WDB could cause these debilitating illnesses.

As I understand it, the answer was “yes”.  I was told it was then decided that steps would be taken to clean up the problem buildings caused by poor construction practices in the U.S. since the late 70’s; but that the illnesses caused should be kept under wraps until better construction policies could be established.  (No.  This history lesson is not a partisan bashing of the Republican party.  Democrat legislators’ disgusting role in the matter comes into the story later.)

After Melinda raised awareness in 1999, the Toxic Mold issue made its way into multitudes of courtrooms of America.  Many attorneys, scientists, physicians, IAQ pros, claims adjusters, various researchers, advocates and journalists suddenly morphed into experts on the complex subject.  The stakes were high for both those concerned of the physical safety of the American public and worker; and those concerned for the financial well-being of industries with a stake in real properties (aka, property/casualty insurers, workcomp insurers, landlords, property managers, real estate brokers, mortgagors, builders, flood remediators and owners of government offices/hospitals/military housing and bases and universities.)  The game was on of who was going to control public health policy over this issue, and thus control what would be perceived as the evidence based science in the courtroom when deciding if the illnesses were real; and, if so, who was liable for them.

Two other key matters occurred in the year of 1999: the Cleveland Babies CDC fiasco and the government backed harassment of a California physician, Dr. Robert Sinaiko.

Sixteen babies who were living in moldy housing in Cleveland, Ohio, died from pulmonary hemorrhaging in 1993-94.  Dr. Dorr Dearborn of the Cleveland Rainbow Children’s Hospital and Dr. Ruth Etzel of the CDC, were able to tie the infant deaths to their moldy living environments as the most probable cause of death.  One would think that this would cause the CDC to alert the public of the probable cause of a deadly environmental health threat.  But it didn’t.

In 1999, a committee was formed and steps were then taken by the CDC to cast doubt on the probable cause. (Be sure to read the “CDC to cast doubt” link. Key names to the history of this issue are in it.)  Dr. Etzel, a pediatric epidemiologist physician, left the CDC in disgust.  To this day, the CDC has never provided the public with any alternative explanation of what most likely caused the Cleveland babies’ deaths.  Both Dr. Dearborn and Dr. Etzel continue to this day, to fight for children’s safety as a matter of environmental public health policies.

In the 90’s Dr. Robert Sinaiko of California was treating adults and children experiencing cognitive difficulties with anti-fungals. He was having success among many of his patients. In 1999, the California Medical Board (with the assistance of early expert defense witnesses in mold litigation) went after his physician license for being one who committed malpractice.  Dr. Sinaiko’s experts were not permitted to testify on his behalf.

Although he was ultimately cleared of the charges, Dr. Sinaiko was devastated by the experience.  He was not able to practice medicine again until 2005.  To this day, Quackwatch, which is run by one who many perceive to be an industry shill, still keeps  Dr. Sinaiko’s name on the list of alleged quacks in need of watching, while acknowledging he was cleared of all charges.

To my knowledge, Dr. Sinaiko was the first of many U.S. physicians, researchers and advocates to be retaliated against with the assistance of government, for their roles in helping to establish that mold and other biocontaminants in WDB can cause neurological damage and a whole host of symptoms indicative of systemic, chronic and sometimes deadly, inflammations.

Also of worthy note in the history of this issue, I believe it was Dr. Barbara Sparks, Dr. Chin Yang and Dr. Eckhart Johanning who were the first government employees to say that there is something to the concept of WDB causing serious illness.  I believe this occurred in the late 80’s or early 90’s, when they were all employed at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Next up in the Political History of the Toxic Mold issue is the year 2000.  Circa this year, is when several Big Tobacco experts suddenly became Toxic Mold experts as they collaborated with employees of the CDC and NGOs. They were permitted by government funded NGOs to write public health and workers comp policies casting doubt on causation of illness.  Many have made a fortune as expert witnesses based on the policies they wrote being promoted as solid, “Evidence Based Science” in the courtrooms and by the CDC, et.al. in policy.

As a group, the Big Tobacco scientists are commonly and erroneously referred to as “the Naysayers” in this issue.  I prefer to call them “Defensors” — meaning expert witnesses for the defense in mold litigation who rely on bogus science and flawed public health/IAQ policies to make the bulk of their livings off the backs of the sick,  injured and dying — “Defensors”.

The distinction between Naysayers and Defensors is necessary when telling the history, because not all Naysayers –who also curtail appropriate precautionary public health and IAQ policies over the mold issue — are Defensors.  Sometimes, the two groups inadvertently work together while hampering appropriate policy and physician education.  Sometimes, policy-writing Naysayers appear to act based on fear of retaliation by the Defensors and the industries/gov’t agencies which back them;  or by shear ego of wanting to be the first to prove causation by the lofty standard of clear and convincing evidence.

Yet, common sense dictates that all that is required to save many lives NOW is the already attained standard of beyond a reasonable doubt when forming precautionary environmental public health policies geared toward proper physician/IAQ pro education over this issue.  (more on this subject of Naysayers vs. Defensors in later years of the Political History of the Toxic Mold Issue).

And so that people with a little mold in their showers do not become unreasonably frightened from reading this History of Toxic Mold; it needs to be understood that mold by itself does not typically cause serious harm.  Lack of physician awareness when an odd array of symptoms begin, does. This is because their miseducation causes minor and reversible symptoms to go undiagnosed and able to become long-term and in some cases, permanently debilitating; while the underlying exposure/causation unnecessarily continues to harm their patients.

Again, if anyone has anything they would like to add to this history or feels is in need of edit, please send a message to Katy’s Exposure, comment on Facebook or send me an email.  Thank you to those who have already contributed behind the scenes.   Part 3, the year 2000, will be out next week.

Sharon Noonan Kramer

Advocate for Integrity in Health Marketing

Snk1955@aol.com

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