A Mold Misstatement used in Court

A Critique of the ACOEM Statement on Mold:
Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest in the Creation of an
“Evidence-based” Statement

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2008 Oct-Dec;14(4):283-98.
That’s a .pdf worth reading.

I’ll give you the conclusion first:

The ACOEM Mold Statement jeopardizes the “health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments that ACOEM purports to champion.”

If you’re not familiar with the ACOEM Mold Statement, it is a document that is used in court to disprove the damaging effects of mold on health.
The doctor and author, James Craner is an expert on the adverse health effects of indoor mold exposure in water-damaged buildings, and has
been a co-investigator in US government-funded research on indoor
environmental quality and building energy efficiency. This doctor explains clearly what is wrong with the ACOEM Mold Statement. Click on the header to read the full article.

The author makes several points:

  • “The purpose, balance, and focus on clinical and public health, epidemiology, exposure assessment and control,and disease prevention, as well as recommendations for taking a leadership role in controlling the
    environmental hazard, and calling for additional research that were addressed in all of these previous ACOEM position statements and guidelines were conspicuously absent from the ACOEM Mold Statement.” The very elements of earlier position statements that make those statements balanced and professional were not included in the mold statement

  • “ACOEM members with credible training, qualifications, and clinical,
    epidemiological and/or original research experience in indoor air quality (IAQ), sick building syndrome (SBS), and indoor fungal bioaerosols (mold) [were not solicited ] to serve as the authors.” The authors chosen to write the ACOEM Mold Statement were not experts in the field;

  • A claim is made of peer review by “over 100 physicians.” The article points out that there is evidence of fewer than 20 peers actually reviewed.
  • “Despite Dr. Borak’s call for a “meticulous” and “meaningful” peer review, only two of the reviewers had previously published on mold-related topics. Medline literature search reveals that none of the other reviewers had previously published any peer-reviewed articles.” Those chosen were clearly lacking authority in the topic area.

The article goes on to points drawn from critiques of the ACOEM Mold Statement and to make suggestions about how to fix what ails statement procedure so that the results accurately portray legitimate conclusions.

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