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The Business Forum Journal


Strange . . . but True


By Steven G. Rush


If you have seen any of my other articles, you know that I perform environmental investigations concerning mold, toxic chemicals, or other health related issues in buildings.

I thought you might get a kick out of a sampling of some of the clients and situations I have been involved with.

Hope you enjoy!



A.     When you stand in your living room, you are probably less than 3 feet away from toxic chemicals so dangerous they were banned by the EPA over 15 years ago.

B.     A woman remodeled her kitchen.  But whenever she cooked on her beautiful new stove, she became ill.  Why?

C.     I went to the condo of a woman who had probably developed brain cancer while in her early 40�s. What do you think I found that was a contributing factor?

D.    A family stored all their furniture and belongings in a moving van for 6 months while their new house was being finished. After moving in, they discovered that their belongings were all moldy because the moving van had a hole in the roof and rain water collected inside the van.  But . . . the story had a happy ending!

E.     A family in a small house was having respiratory problems.  The air samples showed elevated levels of mold. My inspection revealed that the problem originated in the kitchen.  However, there was no mold in the kitchen.  What was the problem? 

F.     I received a call from a lady in New Jersey. She is chemically sensitive and was ill for weeks after her apartment was repainted. She called me because she found an article that I had written about that type of sensitivity. How did I help her? 

G.    One of my colleagues had a woman client who was having trouble sleeping in her home ever since she and her husband had moved in a few years earlier. A high electric field was found in the wall next to her bed.  The inspector had to call the disbelieving and complaining husband to help move the bed to a new location.  What was the surprise result?  

Resolutions and answers:

A.      As for toxic stuff close to your living room?  In the crawl space below.  98% of the homes tested in California had Chlordane and/or DDT in the crawl space. Same condition is found in most of the US.

B.      As for lady who became ill when she used her new oven?  The exhaust vent that was installed in the crawl space below the kitchen was trapped between the old foundation and the new foundation and every time she used her oven the exhaust was forced back into the kitchen.

C.       As for the lady with brain cancer?   All of the power for the 8 units her building came in just outside the master bedroom wall on which she placed her head to sleep, creating very elevated magnetic fields.

D.     As for the family with the moldy belongings? They sued the moving company and my testimony at deposition helped them get a big settlement . . . so they were able to buy new stuff!

E.      As for the family with the mold problem? They were boiling lots of water for pasta in an open pot on their stove.  The steam then wafted through the house and condensed on the walls, creating a perfect environment for mold growth. 

F.       As for the lady with the paint sensitivity problem?  I gave her options such as covering the paint with a special sealer to seal in the odor or using a treatment to neutralize the odor.  I also gave her the contact information for an environmental consultant in her area in case she has future problems.

G.     As for the lady who was not sleeping?  A few weeks later the disbelieving husband called the inspector.  The inspector was expecting more complaints.  However, the husband said thank you over and over�the couple was finally resuming their lovemaking, which had all but stopped after moving into the new house!  Obviously the wife was feeling much better! 


Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me; that is what I am here for.

Steven G. Rush is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and is the Founder and Principal of Rush Quality Environments, a green-oriented company that specializes in creating healthy indoor environments.  He graduated from Emory University with a BS in biology and a strong foundation in chemistry and has an MA from Duke University in Forestry, specializing in plant physiology.  Steve was a general contractor for several years.  He is a Registered Environmental Assessor with the state of California and has these certifications with the American Council for Accredited Certification:  Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant, Certified Microbial Consultant, Certified Indoor Air Quality Consultant and Certified Mold Remediation Supervisor. He is a certified Asbestos Building Inspector.  Steve has testified at arbitrations, mediations, depositions and in court as an expert witness concerning indoor environmental issues.  He helps  clients create healthy homes and workspaces.  He also consults with builders and architects to make structures healthy and green.

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