Do I Need a CIH
What is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)? I recently did a mold inspection at a commercial property in Santa Rosa that involved faulty stucco installation, which resulted in mold growth. One of the attorneys involved mentioned the need for a CIH to inspect the property in case it went to trial. Why... I asked? "Well... I dont know... isnt that what we are supposed to do, get a CIH?". I am sure this guy was a very intelligent attorney, probably educated at the finest schools, but his assumption that we needed a CIH dates back to the 90's when the industry was young. A CIH is a professional who specializes in work place safety. They deal with lighting issues, carpal tunnel, ergonomics, chemical exposure, etc. Back when the whole "mold thing" was relatively new, they were the logical choice when it cam to assessing mold and its affect on the indoor environment. Who else could do it? CIH's were trained to inspect commercial properties and assess the potential hazards and inconveniences in the work place. Unfortunately, there is not a single mold or microbial question on the CIH exam. The American Indoor Air Quality Council (now the American Council for Accredited Certifications - ACAC), developed the Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC), and the Council-certified Microbial Consultant (CMC), to deal with mold and microbial issues. Both the CIEC and the CMC have 8 year education and experience requirements (CIH is 5 years), both require an extensive exam and continuing education, and both are accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB). While there are some very good CIH's out there with extensive knowledge and experience in mold-related issues, the title "CIH" does not necessarily mean that the person is a microbial expert. The CIEC and the CMC are microbial experts!