The first mold remediation protocol is found in the Bible, Leviticus 14:33-53, “Cleansing From Mildew”. The Patriarchs already knew that indoor mold was bad, and that spurred them to develop the first mold remediation protocol in history. In addition, they must have known that certain types of molds were worse than others by referring to the worse kind as a “destructive mildew,” in other words, toxic mold!
In biblical times, the priest was the authority on everything, which included assuming the functions of a mold inspector. Based on his assessment, he recommended specific steps:
- 36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. 37 He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.
We know today that if an indoor mold contamination is present, closing up the house or building for any number of days, without ventilation, is going to exacerbate the mold problem —not make it go away.
- 39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. 41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
Strangely, the first recorded mold remediation protocol
in history contains the basic formula of a modern
mold remediation protocol,
that is to scrape, remove, and dispose of
the contaminated material.
However, the Bible has omitted an extremely important element – that is to find and fix the source of moisture that led to the mold problem. Perhaps the “new clay and plaster” fixed the leaky roof, and lo and behold the mold remediation protocol was effective. If not, the priest had another recourse…
- 43 If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean. 45 It must be torn down-its stones, timbers and all the plaster-and taken out of the town to an unclean place.
Further steps in the mold remediation protocol of the patriarchs included prayers, the success of which is doubtful.
Verse 45 is similar to what happens today when a house is found beyond repairs; it is condemned, completely gutted, or even demolished. It is remarkable that with a limited knowledge about mold, the patriarchs had the right idea about mold and incredible foresight in developing a mold remediation protocol.
If you would like to learn more about mold, check our book: MOLD MATTERS, SOLUTIONS AND PREVENTION.