Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt

Mary B <> Wed, 09 May 2018 22:07 UTC

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From: Mary B <>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2018 17:07:32 -0500
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To: Ole Jacobsen <>
Cc: Ted Lemon <>, mtgvenue <>, ietf <>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt
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You can find mold anywhere, anytime - *indoor* mold, which is the problem
we're concerned about here is not unique to tropical countries.    I found
a pretty bad situation in Las Vegas a few weeks back (a meeting room
located under a rooftop pool).   It too had the water damaged sagging
acoustical tiles. And, the winter in very cold climates can be just as bad
as tropical climates.   So, your comment isn't particularly constructive.
If you want to better understand the issue, here's an article on the issues
of mould in buildings in Norway:

I have photos of some of the water damage in one of the meeting rooms in
Singapore.  There was obvious leaking in the ceiling in the attached
shopping area.  Unfortunately, the toxins produced by the mold don't just
stay in the place where the mold developed because air flow isn't
restricted to that area.  And, of course, anyplace that uses a lot of A/C
can be problematic and the biggest issues come in places that turn off the
HVAC when the rooms aren't occupied (that's why schools and churches in the
US can be quite bad).

There are WHO guidelines on good practices for avoiding these problems:  Any
building can develop mold issues.  The very basic fact is that mold will
grow within 24-48 hours on a lot of building materials if they are not
adequately dried.  And WHO has developed a very nice brochure on the issues
and how to address:

I would agree with Andrew's assessment that the hotels will probably deny
mold problems, but I would *think* that those selecting the venue could
look at ceilings and see obvious water damage.  And, there was mold on the
walls in several of the rooms I looked at the Swisshotel.  I have lots of
photos of all these things.  And, these weren't new problems - it was clear
they'd been that way for a while.  The fact that I could get a good room at
Swisshotel is the proof point that it is possible to avoid mold even in
tropical climates.

As far as the cost of testing, an individual can do a very simple test
(called a HERTSMI) themselves for around $150. You take a swiffer cloth
(that's been kept in a ziploc before and after testing to ensure the
integrity of the sample)  and cover it with dust that you collect from
places that typically aren't cleaned frequently as the mycotoxins settle in
the dust.   I did those tests when looking to buy a condo for my son and
they are quite accurate as I also had a mold inspector do typical air

My suggestion is that at least one person that does the site visits focuses
on looking for this sort of issue and collecting a sample if there is
visible water damage. Then, I would also ask the venue how they plan to
handle that water damage and whether it's a recurring problem.  If it is,
that means they aren't properly addressing it and the place could be risky
(but again a HERTSMI test would give you a rough idea about that).   You
can collect the sample and then only test places that you are considering
signing a contract with.   I don't think it's too much to ask for the
venues where we meet to be properly maintained to minimize potential mold.
Again, the venue in Singapore clearly was not.  And, no, I don't think
trading off a toxic building so that we can meet a new, exotic place is the
right choice.

As I've said, I'm not the only one possibly impacted. Indeed, I'm lucky in
that I will know when I'm being exposed and will get out and have meds to
treat it. Others will just start feeling a little cruddy, think they're
getting a bug and return home and find they seem to be getting sick a
little more frequently and then they'll blame any lingering fatigue on jet
lag, getting older, etc.  I did that for at least 5 years before I figured
out that mold was the culprit.  And, with a place like Singapore where both
the venue and some of the rooms were moldy, some folks were being exposed
21-24 hours/day depending upon how often they left the venue.


On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 4:12 PM, Ole Jacobsen <> wrote:

> What shall we do if we find mold in a tropical country?? Move the meeting
> to winter in Tromsø?
> Ole J. Jacobsen
> Editor & Publisher
> The Internet Protocol Journal
> Cell: +1 415 370-4628
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> Sent from my iPhone
> On 9 May 2018, at 22:50, Ted Lemon <> wrote:
> I don't know if the document should be explicit about this, but certainly
> if it is not common practice to spot check the venue hotel, that's a recipe
> for bad outcomes.
> On Wed, May 9, 2018, 16:37 Andrew Sullivan <> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 09, 2018 at 04:20:46PM -0400, Ted Lemon wrote:
>> >
>> > I think moulds are fine, but we want to avoid mold.
>> Sorry, we use different spelling dictionaries.
>> > was in Hiroshima, asking "are the rooms nonsmoking" didn't work
>> either.   In
>> > both cases, the site evaluation process requires that someone actually
>> go look
>> > at a bunch of rooms in the venue hotel and check to see that there
>> isn't a
>> > problem, without first telling the hotel staff specifically what we are
>> looking
>> > for, so that they don't know which rooms to steer us toward.
>> That is not how I interpret the language in the draft that has been
>> produced, so if it's what you're expecting I think it needs to be
>> clear.  I think your restated requirement is that the staff performing
>> the site vetting not only has checked for the relevant prohibitions
>> and designations, but also that the prohibitions and designations are
>> in fact enforced.  We do not have that language right now, in my
>> reading.
>> Best regards,
>> A
>> --
>> Andrew Sullivan
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