Wonder Makers Blog

Preliminary Report for Restoration Contractors Assisting Clients With COVID-19 Concerns

Posted March 19, 2020

This document will help you limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Although it is written for restoration contractors, it has good information for property managers, school administrators, churches, and business.

Wonder Makers has been in the forefront of the development of this document; which is a professional collaborative effort of some of the best experts from around the world. The document has the endorsement of the two major industry groups that represent professional cleaners and restorers—the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

We are honored that Wonder Makers was trusted to take the lead in developing this critical information. While the document provides a great foundation for cleaning and treating structures during this pandemic, many projects will have special circumstances which require adaptation of the general approach. For those situations, Wonder Makers is available to review the specifics and provide common sense guidance that dovetails with industry protocols and government announcements.

Although traveling is difficult and organizations are being requested to minimize larger gatherings, training opportunities through webinars and other creative means are possible. Talk to us at Wonder Makers so we can find a creative solution for your needs.

Hand sanitizer shortage forcing people to make own

Posted March 5, 2020

"Amid COVID-19 concerns, many stores throughout the nation are having trouble keeping shelves stocked with hand sanitizer, so people have resorted to making their own."

Watch the news report by clicking below:


Sanitizing Surfaces can help prevent spread of coronavirus if it comes to West Michigan

Posted March 4, 2020

"Just because we have coronavirus cases in Kalamazoo, doesn't mean that we're all going to die."


Artemis Bio-Solutions Defender 2 Minute Disinfectant Wipes: https://artemisbiosolutions.com/product/defender-2-minute-disinfectant-wipes/

Fiberlock Shockwave: https://www.fiberlock.com/product/shockwave/ 

Watch the news report by clicking below:


Preventing the flu: Your workplace might be making you sick 

Posted February 24, 2020

"Not calling in sick from work could be doing more harm than good."

Watch the news report by clicking below:


Happy New Year from Wonder Makers Environmental!

Posted January 2, 2020

Happy New Year to all clients, customers, and friends of Wonder Makers! We hope you all had a wonderful and safe time ringing in the new year.

We wanted to share some important information to start 2020. Click here to read our latest newsletter about the importance of safety and the tools we and others offer to help you stay safe! 

Here is a sneak preview:

Meth house busts can leave property owners with hefty clean-up bills

Posted November 17, 2019

"Records show the number of properties being busted for meth-related activities are on the decline, but experts said if the homes aren’t properly cleaned, the hazards left behind by dangerous chemicals can stick around for years."

Watch the news report by clicking below:

If you don't clean your child's lunch box daily, you might after reading this story 

Posted September 5, 2019

"It does not take much. It is just a matter of people being conscious about it, and being a little more focused about it, and being a little more focused on wiping out lunch boxes once every few days, instead of once every few months."

Read the full news report by clicking the picture below:

Air Quality Causing Health Issues for Teachers and Students

Posted July 30, 2019

"Sunset Lake Elementary School teachers, in a statement made public Friday, demanded that the Vicksburg Community Schools correct air quality issues suspected of contributing to health problems among staff and students."

We are honored to be part of serious cases such as this one. It is our mission at Wonder Makers to help people and make sure their environment is not making them ill.

Read the full news report by clicking the picture below:

Golf Balls Polluting Lake Michigan?

Posted July 25, 2019

"Lake Michigan is home to sandy beaches, refreshing water, and some of the most beautiful sunsets you'll ever see. Despite the beauty above, unexpected pollution beneath the lake's surface has caused concern for some beach-goers."

Read the full news report by clicking the picture below:

Contamination Advisory

Posted July 8, 2019

"They don't post these warnings just to see how much trouble they can cause people...they post them because there's a real reason for it - Why play with your health?" 

Read the full news report by clicking the picture below:

Strategic Partnership (RIA + IICRC)

Posted May 13, 2019

"The Restoration Industry Association, Inc. (RIA) and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) announce a strategic partnership to enable each organization to focus on its core mission and which will help elevate knowledge and professionalism within the industry."

Michael is honored to serve on the board that made this strategic partnership happen!

To read more about this partnership in the R&R Magazine, click the picture below:


Forensic Conference Speaker: Gordy Powell

Posted November 9, 2018

With the RIA Forensic Restoration Conference being less than a week away, we wanted to focus on another key topic that will be presented—uncovering evidence during a trauma clean up. Gordy Powell, Forensic Industry Consultant with Georgia Clean will be navigating attendees through this vital subject matter next Thursday (the first day of the conference).

Whether it is a hoarder home, unattended death scene, crime/trauma cleanup, or drug lab remediation, restoration contractors frequently come across materials that could be related to a crime. Knowing how to handle potential evidence discovered during such work is vital in assisting law enforcement in resolving crimes and protecting the restoration contractor from liabilities.

The speaker will draw on his decades of experience in the forensic restoration world and the close connection with law enforcement to explain appropriate protocols that should be followed when potential evidence is discovered. He will explain in details some of the liability concerns, both for the organization and individual workers if they do not properly recognized and preserve evidence. The presentation will also include practical tips for how individuals should conduct themselves in the presence of law enforcement representatives, especially crime detectives. Finally, the program will illustrate how raising your degree of professionalism in regards to handling items of potential evidence will enhance public safety and the reputation of the restoration firm.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions.

Forensic Conference Speaker: Morris Napolitano

Posted November 7, 2018

Our Forensic Conference Speaker Spotlight of the Day goes to: Morris Napolitano of Degmor Inc. and Chairman for the Environmental Contractors Association.

Model Awareness Training Being Utilized to Prepare Building Owners and Contractors to Deal with Multiple Environmental Hazards in New York City

Many of the challenges posed by hazards that are covered by forensic restoration are magnified in large urban areas. Greater population density, high-rise buildings, and a large percentage of rental properties all can contribute to a more difficult working environment.

As Chairman of the Board for the Environmental Contractors Association of New York City the speaker will publicly rollout the efforts that are underway in New York to respond to New York City regulations designed to improve safety on construction sites. The ECA has responded to these requirements by setting standards in environmental safety training that is unique in the industry. Their experience serves as an example for how industry associations can raise public awareness of environmental hazards related to restoration work, including forensic restoration.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018  

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions.

Forensic Conference Speaker: David Schultz

Posted November 6, 2018

Happy Tuesday! Just a friendly reminder, the RIA Forensic Conference is NEXT WEEK Thursday and Friday…and don’t forget the Benefect Bullseye Challenge social event on Wednesday! It feels like we have been preparing for this for a long time and the closer it gets, the more we want to share our excitement!

You should definitely be eager to hear David Schultz, Environmental Services Manager at Kelmann Restoration, give his presentation based on a Phoenix Award winning project regarding bird infestation. He will explain how the RIA Forensic guidelines can save contractors a substantial amount of time and effort while ensuring a safe project and successful outcome.  

Tons of Avian Contamination: Addressing an Extreme Case of Bird Infestation With Lessons for Situations Which Are More Common Than Recognized

Presenter: David Schultz, Environmental Services Manager, Kelmann Restoration

Restoration companies are called quite frequently when building owners discover animal infestations that have resulted in nesting materials, fecal matter, and other biological residue. Using PPE and chemical disinfectants the majority of such projects are handled with little fanfare. However, the standard approach does not work when the infestation has been ongoing for a century and the biological matter is enough to fill multiple dumpsters.

This presentation is based on a Phoenix Award winning project where the contractor used common sense to sort out the difficult issues. One of the primary challenges that will be discussed was the fact that the work was conducted under a century-old copper dome that was a landmark with both local and national attention for its historic integrity and beauty. Attendees will see that on the inside, the dome was a different, darker place filled with 100 years of dead birds, bats and debris. Words and pictures will be used to show the impact of biological waste and the importance of proper engineering controls; all complicated by the sensitive nature of working within a school.

The speakers will be forthright in sharing the challenges that continually cropped up during the efforts to successfully clean the building and how those trials required ingenuity to be an integral part of the planning and day-to-day operations. They will emphasize how using their experience from other restoration projects allowed them to implement procedures that were similar to those incorporated into the RIA Forensic Guidelines. They will also show how those guidelines can save other contractors in similar situations substantial amount of time and effort while ensuring a safe project and successful outcome.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018.  

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions. 

Forensic Conference Social Event - The Benefect Bullseye Challenge!

Posted November 1, 2018

November is finally here. Do you know what that means? The RIA Forensic Conference is only two weeks away!

The countdown is on…but have you heard about our unique Social Event that is happening the day before the conference starts? A couple of hours before the welcome reception and dinner you have the opportunity to participate in the Benefect Bullseye Challenge.

Join us on November 14th from 1:00-5:45 at the Impact Shooting Center that is only 15 minutes away from the conference location. Transportation will be provided. Please take a minute to look over our flyer with all of the details that you need to know: https://www.wondermakers.com/Portals/0/Benefect%20Bullseye%20Challenge_Flyer.pdf

You can register for the Benefect Bullseye Challenge during the registration process for the Forensic Conference. Sign up today! https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions.


Forensic Conference Speaker: Travis J. Worst

Posted October 31, 2018

Happy Wednesday everyone! In case you haven’t heard yet, we have an amazing lineup of speakers for the RIA Forensic Conference that is less than a month away. Trust us, you are in for a treat (no tricks) if you take advantage of this opportunity!

Thursday November 15 from 1:30-2:30:

Fentanyl Decontamination: The Dangers and the Latest Science of What Works For Decontamination

Travis J. Worst, Graduate Coordinator for Forensic Science and Instructor of Forensic Science, Bowling Green State University and The Center for the Future of Forensic Science

This is a session that is unique in the restoration industry, and vitally important. Dr. Worst’s PhD in Pharmacology led him to a specialized position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) working in the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit and the Chemical and Biological Sciences Unit. His research studying the pharmacological effects of “designer drugs”, such as synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones, and fentanyl-like compounds made him the nation's recognized expert in such matters.

Because of the horrendous toll that fentanyl is taking in conjunction with the opioid epidemic, any restoration contractor involved in drug lab cleanup or crime and scene decontamination needs to be aware of the dangers of occupational exposures that can occur since this drug is so potent that three crystals the size of grains of salt is enough to kill a person. In order to return properties to the loss conditions cleaning and disinfection techniques must be effective in removing all traces of these designer drugs.

The presentation will include an overview of the dangers of fentanyl as well as the extent of fentanyl abuse that is impacting North America. A brief overview of the pharmacology associated with fentanyl is necessary so that restoration contractors can understand why certain cleaning techniques are effective and others are not. Information will also be provided on the current science that explains the likely routes of fentanyl degradation. Most importantly, is the discussion of potential products that can clean surfaces contaminated by fentanyl.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018.  

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions. 


Forensic Conference Speaker: Christopher Yanker

Posted October 30, 2018

Today we would like to shine a spotlight on another one of the amazing speakers you will have the privilege of listening to and learning from at the RIA Forensic Conference that is less than a month away!

Christopher Yanker of Buffalo Restoration will be talking about the transition from restoration to forensic work on the second day of the conference, November 16, 2018 from 10:30-11:15.

 As a second generation company Buffalo Restoration has been performing all sorts of “standard” restoration projects (water loss, fire, mold remediation) for decades. In general, they were excited to add forensic projects and after successes and failures over time they realized that they had to embrace such work and build unique processes and a new level of expertise different from their other projects or avoid forensics restoration all together. Hearing how this firm made the transition to forensic work, and the additional benefits that they realized when they did take on specialty projects that they navigated through with differing results for years, is instructive for any company on the fence regarding crime and trauma scene project, hoarder situations, drug lab cleaning, animal infestations, and the like.

Christopher will share some critical lessons that Buffalo Restoration has learned about the importance of effective client communication and transparency in regards to explaining services; for forensic work and all restoration. He will also explain the way that forensic work enhanced their reputation in the industry and the community.

If you are wondering whether it makes sense for your company to make the jump into forensic restoration, this conference is for you; and listening to a peer who has made a successful transition is especially important.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018.  

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions. 

Forensic Conference Speaker: Derrick Denis

Posted October 24, 2018

This week we would like to shine a spotlight on one of the amazing speakers you will have the privilege of listening to and learning from at the RIA Forensic Conference that is less than a month away!

Derrick Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality at Clark Seif Clark will be covering one of the most intriguing topics, hoarding. His section is on November 15, 2018 from10:30-11:30. This is a speaker and a topic that you definitely do not want to miss out on! Keep reading for a taste of what he will be covering.

Hoarding...it is all the rage. There are TV shows dedicated to it, and public awareness of hoarding has never been higher. But, what are the practical issues to consider in a hoarding situation if you are the landlord, the investor or the restorer? What are the overt and covert hazards you need to consider? How do you protect the property, occupant, the neighbors, and your crew? The speaker brings a wealth of experience to the conference to help those in attendance understand a key factor in successfully addressing these types of situations which is the underlying fact that hoarding must be addressed as a mental health issue. He will offer a stunning array of visual examples of projects where hoarding of contents and/or pets has occurred. Using actual case studies, as well as scientific research, Mr. Denis will help the participants become familiar with wide array of hazards of hoarding houses before, during, and after restoration. He will then build on this information to explain how contractors can learn how to identify hazards and then select appropriate strategies to mitigate those physical, biological, chemical, and emotional challenges that go with remediating hoarding properties.

Secure your spot and read more about the exciting line-up of speakers by visiting: https://www.restorationindustry.org/page/Forensic2018.  

As always, please email us at info@wondermakers.com or give us a call at 269-382-4154 with any and all questions. 


Forensic Conference Social Event

Posted October 11, 2018


Bullseye Challenge Flyer

Back-to-School IAQ Concerns

Posted September 6, 2018

It’s that time again when parents are celebrating and the kids are back in school! Back-to-school time means different things for different people. Whether or not the students are excited to ‘hit the books,’ their parents should definitely be looking out for their health. A less talked about health risk for returning students involves the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of the school they are attending. “According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 percent of schools report poor air quality.”

The Healthy Schools Network, Inc. out of Albany, NY has put together a ‘Parent’s Guide to School Indoor Air Quality’ that you can find here: http://www.healthyschools.org/downloads/IAQ_Guide.pdf

Definitely take some time to check out the guide if you have kids back in school, and as always Wonder Makers Environmental is here to help with any IAQ issue you might be facing whether it be at school, at your workplace, or even in your home.

You can contact Wonder Makers at 269-382-4154 or by email at info@wondermakers.com  

PFAS in Parchment

Posted August 2, 2018

This week Michael was on the news again. This time he was talking with our local News Channel 3 about the discovery of PFAS in the water supply for Parchment, MI. While Wonder Makers’ main focus is indoor environmental issues, that was not always the case. Wonder Makers used to deal with outdoor environmental projects that occasionally included water quality, so this topic was nothing new to our 30 year old business.  

Click the link to see what Michael had to say as he was interviewed in front of Parchment High School where water bottles have been distributed.


Seven Wonders

Posted July 12, 2018

Happy Thursday, everyone! It is almost the weekend, but we are taking a stroll down memory lane today. Show of hands, who remembers this Wonder Makers ad from 1989? This is the ‘Seven Wonders’ ad that shows off how our asbestos sampling products are conveniently utilized. Advertisements for Wonder Makers may have changed over the years, but the quality of our products is just as good as it was 30 years ago.

You can order any of these easy and safe sampling tools on our products page: https://www.wondermakers.com/Products. You can also read about the 2018 Negative Exposure Assessment on Wonder Makers’ website: https://www.wondermakers.com/

2,000 Lead Students!

Posted July 5, 2018


Wonder Makers’ Lead RRP class has been taught to over 2,000 students as of April this year. The graphic shows how many RRP students were trained per year from the first class in 2009 to the 226th class in 2018.

We encourage all of our students to stay up-to-date on all of the latest rules and regulations regarding lead. EPA is currently proposing to change the dust-lead hazard standards. This mainly affects pre-1978 housing and childcare facilities (i.e., day care buildings).

HUD/EPA dust-lead levels for lead abatement have changed, but Lead RRP has not changed. To read more about the proposed changes, visit: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-06/documents/prepubcopy_leaddust-nprm_2018-06-22.pdf


Forensic Specialist Course

Posted June 28, 2018

This week we are highlighting our Forensic Specialist Course. It includes delicious homemade food, a textbook, the RIA Guidelines, and three certificates. See the flyer for all of the details about this class you don’t want to miss!

Also, don’t forget to register for:

The 2018 RIA Forensic Restoration Conference

November 15-16

Cincinnati Airport Marriot Hotel

Attend to learn about potential pandemic organisms that could explode into the international news like Ebola did a few years ago. Sign up to hear an objective view of various decontamination systems for biological contaminants as well as methods for evaluating project success. Participants will “learn through doing” by thinking through preparations for addressing widespread biological contamination.

Visit the RIA website for more information.

Help direct the future of the industry and join the Restoration Industry Association! If you’re interested in joining or would like more information, please CLICK HERE.

R&R's Recognizing Women in Restoration

Posted June 21, 2018

“As women step into higher roles, gain visibility and industry involvement, there is a new camaraderie evolving; a sisterhood that is merging with the brotherhood in restoration, creating one cohesive, well-balanced industry committed to serving customers on a level never before seen. The winner and runners-up of this year’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign are no exception.” –Michelle Blevins

This week we would like to congratulate all of the amazing women that were nominated for R&R’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign. Candidates were judged against six criteria and our very own Susan Pinto was one of four industry judges.

Congratulations to the top three selected for recognition out of over 40 women that were nominated.

Second runner-up: Ivi Sims, President of Mould Squad & Wood Floor Drying in Victoria, Australia.

First runner-up: Diane Whittles, owner of SERVPRO of Annapolis in Annapolis, MD.

Winner: Lisa Cordasco, President of New Crystal Restoration in Port Chester, New York.

Lisa will be presented with the award tomorrow at the Violand Executive Summit in Canton, OH. The women going to the Summit were invited to attend a ‘Women in Leadership’ event that was facilitated by Michelle Blevins, R&R Editor-in-Chief. Susan had the honor of speaking about the defining moments in her career at that event.

To read the full article and learn about the incredible women in our industry visit Michelle’s article in the R&R Magazine here: https://www.randrmagonline.com/articles/87985-recognizing-women-in-restoration-2018-winner-lisa-cordasco

Fred Flintstone is OSHA Certified

Posted June 14, 2018

The system that is supposed to be saving the lives of construction workers in NYC is so unwieldy that the fictional character Fred Flintstone has received OSHA certification for completing his 10-hour online training.

Click the link below to hear the rest of the story and what our very own Michael Pinto has to say about it to the News 7 investigators.


(The full news video is at the top of the article and the teaser, also worth a watch, is a little further down the page.)


2018 RIA Forensic Restoration Conference
New Date, Same Location
November 15-16 in Cincinnati, Ohio - at the Cincinnati Airport Marriot Hotel

This is not your typical conference!

Finally, a conference that is organized to be practical, actionable, and profitable for organizations that resolve situations with higher risk environmental contaminants. Forensic restoration is often misconstrued as crime and trauma scene clean-up; but it is much more. It is the bridge for restoration contractors to understand how to move from common projects such as fire and water to those that are complicated by environmental hazards; regardless of whether those hazards are currently regulated.

This event offers a carefully selected mix of topics and presentations which provides essential overview information and opportunities to build detailed technical skills. Plan to join the event in Cincinnati to learn about potential pandemic organisms that could explode into the international news like Ebola did a few years ago. Sign up to hear an objective view of various decontamination systems for biological contaminants as well as methods for evaluating project success. Participants will “learn through doing” by thinking through preparations for addressing widespread biological contamination.

Visit the RIA website for more information.

Catalog vs. Online Shopping

Posted April 19, 2018

Happy #ThrowbackThursday friends!

Times have sure changed since Wonder Makers was founded in 1988. Gone are the days of the LA Dodgers winning the World Series, The Wonder Years, Cheap Trick and ordering products over the phone via catalog.

That’s right, for all of you youngsters out there, online shopping didn’t even exist when Wonder Makers first started out. WM didn’t even have a website until 2001 and the online shopping cart wasn’t an added feature until at least 2008.

Back in 1990, customers could call WM’s phone number from the catalog (shown on the left side of the picture) and place a Cash On Deliver (COD) order. COD orders meant that the customer didn’t pay anything until the order was delivered to them, when they would hand the UPS driver the cash or check for the order. In contrast, anyone from anywhere in the world can visit our website today and just click ‘ADD TO CART’ (as shown in the right side of the picture), put in the shipping and credit card information, and their product will be on the way. It is a welcomed technological advancement, and prevents the hassle of moving physical cash around.

While we are more than happy to assist our customers with orders over the phone or via fax, we are pleased to be able to offer online shopping to provide our customers with a safe, quick, and convenient way to order and re-order our wide array of our products!

Visit our products page at www.wondermakers.com/products for more information!


The Big Picture of Wonder Makers

Posted April 12, 2018

Happy Thursday!

In honor of our 30th anniversary, our Administrative Services Manager, Alicia Richmond, created a “Big Picture” to show everything that we do here at Wonder Makers.

We are a multi-faceted company. We do everything from lab analysis, to teaching classes for certification, to consulting, to manufacturing and selling our merchandise.

Everything we do, we do it with our customers in mind. It has been the Wonder Makers’ mission for the past 30 years to “serve God and our society by helping people solve environmental, health, and safety problems,” and we strive every day to fulfill this mission.

Please take a closer look and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Progression of Paul

Posted April 5, 2018

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from our WONDERful team here at Wonder Makers Environmental!

This week we are sharing an extra-special post. Paul is the hilarious, fun-loving son of Michael and Susan, who has been a vital member of the Wonder Makers team for his entire life!

If you order our cutter sleeves, you more than likely have seen a reminder sheet at the bottom of the box letting you know that it is time to re-order. This is to ensure that there will be enough on hand to help assist you with asbestos projects. In the bottom right hand corner of those sheets you might find “Packed by Paul C. Pinto.”

We have another 30-year progression for our #TBTtoday. On the left you can see a picture of little Paul vialing his first cutter sleeve in 1988. In the middle is Paul, ten years later, sporting a stylish Wonder Makers shirt in 1998, still going strong. Finally, on the right we flash forward twenty years, where you can see a very sharply dressed Paul, a 2018 businessman. He is a master at vialing and packing cutter sleeves. It is tedious work but one that he can do better than anyone else. The cutter sleeves include 100 to a box and he, on average, can pack 8-10 boxes in 5 hours.

When asked what every businessman needs, he replied, “A nice suit, tie, belt, tucked-in shirt, and dress shoes!” As you can see in the picture on the right, he is a very successful businessman. He likes to work hard and likes to look good while doing it.

When asked for some words to live by, he said, “My father is never smarter than me, never.” Having Michael as a father definitely means big shoes to fill, but Paul is always up to the challenge. He is never held back by what some people would say is a disability. He is as sharp as a tack, perceptive, hilarious and sometimes a little sneaky.

Wonder Makers wouldn’t be what it is today without Paul!
Industry Trends Through the Ages

Posted March 29, 2018

While some of you were rewinding your VHS tapes and trying to solve your Rubik’s Cube, the environmental industry was figuring out how to deal with asbestos building materials that had been installed into homes in years prior. Wonder Maker’s revolutionized the way suspect asbestos materials can be collected without risk of exposure to the dangerous fibers, with our Bulk Sampler. See our #TBT post from last week to learn more about our 30th edition Bulk Sampler and read about how it passed the Negative Exposure Assessment with flying colors.

In the 90’s Wonder Makers stayed on trend by putting our focus on lead while you were chatting on AOL Instant Messenger. There were new rules and regulations that came about after significant amounts of the lead were found in workers’ blood. Wonder Makers was involved with the lead inspections, project management, and educating those involved with lead.

In the late 90s, age of bucket hats and butterfly clips, the Baby Boomers were growing up, and so was their awareness of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). With innovative, energy efficient homes came IAQ issues. Houses were sealed tighter to conserve energy and thus dampened the air exchange between indoors and outdoors, which can cause unwelcomed things to stay.

 During the time when Kelly Clarkson won American Idol and Regis Philbin asked, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” mold became a big deal. In 2001, Melinda Ballard won $32 million in a large-scale court case against Farmers Insurance. Her case threw mold into the spotlight, exposing just how negatively it can impact your life, health, and home. Mold, in essence, had become famous. According to Wonder Maker’s President, Susan Pinto, it was as if Stachybotrys had a press agent! Stachy made its big debut in the USA Weekend newspaper in July 2002. Due to a high demand for affordable mold testing, Wonder Makers conceptualized a portable, affordable, rentable mold testing kit, the Wonder Air. To this day, the Wonder Air is one of our most popular products.

In 2008, the year Madonna turned 50, cleaning for health took the spotlight. It was the age when people became more aware of their health and wellbeing, and how the environments can affect both. Schools were becoming increasingly aware that cleaning for health would reduce sickness and absenteeism for both teachers and students. It became clear to us at Wonder Makers that cleaning ‘touch points’ was vital to create and maintain a healthy environment in not only schools but hospitals and homes as well.

From 2015 to 2018 the industry trend took a turn to include a broader range of topics. The trend is related to Forensic Restoration. This category is multi-faceted. Forensic Restoration can involve anything from dead animals, to hoarding, to illicit drug labs, to suicide, to mass casualties. During these years, our society has been dealing with large amounts of unexpected, heartbreaking tragedies. In 2015, suicide was the “tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 44,000 people,” according to the CDC.

Mass casualties pose an unfortunate, but necessary question for the restoration industry about what should be done to protect people who are involved in the restoration to prevent making matters worse. Michael wrote a textbook that compliments the RIA Forensic Guidelines and started stressing the need for education when it comes to forensic restoration. Terrible things are happening and it is our hope and prayer that soon Wonder Makers will see the wave on to the next trend.

When asked for a prediction of the next industry trend, Michael said this, “We have been focused on individual contaminants, whereas I think the next trend is going to be focusing on how the individuals respond to the multiple contaminants.”

You can see throughout the trend wave that the industry has been focused on individual issues one at a time, but in reality, a lot of the trends are hand-in-hand. Individuals might have an IAQ problem that involves mold that has in turn caused an individual to suffer from extreme sensitivities to chemicals, odors, etc. Being able to help people solve their environmental, health and safety issues, involves looking at the big picture. We hope that this concept catches on and that more people can benefit from the mindset that there are no two situations that are exactly alike. Having this perspective, we believe, can help those in our industry better help those who need it the most.

For more information about services, classes, and products, you can visit our website at www.wondermakers.com. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 269-382-4154 or submit an email https://www.wondermakers.com/Contact. We look forward to hearing from you.

Multiple Benefits to Attending Wonder Makers Training

Posted March 23, 2018

We want to let you know of another benefit to attending a Wonder Makers Environmental training course. We are frequently asked to evaluate products to find out what is best for our industry and let our students know what we have learned. Sometimes when manufacturers hear we are independently promoting their product, they offer us a sales commission or finder’s fee for new clients. We don’t accept these commissions since we don’t want to compromise our objectivity. We want our students to benefit, so we ask the manufacturers to pass the savings on to our students. The most recent arrangement is with Timilon – producers of theOdorKlenz cartridges and HEPA Filters. We also have discounts available for Bio-Reveal ATP Meters and we are currently working with MaxAir to determine discount for students.  These deals are available for past and present students of any of our

classes. If you are a former student and would like more information on these discounts, please call us at 888-382-4154. 

We look forward to seeing you in class. To register: https://www.WonderMakers.com/Education.
Throwback Thursday

Posted March 15, 2018

As promised on our 30th Anniversary, here is our first blast from the past! 

Kids these days are calling these posts Throwback Thursdays (TBT). These posts are a great way to reminisce about the good ole’ days and remember where we came from. It has been fun looking through old photos and sharing stories about the beginning of Wonder Makers. 

The photo on the left is (an only slightly younger) Michael Pinto himself posing for his first professional picture to be used at Wonder Makers in 1989. The photo on the right is our fearless leader today, no longer needing a professional photographer, just a supportive President/wife (Susan Pinto) and her iPhone. 
A lot has changed over the last 30 years, Michael’s hairline included, but Wonder Makers’ mission to serve people remains the same. 

Stay tuned for more blasts from the past and Throwback Thursdays! 

#throwbackthursday #tbt #blastfromthepast#anniversary

New Data Verifies the Safety of Using Wonder Makers Tools for Collection of Asbestos Bulk Samples

Posted January 26 2018

A negative exposure assessment (NEA) was recently completed in regards to individuals collecting asbestos samples and the risk of possible exposure.  The study confirmed that when samples are taken during a building inspection, they can control that danger by using the right equipment - the asbestos bulk sampling tools from Wonder Makers Environmental. Employing a single use coring tool which slips into an airtight plastic container with the sample completely surrounded by the detachable "cutter" virtually eliminates exposures to hazardous material. This scientific study builds on decades of actual field experience to support the claim that the tools greatly improve the safety of inspectors who use them according to the instructions. Just as importantly, the asbestos bulk sampler allows for full depth sampling of even dense materials such as pipe insulation, asphalt roofing, and drywall. 

Thirty years ago, Wonder Makers revolutionized the collection of samples from suspect asbestos-containing materials. In 1988, the asbestos abatement industry was starting the phase of explosive growth related to the EPA regulations which required inspections of schools. As part of the process, newly certified inspectors were being taught to collect samples of suspect asbestos-containing materials with knives. This process resulted in so much disturbance of the material due to the strong possibility of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers above the permissible exposure limit. Therefore, the inspectors were trained to wear a complete set of personal protective equipment while conducting the sampling.

With the introduction of the Wonder Makers asbestos bulk sampling system, not only was the efficiency of the sample collection improved greatly, but the risk of adverse fiber exposure for the inspector was virtually eliminated. This improvement was demonstrated at the time through a series of controlled experiments by comparing the fiber levels generated during the sampling using knives versus the detachable coring system invented at Wonder Makers.

In connection with the celebration of three decades of service to the asbestos abatement industry, Wonder Makers conducted additional tests which again verified that by using their sampling equipment, the results showed the exposure levels well below the OSHA regulatory limits. The testing was conducted under "worst-case" conditions.  Numerous samples of insulation that had a high percentage of friable asbestos were collected in a small room with no engineering controls or natural ventilation to dilute any airborne fiber levels produced during the   trial. A multitude of area and personal samples were collected during the process with analysis conducted by both phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

The NEA was conducted by Wonder Makers in conjunction with EMSL laboratories. A complete report, with photos, data tables, and description of the sampling process is available by clicking here.                                                                                

Additional information is available regarding the entire asbestos bulk sampling system as well as the NEA by contacting Wonder Makers at (269) 382-4154.

Asbestos - Not Gone and Not Forgotten

Posted January 19, 2018

Asbestos Risks for Building Owners and Contractors
Asbestos materials in buildings, and the debilitating diseases caused by exposure to fibers from those materials has flown under the radar for many years. Publicity about this deadly material has been so sparse that many people have been lulled into thinking that either there is no asbestos in their building or it is not a problem. This is a risky misconception for building owners as the regulations that control this dangerous material make building owners responsible for any violations, even if the infringements are caused by contractors.
The risks to building owners are further magnified by the fact that there is no statute of limitations on asbestos violations. If work that disturbed asbestos-containing materials was done without proper controls one or two years ago, and a complaint arises from an employee or occupant who thinks they were exposed, an investigation can proceed. In such a situation, the documentation related to the incident had better be airtight since citations can be written based on paperwork deficiencies as well as current site conditions.
Click here to read more of this article. 
The Secret of Mold Analysis - Magnification Makes a Difference

Posted January 10, 2018

The analysis of air and surface samples is a critical part of any mold investigation or remediation project. Nevertheless, many practitioners do not realize that analysis of spore trap samples currently is more of an art than a science. The scientific procedures of the analysis process are not very rigid, even for the most basic aspects of the work. With little strict guidance in the industry, the variation in sample results makes it seem as if each lab is offering its own perspective on the data. Much like multiple artists painting the same sunset, the results can be pretty startling when viewed side by side.

To accurately identify spores using light microscopy (i.e., using a regular microscope like those used in school biology classes), the analyst must consider size, shape, texture, septation, attachment scars and color of the objects seen through the lens. With all these characteristics to observe and interpret, it takes time to evaluate some spores, especially smaller types. During the analytical process, the microscopist needs to focus up and down on a particular field of view on the slide and use higher magnification to determine some of these characteristics.

While large fungal spore types are relatively easy to identify and count, small spore types are very difficult and time-consuming to quantify, particularly when there are heavy concentrations on the slide. Misidentification of small spores can occur if all six characteristics are not taken into consideration, leading to erroneous conclusions. For example, smaller round types of Cladosporium, ascospores and basidiospores can be misidentified as Aspergillus/Penicillium-like spores (or vice versa) if an analyst fails to carefully observe distinguishing characteristics due to time constraints or the use of too low a magnification.

Click here to read the complete article, originally printed in the Cleaning & Restoration magazine, published January 2013