Archive for March, 2017

Salem VA Cited for Mold Exposure

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

REPRINT from Advisen.com

Source: Roanoke Times 03/28/2017

A federal workplace safety agency has cited the Salem VA Medical Center for a serious violation for allowing employees to be exposed to indoor mold, thereby creating unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections of Building 75 at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility, starting with an inspection on Dec. 20, determined that “employees were exposed to the hazard of mold in work spaces and corridors” in the building.

According to an OSHA citation issued March 16, the exposure created a potential for the “onset of allergic reactions, asthma attacks and exacerbation or aggravation of allergies, asthma and other health conditions.”

OSHA alleged that “the employer did not implement adequate measures to prevent active mold growth in the building.”

On March 10, OSHA gave the center 30 days to respond with remediation to remove the mold.

The Salem VA Medical Center describes Building 75 as a non-patient care building that serves as a wellness center.

Stanley Dutko, area director in Norfolk for OSHA, said the agency investigated after receiving a signed complaint about the mold from a current employee.

Dutko said six employees reported having respiratory reactions they attributed to the mold. He said OSHA’s investigation found that the Salem VA Medical Center had been aware, going back as far as 2007 and 2011, that there were issues with mold in Building 75.

He said the center’s lack of adequate response triggered the citation.

“We always try to work with the employer first,” Dutko said.

Brett Robbins, a spokesman for the Salem VA Medical Center, said Monday that the hospital has contracted with a company to perform the necessary remediation, which he said should be completed by April 5.

“Salem takes all reports of safety concerns seriously and will continue to provide a safe working environment for its veterans, visitors and employees,” Robbins said in an email.

He said the facility’s safety office had performed an indoor air quality review of Building 75 in November that was related to potential mold.

“Following the review, the facility removed any items with visible substance identified, completed plumbing repairs and ensured scheduled maintenance by the North York HVAC service was accomplished,” Robbins said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that indoor mold can cause respiratory infections and worsen illnesses such as asthma.

There are reports and also evidence that indoor mold and other hazards associated with water-damaged buildings can cause additional health problems. But CDC has said there is no conclusive evidence that indoor mold is associated with many other health problems, such as pulmonary hemorrhage, memory loss and lack of energy.

Reporter Tiffany Stevens contributed to this report.

For more information training and solutions to this and other IAQ issues, contact www.NORMI.org or call 877.251.2296

Dr. Oz Recommends Certification/Licensing for Mold Professionals

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Abita Springs, LA  03/12/17

Dr. Oz completed a great segment on 02/27 dealing with toxic mold and the dangers the public may face when being scammed by unlicensed, untrained mold guys.  NORMI and the IICRC were upheld as “the good guys”, credible, national training/certification organizations that help clients with assessing and cleaning up mold problems in indoor environments.

NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors was founded July 4, 2004 to train and certify mold remediators under the State of Louisiana Mold Licensing Law.  Since then, NORMI has trained thousands of assessors, remediators and IAQ professionals throughout the United States and Canada.  Its certifications have been recognized by states who require training for licensure including, but not limited to, New York, Florida, Louisiana and the District of Columbia.

The mold profession has long been plagued with scammers, non-professionals who claim they can detect mold and clean it up.  Many of these do NO testing, are not trained building assessors and do not know that bleach WILL NOT clean mold.  Dr. Oz addresses each of these subjects in his well-written segment which include Mike Holmes, a builder and television personality who touted the importance of finding good guys like NORMI and the IICRC.

For more information, contact NORMI at support@NORMI.org or visit www.NORMI.org or call 877.251.2296 to find classes at a location near you.  Visit www.NORMIPro.com to locate a mold professional in your area.