NORMI Weighs In on New York Toxic Mold Report

Abita Springs, LA

“I read, with interest, the New York State report on toxic mold and concluded that you can spend a lot of money to study a problem and land in the same place that many before you landed. For years we have taught on the following: 1) you must use proper procedures for removing mold from contaminated environments. 2) if you don’t fix the moisture source (whether inside the envelope or a penetration in the envelope of the building) the problems will come back. 3) even with the use of good protectants, a wholistic approach must be used that includes proper lifestyle changes, indoor air quality equipment, and safe/biodegradeable cleaners. 4) sometimes contamination levels are so high that materials need to be discarded rather than cleaned. 5) the industry should be properly regulated with good, fair legislation that requires mold professionals to be trained, licensed and insured.

In my book at I talk about the importance of all of these issues and this book becomes a guideline for homeowners who have or are concerned about having mold-related problems in their home. There is not doubt that the good health of our families depend on these kinds of environmental issues.

So, I encourage you to read the full report and use it as a document to help explain why good training organizations, like, good certifying organizations, like, and good companies providing mold removal products, like continue to improve indoor living environment, one building at a time.” D. Douglas Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI, National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors¬†

NYS Toxic Mold Task Force Completes Final Report

Section 1384 of the New York State (NYS) Public Health Law established the NYS Toxic Mold Task Force. The goals of the NYS Toxic Mold Task Force was to:

  • assess and measure, based on scientific evidence, the adverse environmental and health effects of mold exposure, including specific effects on population subgroups at greater risk of adverse effects;
  • assess the latest scientific data on mold exposure limits;
  • identify actions taken by state and local government and other entities;
  • determine methods to control and mitigate mold; and prepare a report to the Governor and Legislature.

To achieve these goals the NYS Toxic Mold Task Force activities were organized into four main areas of inquiry:

  • health effects of molds in indoor environments;
  • exposure limits and assessment of mold in buildings;
  • approaches to mold mitigation and remediation;
  • building codes, regulations and other actions taken by other governments and private-sector organizations that relate to building mold problems.

In reading the executive summary it is clear that the NYS Toxic Mold Task Force came to the usual conclusions regarding mold that the many in the industry already know. For example:

  • Since mold problems in buildings are preventable with proper building construction, maintenance, and housekeeping aimed at preventing excess building dampness, mold exposure is preventable.
  • Overabundant growth of any mold or other dampness-related organisms is undesirable and can be addressed by removing contaminants and correcting water problems. Whether or not exposure to mold toxins is likely when mold growth occurs in a damp building does not substantially change the need for mitigation of the water and mold problem.
  • Continue to improve building code requirements that address building design, construction techniques, and property maintenance so that they prevent or minimize the potential for water problems to occur.
  • The presence and power of the code enforcement official (CEO) can also help minimize the potential mold problems in buildings when approving construction documents, during construction inspections of new buildings, and when issuing property-maintenance violations related to moisture conditions in existing buildings during required inspections.
  • Regulating the mold assessment and remediation service industry is dependent upon how desirable it is to have persons poperly trained and following acceptable protocols. The main public health goal of any regulation or additional guidance to the mold industry will be to reduce the potential for mold exposures and the risk of health effects in damp buildings. Costs for such a program can range from $150,000 for using already developed general recommended work practices and certification programs to $4.5 million per year for a full regulatory program like the NYS asbestos program.
  • The development of reliable, health-based quantitative mold exposure limits is not currently feasible.
  • Their is limited evidence of the benefits of chemical disinfectants or encapsulant treatments for mitigating or preventing mold growth on building materials.
  • The main approach to mold control and mitigation should be focused on identifying and repairing water damage in buildings and removing mold source materials. This method of mitigation is less complicated to implement than mitigation based on attaining a numerical clearance critertion, because the main goal is to return the building to a clean and dry condition.

The document is 150 pages including tables and exhibits. It will be interesting to see if this document actually goes anywhere in regulating the mold assessment and remediation industry.  REPRINTED from futureen.blogspot