Mold Remediation & Certification Laws in the United States: A Look at Where We are & What We Need
Presentation to the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition, May 16, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland
Posted: 1 Nov 2017
Date Written: May 25, 2016
Objective: Concern about mold in buildings and homes increased in the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy. Mold is a known allergen and can cause a plethora of health issues, including mycotoxin poisoning and a range of respiratory ailments. As a naturally occurring irritant, there is great debate about the best means to safely remove mold. In order to protect the public against unscrupulous and unskilled contractors, a growing number of states enacted legislation requiring training, certification and other regulations of those in the business of mold remediation
Methods: In this study, we used principles of legal epidemiology to conduct policy surveillance to explore which states enacted mold remediation and certification laws. We used LEXIS/NEXIS and https://legiscan.com/ to evaluate the laws and regulations of all 50 states against sixteen preset codes using LawAtlas WorkBench. Coders crosschecked for consistency.
Results: Our review found that only a minority of states established mold remediation and certification laws and these vary in stringency and effectiveness. Some states (in the minority) are attempting to reduce consumer fraud in the mold removal industry and provide guidelines about how to both conduct proper mold removal and how to train those engaged in mold removal to protect both worker and building occupant safety. Moreover, penalties for violating laws in the few states that do provide guidelines are generally relatively insignificant; amounting to the regulatory equivalent of a parking ticket.
Conclusions: Overall the data shows a paucity of states establishing legal guidance and protection assuring that mold removal specialists are properly trained and/or licensed to protect the health of both removal workers and building occupants.
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