Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Development of Guidelines for Mould Prevention and Remediation in the Home

Consistent and comprehensive guidelines over what are acceptable levels of mould in the home or working environment are difficult to find. The US EPA provide a detailed guide for the householder to self-help and NIOSH provide details for the working environment (2012) but neither is fully comprehensive or intends to pronounce on safe levels of moulds.

The American Lung Association has teamed up with a group of individuals in New Hampshire (NH) intending to develop a detailed, comprehensive set of standards of safety for mold exposure and to have them accepted in law by the New Hampshire House of Representatives as a 'Standard of Care' for the mold industry. They (NHMTF) have written a useful first draft that goes into some detail on the best ways to recognise reliable professional help - there are numerous certification schemes that are not viewed as acceptable by the authors.
They have highlighted a series of the most important points:
It is the objective of the NHMTF to better protect the consumer in regards to health risks and unknown costs in dealing with indoor mold.
The NHMTF is in high hopes that as a result of this Standard of Care, we are able to raise the awareness of the consumer and perhaps help guide the legislators of New Hampshire toward adopting mold legislation which will better protect our citizens. In summary, the NHMTF would like to emphasize the following points from this report:  
• Exposure to indoor mold is a potential, and often very serious, health risk to our citizens, and steps must be taken by our lawmakers to protect those sensitive to the effects of mold exposure, especially the very young, the elderly, and the immuno-compromized citizens of NH.
• Third party certifications should be required of Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP)'s, as they are essential in both protecting the citizens of NH as well as maintaining the credibility of mold professionals and the industry as a whole.  
• Consumers should look for third party certifications when hiring a mold professional, as it will save them time and money and give them peace of mind that their problem is being handled safely and professionally 
• Mold testing and mold remediation should be performed by two separate parties in order to protect the consumer and to honor the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct set forth by the ACAC & ABIH.   
• IAQ testing alone is inadequate in most situations, and should be combined with a thorough physical investigation of a building by an IEP, followed by a written statement of findings, conclusions, recommendations, scope of work for remediation and if applicable, clearance testing.  
• Before entering into the mold abatement business, any contractor should acquire professional training and become familiar with technical and reference materials referenced in this document, or risk his or her own health and the health and safety of the client.
Read the full document 

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