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Mold Task Force Update. Gregg Recer, PhD, Research Scientist 3 Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment. PHL Section 1384 – Background &Timeline. Chapter 385 of Laws of 2005 establishes Task Force DOH & DOS co-chairs Tasked with researching technical questions and issuing a report

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Mold task force update

Mold Task Force Update

Gregg Recer, PhD, Research Scientist 3

Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment


Phl section 1384 background timeline
PHL Section 1384 – Background &Timeline

  • Chapter 385 of Laws of 2005 establishes Task Force

  • DOH & DOS co-chairs

  • Tasked with researching technical questions and issuing a report

  • Dec 2007 – Aug 2009 Task Force public meetings & conference calls

  • Aug 2010 – Draft report for public comment

  • Dec 2010 – Final report submitted to governor & legislature


General conclusions
General Conclusions

  • Mold growth is a symptom of moisture problems.

  • Focus actions on moisture problems – prevent & promptly mitigate.

  • Mold sampling has little value for decision-making.

  • “Toxic” mold not defined and not supported by clear evidence -- report considers all mold a potential concern


Health effects
Health Effects

  • Indoor mold can be a health concern for occupants

  • Overabundant mold growth is undesirable

  • Prevent building dampness to prevent mold growth & potential morbidity


Building codes
Building Codes

  • Codes used to prevent moisture problems in buildings

  • Strengthen codes with respect to preventing and correcting moisture problems.

  • Provide training and education to CEOs to address water and mold problems more effectively.


Regulatory approaches
Regulatory Approaches

  • Many different approaches were identified.

  • Comparative effectiveness not well studied.

  • At a minimum provide guidance about recommended work practices & available training.

  • Other more formal regulatory approaches could be considered.


Exposure limits mold sampling
Exposure Limits & Mold Sampling

  • Reliable health-based exposure limits not feasible

  • Numerous technical problems with indoor mold sampling

  • Air sampling unlikely to help decision-making for cleanup or clearance

  • Promote use of qualitative assessment – “clean and dry”.


Control mitigation
Control & Mitigation

  • Some limited evidence for effectiveness of some mitigation protocols and antimicrobial treatments.

  • Generally supports much existing guidance to correct moisture problems and clean or remove mold sources.

  • Value of using antimicrobials will depend on circumstances, but often not much added value.


Education research
Education & Research

  • Develop or enhance relevant educational materials & tailor to specific audiences.

  • Emphasize correcting dampness problems & mold source control to reduce potential health problems.

  • Research to fill data gaps would improve decision-making – e.g., remediation protocols, building materials, building assessment


More info
More Info

NYSDOH Web site:

www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/indoors/air/mold.htm

www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/indoors/air/mold/task_force/

General mold/IAQ questions:

CEH -- Indoor Health Assessment Section:

518-402-7810

MTF Report questions:

Gregg Recer

[email protected], 518-402-7820



Problems identified with sampling
Problems identified with sampling

  • Don’t know actual agent involved in health effects or dose-resp.

  • A standardized, validated method (sample device, analysis, sampling strategy) has not been agreed

  • Mold spores are heterogeneous mixtures; air samples with similar species/counts are not necessarily the same

  • Too many sources of variability unaccounted for

    • spatial/temporal air levels (grab sampling)

    • microbial products (allergens, VOCs, glucan, EPS, etc.)

    • other non-fungal agents present

    • different information from total/viable/molecular/surrogate

    • receptor susceptibility

  • Rarely informs effective response decisions -- interpretation subjective


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