Task Force Issues Preliminary Recommendation for Preventing Mold Problems in Buildings

Invites Public Review and Comment

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 25, 2010) – The New York State Toxic Mold Task Force is seeking public comment on a preliminary report to the Governor and the Legislature outlining recommended steps for the prevention of mold problems in buildings across the state.

The report can be downloaded at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/indoors/air/mold/task_force/

Exposure to building dampness and dampness-related agents, including mold, is nationally recognized as a potential public health problem, with evidence linking indoor mold exposures with upper and lower respiratory health effects, such as nasal symptoms and exacerbation of asthma.

The New York State Toxic Mold Task Force, jointly chaired by the Department of Health and the Department of State, was established by state legislation to prepare a report to the Governor and the Legislature. The report assesses the current body of knowledge on mold, provides the status of mold in the state, and recommends further actions to be taken by the Legislature or state agencies to reduce exposure to mold in buildings.

The Task Force held four public meetings to obtain and discuss technical information, and several additional meetings were held by conference call. Recommendations in the draft report include:

  • Actions intended to prevent mold growth in buildings and associated public health consequences should focus on preventing water or moisture problems.
  • New York State and the City of New York should 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.
  • State agencies should, at a minimum, provide guidance about recommended work practices for assessment and remediation and about the existence of training curricula and certification.

Public comments on the report should be emailed to moldtf@health.state.ny.us by October 12, 2010.

The task force will revise and finalize the report after reviewing all public comments, which will be attached to the final report.