Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth) that would establish mandatory procedures for the inspection and abatement of mold in residential and school facilities statewide has passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
Sen. Singer’s bill would require the state to develop procedures for the inspection and abatement of mold at schools and residential facilities. (Wikimedia)
“Our children should not have to read in moldy classrooms, or sleep in buildings where the air isn’t safe to breathe. Mold can cause serious problems, but there are simple steps we can take to find it and abate it before it becomes the root cause of a lifelong health condition,” Senator Singer said. “By requiring the DCA to establish these procedures, we can protect generations of New Jersey families from falling victim to toxic mold.”
In Ocean County, tenants have been forced to cope with the threat of black mold leaching through ceiling tiles, putting children as young as 6-years-old at risk, according to an investigation conducted by the Asbury Park Press.
A 2004 study performed by the Institute of Medicine found that even healthy people can develop problematic respiratory conditions as a result mold exposure. The CDC also recommends removing mold as soon as it is found.
Senator Singer’s bill, S-2897, would require the State Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in consultation with the State Departments of Health and Labor, to adopt rules and regulations that establish procedures for the inspection, identification, evaluation, and abatement of the interior of residential buildings and school facilities for mold. These regulations would be based on the standards developed by the U.S. EPA.
S-2897 would also require the NJ DCA to establish rules and regulations for a certification program for professionals charged with performing hazard inspections and abatement work in schools and residential buildings. Under the bill, a contractor must be certified in order to represent themselves to the public as an “expert” in mold hazard and abatement. Those who are already engaged in routine maintenance in a multiple dwelling managed by their employer would not have to complete the certification program to address mold present in that building.
“The CDC guidelines are pretty clear – when it comes to mold, if you can see it or smell it, remove it immediately,” Senator Singer added. “As the most densely-populated state in the nation, New Jersey families are already coping with significant air quality challenges. The last thing they should have to worry about is mold. The EPA has developed comprehensive standards for combating this hazard. It’s time for New Jersey to finally follow suit.”
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