Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would establish consistent procedures for mold remediation in schools and apartments was approved today by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Bob Singer’s measure to establish standards for mold remediation work will protect students from moldy classrooms. (Wikipedia)
Singer’s bill (S2897) would set statewide standards for mold remediation work – from inspection and identification to abatement. The measure would build on industry standards and guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Mold in buildings is a serious problem that can have severe health consequences,” said Singer (R-30). “If a roof, gutter, or pipe is leaking behind the sheetrock, mold can take over before anybody is even aware of it. The presence of mold in our schools is a danger we cannot ignore, and to identify and eliminate it requires trained and knowledgeable experts and standardized practices.”
Under the legislation, the Department of Community Affairs would be required to formulate procedures for mold inspection and removal and create certification programs for inspectors and abatement workers.
“Our children shouldn’t spend the school day in mold-infested classrooms or have to live in apartments where the air is unsafe to breathe due to mold spores,” Singer said. “With uniform procedures promulgated by DCA, we will protect generations of New Jersey families from illness related to toxic mold.”
A report published by the Asbury Park Press last year related the fears of Ocean County families coping with the threat of black mold leaching through ceiling tiles and putting children at risk.
A 2004 study performed by the Institute of Medicine found that even healthy people could develop serious respiratory conditions from mold exposure.
The legislation requires that a contractor must be certified in order to represent themselves to the public as an “expert” in mold hazard and abatement.
“The CDC guidelines are clear. When it comes to mold, if you can see it or smell it, remove it immediately,” Singer added. “Living here in the most densely populated state in the nation, New Jersey families already face significant air quality issues. They shouldn’t have to worry about mold, too. The EPA has developed comprehensive standards for combating this hazard. It’s time for New Jersey to finally follow suit.”
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