Mold in your home can have both physical and financial consequences
It was only a simple leak in a line leading to the refrigerator's
ice maker, but the damage left from the dripping water will
nag Sharon and Mike Kramer for years to come.
for mold trouble may be a phone call or mouse click away
surrounds many aspects of indoor mold, including its health
effects, safe removal and standards to prove it's been cleaned
murky knowledge combined with increasing awareness among consumers
of the menacing fungi prompted California lawmakers to pass
two pieces of mold legislation in 2001.
results are still pending.
of the Toxic Mold Protection Act include determining whether
it's feasible to adopt exposure limits for indoor molds. In
addition, it would set up guidelines for assessing the health
threat, removing mold and disclosing the presence of mold when
renting or selling property.
far, the Department of Health Services has worked on the feasibility
of developing exposure limits for mold.
have found this is not scientifically possible due to the variety
of molds and the different allergens, volatile organic compounds
and enzymes and other substances produced, said Sandy McNeel,
a research scientist with the health department.
can't draw a bright line that says above this amount is unhealthy
or unsafe and below this amount is safe for most people,"
she said. Research on mold stands in contrast to knowledge on
individual chemicals. Lead, for example, has been researched
for decades, and scientists are clear on health problems that
occur with certain levels of lead exposure, McNeel said.
report on mold exposure limits is still in the pipeline awaiting
approval before it can be released, according to McNeel. A volunteer
mold task force will create the various guidelines the act designates.
Members will include scientists, building owners, construction
professionals, public health personnel and property owners.
Formation of the task force also been delayed because of funding
issues. The act was passed without money appropriated for its
activities, McNeel said.
health department manages a "mold fund" of donated
dollars to support its mold-related activities. The account
had $211 in it as of last month, she said.
2001 California bill that was supposed to yield an easy-to-understand
comprehensive overview of the science of mold also has been