|Mold Inspection Information: Mold Exposure Standards |
No scientific exposure standards currently exist for mold. Some believe that the development of exposure standards could be years away. According to the EPA’s report on Indoor Air Quality, the EPA has not established uniform air quality standards covering airborne biological substances such as fungal spores. This is due to a lack of convincing epidemiological evidence.
Even with the EPA’s statement of health concern, there are still no EPA regulations or standards today for mold contamination and exposure. The reason for this, according to the New York City Department of Health’s Guidelines of Assessments and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments is “susceptibility varies with the genetic predisposition, age, state of health and concurrent exposures. For these reasons, and because measurements of exposure are not standardized…it is not possible to determine precise ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ levels of exposure for people in general.” One can drawn analogy between mold and cigarette smoking. The exact number of cigarettes per day that lead to cancer has never been defined, yet it is generally recognized within the epidemiological and medical communities that smoking is a clear health threat. Nevertheless, the growing mountain of anecdotal medical evidence leads many experts with whom we have spoken to speculate that some standard of safe and unsafe exposure will eventually be developed for mold, just as they were with radon in the late 1980’s.
In 1994, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed a case control study in the Cleveland, Ohio area of the first 10 cases of pulmonary hemosiderosis, which results from bleeding of the lungs. In a subsequent report, Pulmonary Hemorrhage Among Infants, the CDC concluded that pulmonary hemosiderosis was associated directly with increased levels of household fungi, including the toxin-producing mold Stachybotrys. But in a recent update on that study, the CDC reversed its initial conclusions and now believes that an association was not adequately proven and that more CDC research is necessary.
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