The new law will be administered by the New York Department of Labor and is scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year.
|For mold remediation, it’s not enough just to have the right supplies: you need high-quality training to fight off mold and mold symptoms once and for all.|
Monday, July 6, 2015
New Mold Removal Law in New York To Require Licensing for Contractors
Did you know inappropriate or inadequate mold remediation can lead to a felony conviction? With the risks – both legal and health-related – that come with working in a moldy environment, it’s important to be fully prepared. At the end of the year, the New York Department of Labor’s new legislation on mold removal will go into effect, introducing new regulations focused on keeping workers and families safe.
The new regulations for mold remediation certification are more stringent than the previous ones, ensuring that mold removal is done thoroughly and safely. The law’s emphasis on thorough training and a comprehensive work plan is designed to protect populations who are especially vulnerable to mold and to ensure that working conditions are safe for construction workers.
Mold remediation is important because the dangers of mold are widely recognized, and can severely impact quality of life. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains that living or working in a building with a mold problem can lead to a range of symptoms, including nasal stuffiness or throat irritation. While these mold symptoms may seem no worse than a mild cold, more intense symptoms include wheezing, eye irritation, or even skin irritation. Mold is especially dangerous to people with compromised lungs or immune systems such as young children, who are at risk for developing asthma if they are exposed to mold at an early age.
The law takes these dangers into account, and provides a compelling justification for increasing regulations. It’s not unusual for the need for mold remediation to increase after harsh weather, and in this law the authors point out that “Several months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of New York with massive flooding, there is an increasing public health risk associated with mold growth in residential and commercial buildings.” While Hurricane Sandy arrived over two years ago, the storm’s impact is still present: the already-present risk to vulnerable populations became more serious as mold symptoms increased in previously flooded buildings.
Because of the health risks, the new law mandates that any contractor who is going to engage in mold assessment or mold remediation services must first obtain a license. The law lays out clear instructions for obtaining the license, as well as exceptions to the licensing law: residential property owners, for example, can perform mold assessment on their own property without a license. It also specifies mandated communication between contractors and property owners, so that everyone involved in mold remediation understands the process and can help it move smoothly. The law can be found in full on the New York Senate’s legislative website.
With the risk of severe mold symptoms increasing after Hurricane Sandy, it is important that anyone working in mold remediation takes time to understand the reasoning behind this new law. Proper mold removal may take time, but ensuring that it’s done correctly can make a difference in a child’s health and quality of life.