By Christine Lin
Epoch Times Staff
NEW YORK—Before the wet winter months come around and beckon mold into our homes, State Senator Liz Krueger warns that anyone who claims they can remediate mold had better know what they are doing.
Krueger is putting forth legislation that requires commercial mold cleaners be certified by the Department of Environmental Conservation according to requirements to be set by her task force. The task force will define what is a toxic mold and who is qualified to clean it.
Similar regulations have been put in place for lead and asbestos abatement.
Krueger hopes that with certification requirements, residents can effectively banish mold before it banishes them. “Residents of an entire building had to move out and sue their landlord due to mold that was never properly remediated,” Krueger said.
Mold can affect new and old buildings alike, as long as it’s moist inside. Because the fur we know as mold is just the visible part of the organism, it’s hard to get rid of it completely.
“You can scrub your walls, you can scrub your bathroom, and it can be behind the walls and in the walls and be doing just as much health damage whether you see it or not,” Krueger said.
Mold releases spores, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Poor indoor air caused by mold is a known trigger of asthma and other respiratory problems.
Jesse Goldman, the housing organizer at Make the Road New York, a community advocacy group based out of Bushwick, Brooklyn, says that current practices are not regulated at all.
“There are no specific requirements of who is qualified and who is not,” he said. “In Bushwick, they (residents) basically bring in anyone who could do it the cheapest.” Usually the cleaners would first paint over the mold, and if that doesn’t do the trick, put plywood over the hole where moisture comes in, according to Goldman.