1 Texas Mold Licensing Laws: Training Requirements By Gary Rosen, Ph.D., Certified Mold Free, Corp.
2 What prompted the Texas Legislature to regulate the mold industry? Which factors shaped the training requirements implemented by the Texas Department of Health (TDH)? How does the Texas program attempt to keep license holders out of trouble? Where is the Texas program lacking?
3 History of Texas Mold Problem Building Practices Tight Building energy-saving designs trap moisture 90s Housing Boom fast building = no time to dry out Media Attention High-profile lawsuits Melinda Ballard s $22M suit Insurance Companies Skyrocketing claims Huge losses Drop/Limit mold coverage Created crisis atmosphere 16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2, : Q1 Texas Mold Claims 2001: Q2 2001: Q3 2001: Q4 2002: Q1 2002: Q2 2002: Q3 2002: Q4
4 CERTIFICATE OF MOLD DAMAGE REMEDIATION Mold Assessor or Adjustor License Holder Certification I further certify that the underlying cause or causes of the mold that were identified for this project in the mold management plan or remediation protocol have been remediated. A copy of the written evaluation that forms the basis for my certification has been provided the person named in this certificate.
5 Texas Pre-existing Labor Force Industrial Hygienists Large number working in chemical and manufacturing plants Have years of experience in (asbestos) assessment and remediation Know how to deal with contaminated materials Are familiar with building construction With asbestos almost gone, hygienists looking for work.
6 Standards Texas background requirements closely follow American Industrial Hygiene Association s (AIHA) guideline and the IICRC S520 recommendations Texas training curriculum closely follows EPA mold assessment & remediation guidelines EPA guidelines were developed by hygienists
7 State Mold Licensing Exam Study Materials Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, March State of the Science on Mold and Human Health. Testimony of Stephen C. Redd, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to U.S. Congress, July Adverse Human Health Effects Associated with Molds in the Indoor Environment. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Damp Indoor Spaces and Health. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration. A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace: Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR FR January 8, 1998.
8 Government Resources Texas had asbestos regulation staff in place With asbestos gone, staff could run the mold licensing program Since mold and asbestos problems are similar, licensing and training could also be similar Again, have to expect licensing and training to be impacted by hygienists and asbestos professionals Their lobbyists had significant influence on legislation Texas Legislature wanted to protect and utilize labor pool Hygienists / asbestos professionals are highly trained health professionals
9 Professional Requirements Texas Assessor Bachelor s Degree w/ major in a natural or physical science, engineering, building sciences, etc., and at least 1 year exp.; or At least 60 college credit hours with a grade of C or better in the natural, physical, or building sciences, etc., and at least 3 years exp.; or A high school diploma or GED certificate and at least 5 years exp.; or Certification as industrial hygienist, professional engineer, registered sanitarian, certified safety professional, or registered architect, and at least 1 year exp. IICRC Certification as industrial hygienist, professional engineer, registered sanitarian, certified safety professional, or registered architect, with at least 1 year of exp. Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) A high school diploma or GED. Meet the following experience requirements: Either 5 years experience in a field related to the IAQ industry (such as cleaning, restoration, or Indoor Air Quality Experience); or 2 years of college, plus 3 years experience in a field related to the mold remediation industry. Up to 4 years total of college may be substituted for the work experience on a 1 to 1 basis.
10 Additional Training Required IICRC & Texas Mold Assessor Indoor environmental quality; Water damage restoration; Occupational health and safety; Environmental monitoring and assessment; Construction basics; Construction failure; Building science; Mechanical systems operation and maintenance; Mechanical systems testing and remediation; and Mold remediation. Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) I have not taken this course for some time and am not up to speed on the course. Indoor Air Quality ASSOCIATION INC.
11 Assessors: 40 training hours Emphasis with Hands on Training Sources of, conditions for, and prevention of indoor mold growth; Potential health effects; Workplace hazards and safety, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Performance of visual inspections where mold might be present and determining sources of moisture problems, including exterior spaces, interior components, and HVAC systems; Use of physical measurement equipment Biological sampling strategies Work practices and new technologies; Proper documentation for reports; An overview of mold remediation projects and requirements, including containment and air filtration; Survey protocols for effective assessment; Interpretation of data and sampling results; Technical and legal considerations for mold assessment; Overview of building construction, building sciences, moisture control, and water intrusion events; Prevention of indoor air quality problems, including avoiding design and construction defects; Basics of HVAC systems and their relationship to indoor air quality, including HVAC inspection, assessment, and remediation; Methodologies for interviewing building occupants; Writing mold management plans and remediation protocols; Post-remediation clearance testing and procedures; and Case Studies
12 Texas training requirements Training emphasizes building construction and science Most mold problems caused by construction defects and HVAC malfunctions. Construction knowledge necessary to identify and correct underlying moisture problem Even inspecting mold problems routinely involves working in attics and physically opening walls, ceilings, and floors. Strict requirements were developed with pre-existing labor pool in mind Because large number of hygienists and asbestos professionals would be candidates for mold licensing, training courses could be taught at high level Courses are rigorous in nature Cover advanced topics including building construction and science, moisture control, legal issues concerning mold problems, and interpretation of sampling data Material cannot be taught in typical 40 hour course! Course designers assume student is already familiar with most of the material
13 What Factors Shaped the Training EPA Guidelines Texas has strongly endorsed the EPA recommendations, and the Texas training program is heavily based on the recommendations from the EPA pamphlet: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, March This document states that testing for mold is not necessary. The key to solving mold problems is finding the moisture problem, stopping it, and then removing the mold. The extent of the mold problem is defined as the physical area of contamination (both hidden and visible). And the type of remediation protocol used is based on such measurements and not by testing. This EPA philosophy with its focus on tracking and eliminating moisture problems has strongly impacted the training program.
14 Keeping Assessor and Remediators out of Trouble These same EPA guidelines are by far the best accepted mold guidelines and easiest to defend in court. There are no built-in protections in Texas law for mold assessors and remediators. In TX, mold specific insurance is not required and therefore does not afford the mold practitioners protection. Texas has made the EPA guidelines the law of the land and following the EPA guidelines is the best way to be protected from legal action in Texas.
15 Licensing: Insurance Requirements Persons required to have insurance must, at a minimum, obtain policies for commercial general liability insurance in the amount of not less than $1 million per occurrence. Mold Assessment License Holder Certification I hereby certify that based on visual, procedural and analytical evaluation, the mold contamination identified for this project has been remediated as outlined in the mold management plan or remediation protocol.
16 Fees The fees for a mold assessment consultant license are: (1) $300 for a one-year license issued before January 1, 2006; and (2) $600 for a two-year license issued on or after January 1, 2005.
17 Fees The fees for a mold remediation contractor license are: (1) $250 for a one-year license issued before January 1, 2006; and (2) $500 for a two-year license issued on or after January 1, 2005.
18 Mold Remediation Contractor: Licensing Requirements Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a natural or physical science, engineering, architecture, building construction, or building sciences and at least one year of experience either in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction; or At least 60 college credit hours with a grade of C or better in the natural sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, building sciences, or a field related to any of those sciences, and at least three years of experience in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction; or A high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, plus at least five years of experience in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction; or Certification as an industrial hygienist, a professional engineer, a professional registered sanitarian, a certified safety professional, or a registered architect, with at least one year of experience either in an allied field or as a general contractor in building construction;
19 Overlapping Responsibilities Overlapping responsibilities for mold assessors and mold remediators No strict distinction in either EPA or NYC guidelines for separating responsibilities IICRC states assessors may not be necessary for some mold problems If S520 standards are followed, remediators will be well-qualified to handle many mold problems themselves S520 recommends anyone performing moisture inspection have working knowledge of building construction, building science, construction failure, and the water damage restoration inspection process Texas laws - Mold Assessor NOT REQUIRED in any work on school buildings Therefore, remediators would have to know how to develop comprehensive remediation and containment protocols & perform postremediation inspections. These tasks are normally reserved for mold assessors.
20 Problems & Limitations with Texas Program The program isn t perfect Texas remediation guidelines are based on EPA guides, which were developed for school maintenance personnel not highly trained professionals. No EPA standards in matters many important areas such as post-remediation clearance testing which is needed for TX certification Much left to discretion of professionals Rules emphasize post-remediation verification and certification, but lack strong standardsbased assessment regulations. Assessment guidelines not covered by EPA Texas program does not have standards-based assessment protocols like those recommended by IESO Lack of standardized assessment procedures limits value of post-remediation certification With no standardized assessment guidelines, training companies will make up own guidelines. More likely, they will teach to minimum requirements of state law, which are below industry standards Texas needs stronger mold specific assessment and remediation training Although highly trained, Texas mold industry is made up of asbestos professionals Do no necessarily know much about mold assessment Are not likely to learn much in courses taught by other asbestos professionals
21 Texas Impact on Other States Florida and other states were waiting to see how Texas Health Department would work out details of their mold program. (From what I can gather.) Florida legislature thinks Texas program has good points especially the mandatory extensive training requirements Other states regulations will not be identical to Texas Each state s regulations will reflect own mold problem history, labor pool, and government resources
22 Florida Proposed mold legislation is driven by water damage from hurricanes Unlicensed mold activity has led to tons of complaints to the legislature about fraud and incompetence Many people, especially the elderly, have been taken advantage of. In comparable industries such as construction, mortgage, and real estate, licensing laws in Florida were developed to protect consumers especially the elderly who might not be aware of or cannot afford private legal options for fighting fraud.
23 Florida Florida already has one of the toughest and most successful building contractor licensing programs in the country. Therefore, FLA proposed mold laws heavily favored building contractors In 2006 we believe the focus of a FLA proposal will to make sure FLA jobs are minimally impacted. But in line with TX, not everyone currently doing mold work in the state will be qualified to do mold assessment and remediation. Some will be technicians. As in TX, no one will be grandfathered in without additional training and testing.
24 Florida Keep in mind Out of state mold contractors brought in by the insurance companies currently do much or most of the FLA hurricane work. By allowing only FLA licensed contractors to do mold work many FLA jobs will be saved. FLA contractors are not concerned about the current FLA mold remediation work force. (This work force is very small compared to FLA contractors.) Just like the Hygienists in TX, contractors in FLA want all the mold work for themselves.
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