A California toxic mold bill reached Gov. Gray Davis’ desk on the evening of Sept. 13.
The bill, SB 732, would enact the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001. It charges the California Department of Health Services with establishing a mold task force — made up of health and medical experts, education and county representatives and numerous employers among others — that will advise the department on permissible exposure limits to mold that would avoid adverse health effects.
The task force also would make recommendations for standards for assessments of molds in indoor environments as well as alternative standards for hospitals, child care facilities, and nursing homes. It also asks the task force to advise the Department on standards for the identification and remediation of mold.
The department would be required to report its progress on developing the permissible exposure limits for molds by July 1, 2003. After the adoption of the permissible mold exposure limits, the department would be required to review and revise the exposure limits at least once every five years.
The California Senate voted 24-12 in favor of the legislation on Sept. 13, concurring with the Assembly’s amendments to this bill.
The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) currently takes a neutral position on this bill, as the bill does not address insurance coverage of mold. NAII stated it expects this development to eventually have insurance ramifications.