COLUMBUS – State Representatives Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 251 – legislation to establish an indoor mold education and awareness program through the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
The Ohio Indoor Safe Air Act would:
Require the Director of Health to establish a mold information and awareness program to assist the public in understanding the threat of mold in damp and water-damaged buildings, while also recommending resources for identification and remediation;
Require a person or public entity selling, transferring, or renting out a property to disclose the presence of mold with reasonable cause;
Require ODH to review technology or treatment techniques for mold identification and remediation in the interest of public health and safety every five years;
Require ODH to provide educational information on the health effects of mold via brochures and the ODH website, similar to how lead and radon are currently treated;
Perform ODH studies for any adverse effects to humans from exposure to mold in damp and water-damaged buildings.
“This legislation is intended to do one thing – protect the public health and safety of Ohioans through education and awareness. Toxic mold is often an overlooked issue that can lead to chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. A 2007 EPA report actually concluded that mold in indoor environments was the direct cause of 4.6 million cases of asthma in the United States. This is an issue that can impact the health of all Ohioans, but is entirely preventable and treatable. Toxic mold needs to be addressed similarly to the caution surrounding the presence of lead, radon and asbestos,” said Rep. Miller.
“Research clearly demonstrates a correlation between exposure to toxic mold and increased health and respiratory issues, especially in children,” said Rep. Russo. “We as legislators have an obligation to ensure that every Ohio resident is aware of the health effects of unmitigated mold contamination. By introducing the Ohio Indoor Safe Act, we can educate Ohioans on what to look for, work towards safer air conditions, and improve health outcomes.”
HB 251 now awaits its first hearing in the House Health Committee.