S.C.R. NO.











WHEREAS, mold and fungi are found virtually everywhere on our planet; and

WHEREAS, contrary to the common misconception that one's environment is free of contamination as long as there are no visible signs of mold, large accumulations of mold may be growing in hidden or concealed areas, like air ducts, remote attic or basement spaces, or wall cavities; and

WHEREAS, according to an article by Edward R. Lipinski ("HOME CLINIC: The Battle Against Mold and Mildew," N.Y. Times, September 1, 1999), left to multiply, these infestations may produce enough organic compounds to cause allergic reactions, sickness and, in extreme cases, death; and

WHEREAS, exposure to certain types of fungi, known as dangerous mold, can cause a serious allergic reaction by secreting chemicals called mycotoxins, which can find their way into the body, by entering through the nose, mouth, and skin, and lodging itself in the digestive tract, lungs, or brain; and

WHEREAS, according to an article by Lisa Belkin ("Haunted by Mold," N.Y. Times, August 13, 2001), trichothecenes, a form of mycotoxin, were rumored to have been used as a biological weapon during the Afghanistan and Vietnam conflicts; and

WHEREAS, if mold becomes established and amplified within a building on the surface of, and inside the structural building materials, wood, drywall, ceiling material, flooring, etc., it can result in severe structural damage to a home or building; and

WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels; and

WHEREAS, these levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors; and

WHEREAS, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board in recent years have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for greater understanding of the hazards associated with dangerous molds and the appropriate means for addressing those hazards; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Health is requested to convene a dangerous mold working group to identify key issues regarding dangerous molds that should be addressed in future legislation, including but not limited to those relating to defining mold amplification, dosage, and routes of transmission, health threat assessment, and mold identification, characterization, and remediation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the dangerous mold working group shall be comprised of representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Accounting and General Services, Hawaii Institute for Mold Control, an industrial hygienist with experience in indoor air quality, an architect with experience in building diagnostics and forensic architecture, and representatives from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, the Hawaii Association of Realtors, and the Building Owners and Managers Association; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the dangerous mold working group shall investigate and propose legislation regarding:

(1) Permissible mold exposure limits;

(2) Mold assessment standards;

(3) Mold identification guidelines;

(4) Mold remediation and post-remediation clearance standards;

(5) Duties and responsibilities of property sellers, landlords, tenants, property managers, resort and hotel maintenance, and state and federal building maintenance departments regarding the disclosure and removal of dangerous molds; and

(6) Any other matter related to the health and safety risks of exposure to molds; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to report the findings and conclusions of the dangerous mold working group, together with its recommendations for legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Director of Health, the Comptroller, the President of the University of Hawaii, the Chairperson of the University of Hawaii Department of Public Health, the head of the Indoor Quality Air Association, and the head of the Hawaii Institute for Mold Control.






Report Title:

DOH; Dangerous Mold Working Group