School Mold Help
On Feb. 3rd, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency’s CIAQ (Committee on Indoor Air Quality) held one of its three yearly meetings in Washington, DC. Prior to this meeting, the US GAO Mold Audit Workgroup was to have met again, in Jan. 2010, to determine how to protect health by informing the American public about mold hazards, prevention and solutions, maintaining consistency across federal agencies (one of their very few meetings scheduled since designated to do so by the GAO in its Oct. 2008 report).Their progress was to have been reported in the CIAQ meeting, as CIAQ oversees this workgroup. But it was a no-show for the mold workgroup. In fact, nothing about mold problems was even on the agenda! We’d like to know WHY. Whose decision was that? We want that information made public, with a detailed explanation. There are signs that under the new Obama-appointed EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, indoor air pollution is not a top priority.
Members of the public were able to participate in the CIAQ meeting by phone, muted, recognized occasionally for commentary, after registering for a webinar, in addition to those physically present. There were many unhappy people on those phone lines, especially since it certainly appeared that the EPA’s CIAQ group was dodging the issues about why the workgroup made no report. After three hours, one of the EPA administrators present, David Rowson, of the Center for Asthma and Schools, finally admitted that the mold workgroup hadn’t met. Also, that the minutes from the last CIAQ meeting in Oct., 2009, detailing information about this workgroup, among other topics, hadn’t been written or published. The mold comments that were made by phone participants on Feb. 3rd were going to be cut from the audio of this CIAQ meeting and posted separately, “somewhere”, we were all told by Mr. Phil Jalbert, of the CIAQ. Considering research from WHO, IOM, and thousands of scientists have shown mold and dampness-related illnesses seriously impact the health of millions, we find this negligence on the part of EPA to be inexcusable. It is an ominous sign that even with a new agency head appointed, we note that indoor air pollution didn’t even make it onto the list of EPA priorities for its budget of 2010 (see below). We are particularly disappointed that this leading cause of asthma has been left off the list, in the midst of an increasing, serious asthma epidemic for school-aged children.
The SMH Director and Board President attended the CIAQ meeting by phone, as we have for numerous others, along with individuals representing at least 8 other mold activist groups. The CIAQ has the responsibility, given to it by the US General Accounting Office, research arm of Congress, to coordinate the mold information in a manner that will benefit the public. We insist that this be continued and the task completed. It has been 1.5 years since the US GAO Mold Audit was published. The stalling and avoidance must stop. The public deserves protection via scientifically accurate, up-to-date, consistent information from all government agencies. For example, to date, none of the US gov’t agencies have yet informed the public about the WHO findings (July 2009) that indoor dampness can cause new asthma cases, and that mold and dampness are associated with immunological problems. Mold and dampness are rampant in our schools, workplaces, and homes. We call upon the US EPA and its new administrator, Lisa Jackson, to make clean, healthy indoor air a top priority of the US EPA, continuing the work of the CIAQ’s GAO Mold Audit workgroup on a fast track, and for all EPA administrators to be responsive to the public. We call upon Mrs. Jackson, the mother of a child with asthma, to make up-to-date education about indoor mold and dampness, coordinated with other gov’t agencies, with EPA child protection from these dangerous conditions, the EPA’s highest priorities.(SMH)
To write the CIAQ, email email@example.com and address your letters to Phil Jalbert, Executive Secretary.
To write Mr. David Rowson, Director, Center for Asthma and Schools, Indoor Environments Divison, US EPA email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We suggest writing President Obama about this as well, as ignoring and avoiding public health issues adds significantly to the public health burden and economic problems of the nation. President Obama has ordered all administrators to exercise transparency at their federal agencies. We are really disappointed in the EPA in this respect.
We hear over and over again, from mold-ill people or parents of school mold-ill students, that they are frustrated that United States government agencies are of no help to them what-so-ever. We have a serious public health threat that isn’t being properly addressed because our government agencies have been remiss. The US GAO Mold Audit (2008) agreed. We are disappointed with the EPA’s attitude during the CIAQ meeting and with the lack of prompt and responsible action at the federal level.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) – files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
A letter to the NAA regarding an email they deleted without reading – please retract your amicus in the Abad case in Arizona – it is fraud by a political action committee, the National Apartment Association, that is furthering another fraud by another political action committee, the US Chamber of Commerce
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana