September 12, 2002 – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) has introduced H.R. 5040: The United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act ("The Melina Bill"). H.R. 5040 has the potential to put to rest the confusion over whether exposure to mold growth in residential, public and commercial buildings causes serious medical conditions such as bleeding lungs, digestive problems, hair loss, nausea, loss of memory, reduced cognitive skills, and death. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports a causal link between the presence of the toxic mold and rare and unique medical conditions has not been proven. Mold growth is also alleged to have destroyed millions of dollars in real estate and forced homeowners to the curb.
The United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act will mandate comprehensive research into mold growth, create programs to educate the public about the dangers of toxic mold, and provide assistance to victims. In addition, the Act will generate guidelines for preventing indoor mold growth, establish standards for removing mold when it does grow, provide grants for mold removal in public buildings, authorize tax credits for inspection and/or remediation of mold hazards, and create a national insurance program to protect homeowners from catastrophic losses. Taken as a whole, the Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act will attack indoor mold growth with good science, public awareness, and tangible relief.
Read our fact sheet Mold and Mold Remediation to learn how to deal with mold in your home.
The following is a summary of the major provisions of the bill:
- The Bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to examine the effects of different molds on human health and develop accurate scientific information on the hazards presented by indoor mold.
- The Bill directs EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) respectively, to establish guidelines that identify conditions that facilitate indoor mold growth and measures that can be implemented to prevent such growth. The guidelines will also address mold inspection, testing, and remediation.
- The Bill asks EPA and HUD to establish guidelines for certifying mold inspectors and remediators. The guidelines will help identify hazards associated with inspection and remediation and the steps that should be taken to minimize the risk to human health.
- The Bill authorizes programs to educate the public about the dangers of indoor mold. An informed public with be in a better position to avoid mold hazards, prevent mold growth and respond appropriately when mold growth occurs.
- The Bill requires mold inspections for multi-unit residential property and mold inspections for all property that is purchased or leased using funds that are guaranteed by the federal government. The Bill also requires mold inspections in public housing.
- The Bill requires, to whatever extent possible, that local jurisdictions modify building codes to minimize mold hazards in new construction.
- The Bill authorizes grants for mold removal in public buildings.
- The Bill authorizes tax credits for inspection and/or remediation of mold hazards.
- The Bill creates a National Toxic Mold Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to protect homeowners from catastrophic losses. Many homeowners are finding that insurance companies will not offer adequate coverage for mold.
- The Bill enables States to provide medicaid coverage to mold victims who are unable to secure adequate health care.
Title I – Research and Public Education
Title II – Housing and Real Property Provisions
Title IV – Indoor Mold Hazard Assistance
Title V – Tax Provisions
Title VI – National Toxic Mold Insurance Program
Title VII – Health Care Provisions