Molds are naturally occurring fungi that can be found anywhere, and can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.
Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold. There are no mandated actions specific to molds and indoor air quality required by any state or federal agencies. The U.S. EPA states “Standards” or Threshold Limit Values for airborne concentrations or mold, or mold spores, have not been set.
Although there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants, there are microbiological benchmarks or assessment guidelines. Therefore, in the event that we discover mold on campus, Montclair State University’s policy is to follow EPA’s recommended protocol for Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and other guidelines from professional and government organizations. While not required by EPA, as a quality control measure, air testing is done (before and after remediation) to confirm that once the remediation is complete the concentration of spores inside the area is lower than outdoor/background levels.
Indoor Air Regulations and Mold
“Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.”
Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
Is sampling/testing for mold necessary? (From EPA FAQs)
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.