Online Program

Evaluation of dampness, moisture & mold evaluations & related respiratory symptoms & disease in public school occupants – a collaborative study

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Jerry Roseman, M.Sc.I.H. Occupational H&S, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health & Welfare Fund & Union, Philadelphia, PA
The National Academies of Science Institutes of Medicine, WHO and NIOSH/CDC, have concluded that excessive indoor dampness is a public health problem. Research studies have shown consistent associations between dampness and mold presence in buildings and respiratory symptoms in building occupants. Dampness in public school buildings is especially problematic. A collaborative approach involving management and union health and safety representatives is being undertaken by a large school district and its 15,000+ member teacher's union focused on evaluation and remediation of dampness, moisture and mold. Complaint response inspections are jointly conducted by a team of labor and management occupational hygienists. Additionally, proactive dampness & moisture surveys are conducted by School District-trained inspectors using survey protocols developed by NIOSH/CDC Field Studies Branch, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies. Collected data is regularly shared and discussed to determine trends and to design and implement control strategies. 600+ inspections in 210 individual buildings have been conducted over the past 30 months. More than 12,000 separate functional spaces and 70,000 data points have been defined characterizing indoor environmental conditions potentially impacting on occupant health. Moisture and dampness data is analyzed in relation to health and other relevant occupant-impact data. Survey data has been instrumental in early identification of significant building occupant impacts and in establishing the relationships between moist, damp conditions and occupant respiratory symptoms and disease. Observational data collected has proved valuable in promoting wider understanding about the connections between moist, damp building conditions and respiratory impacts leading to quicker remediation of adverse exposures.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate moisture, dampness, mold & other building conditions in a manner sufficient to relate them to illness & symptom data; Explain the public health impacts of moist, damp and moldy building conditions associated with observed and reported respiratory disease and symptoms; List building condition elements for which data should be collected in order to analyze and rank potentially hazardous school building/room environments; Design and formulate practical and proactive control and remediation strategies based on collected data

Keyword(s): Disease Prevention, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-principal investigator on the collaborative project evaluating moisture, dampness and mold in public schools. I have more than 31 years of experience in designing and conducting occupational and environmental health and safety research and industrial hygiene studies. I have developed and pursued a specific and detailed professional interest and expertise in the evaluation of mold, moisture, dampness, and related conditions in public buildings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.