Survey findings were released recently on the presence of mold in homes almost two years after Superstorm Sandy. The initial findings of the study, completed by the New York Committee of Occupational Safety and Health and Long Island Jobs with Justice, showed that 57% of people continued to live in a Sandy-damaged home after the storm, 21% of people repaired their homes themselves, 67% used bleach on surfaces as a form of mold remediation (which does not kill mold), and 39% of people surveyed believed they had respiratory conditions that they believe were linked to Sandy.
“After Sandy, homeowners became both employers and workers,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of NYCOSH. “The fact that so many people—over 67% of both homeowners and workers—used bleach to clean up mold shines a light on how many people may still have mold growth occurring in their homes, and might not even know it.”
Mold usually poses no hazard to people. However, adverse health effect may result when indoor levels of mold are elevated above outdoor levels or when they are different, more harmful types of mold are introduced into the indoor environment.
Labor groups and other advocates called for an increase in awareness of the mold problem in the city and the necessity of training workers to adequately perform mold remediation. Inadequate training is a key indicator for workplace related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.