COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Many South Carolina municipalities have had issues with mold in public buildings. In Spartanburg, the recurring fungus prompted the construction of a new courthouse.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency do not have national standards for mold or official programs to follow to treat and prevent the fungus.
But lawmakers in South Carolina are trying to get ahead of the national agencies and set standards in the state.
Representative Chandra Dillard filed a bill last session to create a study committee to look at the best ways to deal with mold.
“We have had court houses one in Spartanburg because of lack of remediation those folks are having to build a new courthouse,” said Representative Dillard addressing the small crowd in the committee meeting room.
Mold has been a more prominent in the problem following an increase in flooding in recent years.
Representative Roger Kirby from Florence County serves on the mold study committee. Kirby expressed concern about issues he’s seen in his own areas as a result of flooding. “Schools that are not open that are closed now sitting empty because of flooding.”
The committee met for the first time Wednesday morning. The group has until the end of the year to come up with recommendations for the state.
But experts who spoke to the members say mold is an easy issue to identify but a hard one to address.
“Mold is something that is very unique to people. People with respiratory issues are more susceptible. There are people that complain that mold will give them irritation. But there is not conclusive evidence that says this type of mold at this exposure level creates this type of problem,” explained Doug Farquhar with the National Conference of State Legislators.
Even though there aren’t national standards addressing mold about a dozen or so states have legislation that deal directly with building codes and remediation education.
The measures those states have in place include making sure systems are working inside buildings and that the building stays dry. The legislation also includes regulating who can do assessments and who can do the remediation.