State of California, Statement from the CA Department of Health: Human health studies have led to a consensus among scientists and medical experts that the presence in buildings of (a) visible water damage, (b) damp materials, (c) visiblemold, or (d) mold odor indicates an increased risk of respiratory disease for occupants. Known health risks include: the development of asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections; the triggering of asthma attacks; and increased wheeze, cough, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. Available information suggests that children are more sensitive to dampness and mold than adults. In addition, evidence is accumulating, although not yet conclusive, that the more extensive, widespread, or severe the water damage, dampness, visible mold, or mold odor, the greater the health risks.

The State of California Department of Public Health contains the first State Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Program established in the nation. Its mission is to conduct research studies related to the causes and control of indoor air pollution in California. It coordinates activities on IAQ among key government agencies, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders through the California Interagency Working Group on IAQ. It also provides technical guidance on behalf of the Department on proposed legislation, regulations, and professional standards, as well as to local health agencies and the public. Its interdisciplinary staff currently includes five full time research scientists and chemists.

Kazukiyo Kumagai, Ph.D., MPH. Chief, Indoor Air Quality Section
California Department of Public Health
850 Marina Bay Pkwy, G-365/EHLB
Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: 510-620-2802
Fax: 510-620-2825