Mold in Schools

Mold can be a health concern, but no regulatory standard exists for the amount of mold that constitutes a health risk. Without a regulation outlining inspection/monitoring procedures, exposure limits, clean-up procedures, etc., public and environmental health agencies in New Jersey do not have a legal standard on which to base a mold inspection or take enforcement action. While the Cape May County Department of Health takes each and every complaint seriously, the department only investigates complaints which are in violation of public health or environmental regulations. When enforceable regulations do not exist, we strive to educate the public and direct them to other resources and information that may address their concerns. In all cases, it is recommended that concerns about school facilities first be directed to school administrators.

School Staff Concerns
The Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Program -- under the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) Consumer, Environmental and Occupational Health Service -- addresses concerns that pose an immediate danger or risk to public employees, such as teachers. A confidential complaint can be made by calling 800-624-1644 or online. The PEOSH homepage provides an excellent resource for occupational health standards for public employees in New Jersey.

Student-Related Concerns
The Healthy School Environments website contains important information about controlling health and safety hazards in school buildings. The NJDHSS Indoor Environments Program can offer information and advise on issues such as mold and the EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program. The Indoor Environments Program can be contacted by telephone at 609-631-6749.

Tools for Schools
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools to reduce exposures to environmental contaminants in schools through voluntary practices. The EPA’s IAQ Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools website provides resources for implementing an IAQ program in schools.