Mold Abatement – Third Party Oversight
The Industrial Hygienist / Indoor Environmental Professional
A third party often an industrial hygienist or Certified Industrial Hygienist provides independent oversight of the mold abatement project. The industrial hygienist functions as the expert to ensure the abatement contractor adheres to the scope of work and follows all established guidelines and clearance protocols. Often questions arise on how to abate a certain area, whether certain methods should be employed, or if unusual circumstances are present such as health risks to building occupants, or questions about how much of an area should be abated (i.e., half of the wall vs. the entire wall). Here are some specific examples of when third party oversight is recommended:
- During mold abatement project(s) in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility or medical clinic;
- In places where there are immunocompromised persons;
- Where there has been raw sewage contamination and a determination must be made about what can be salvaged;
- Where an independent assessment is called for;
- Where it is determined that it would be beneficial to collect samples based upon a hypothesis generated from a site assessment.
NOTE- the Industrial Hygienist / Certified Industrial Hygienist should consult with their lab* prior to going to the site for instructions on how the lab wants the samples collected and transported.
*Laboratories should be accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and be a
current, successful participant in the Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation
Program (EMLAP). EMLAP is specifically designed for labs identifying microorganisms
commonly detected in air, fluids, and bulk samples during indoor air quality studies in a variety of
settings. Participation assists the laboratory in maintaining high quality standards.
In the event that microbiological samples are to be collected and interpreted for the
client, this should be conducted by the IH / CIH and not the mold abatement
Mold testing and interpretation of results is a very complex skill only to be performed by a highly experienced industrial hygienist or certified industrial hygienist. CT DPH recommends that all individuals acting as consultants on mold abatement projects, whether they are industrial hygienists and/or independent environmental professionals, obtain training regarding indoor air quality and sampling for and interpretation of bacteria and mold in indoor environments.
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) are some of the national organizations providing this type of training.