Mould Investigations

Policy

Category: Health Hazard Prevention and Management
Subject: Mould Investigations
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.84.01.105
Effective Date: Apr. 2006

POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) to prevent or reduce the burden of illness and decrease heath outcomes from health hazards associated with mould present indoors in accordance with the most current version of the Health Hazard and Prevention Protocol the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, and the Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol under the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Air quality as it applies to the workplace falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labour.  Because of its health role, WDGPH will respond and attempt to resolve air quality concerns that fall outside of the mandate of the Ministry of Labour.

 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

CA.84.02.105  Mould Investigations
Health Hazard and Prevention Protocol
Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol
Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol
Ontario Public Health Standards
Health Protection and Promotion Act

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson 


Procedure

Category: Health Hazard Prevention and Management
Subject: Mould Investigations
Division: N/A
Procedure Number: CA.84.02.105
Effective Date: Apr. 2006

PROCEDURE

  1. Follow the procedure CA.84.02.101General Procedure for Investigating a Health Hazard Complaint.
  2. Follow the policy and procedure for CA.84.02.103 Indoor Air Quality Investigations if the concern/complaint is not specific to mould and is generally about indoor air quality.
  3. Follow the policy and procedure for CA.84.02.111Grow Operations if the concern/complaint is specific to mould associated with a marijuana grow operation.
  4. In investigating the complaint make a referral as appropriate to one or more of the following agencies:
  1. The Public Health Inspector (PHI) shall identify him/herself to the owner/operator and state the reason for the visit. The owner/operator or designate present is provided the opportunity to accompany the PHI during the inspection.
  2. Use the CSR electronic form in Hedgehog to conduct the inspection.  Refer to the Hedgehog User manual as required.
  3. Conduct a site visit and inspection of the premise/location named in the complaint.
  4. Through risk assessment and investigation, determine the validity of the complaint.  If a health hazard exists, identify corrective measures.  Ensure that corrective action is taken promptly to eliminate, reduce or minimize the health hazard.

OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. The following criteria for estimating the area of mould growth comes from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Fighting Mould: The Homeowners’ Guide”, revised August 2002.  Details on proper cleaning procedures and personal protective equipment can be found in this document.

Small Patch: 

Mould is considered to cover a “small area” if the patch is no larger than a square meter.  There should be no more than three patches, each patch smaller than a square meter.  The complainant may clean small patches by following outlined procedures and safety measures.

Moderate Patch: 

The mould area is considered “moderate” if there are more than three patches, each patch smaller than a square meter, or there are one or more isolated patches larger than a square meter but smaller than 3 square meters (size of a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood).  In these situations assessment by a professional is recommended.  However, the complainant may clean up the mould by following proper procedures and using proper protective equipment.

Extensive Patch: 

A mould area is considered extensive if a single patch is larger in area than a sheet of plywood.  The complainant should not clean extensive areas of mould.  It is recommended that a professional be contacted to clean and determine the source of mould.

  1. If this is a rental property and structural deficiencies are suspected local by-law building or Municipal Affairs and Housing officials should be contacted.
  2. It is advisable to keep the relative humidity in homes below 50% in summer and 30% in winter.  This information becomes valuable in recommending the use of a dehumidifier.  Ensure there are adequate means of ventilation, such as properly functioning exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen.
  3. Address underlying causes of water accumulation or prolonged high humidity.  For indoor air quality guidelines see procedure CA.84.02.103 Indoor Air Quality Investigations.
  4. If necessary, prior to taking any legal action, consult with the Manager for the Health Hazard Program or the Director, Health Protection.
  5. Refer and/or consult with appropriate agencies as necessary (Building Dept, MMAH).  Complaints involving a workplace should be referred to the Ministry of Labour. 
  6. Fact sheets related to mould and indoor air quality are available on the WDGPH website. 

 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

CA.84.01.105  Mould Investigations
CA.84.02.101General Procedure for Investigating a Health Hazard Complaint.
CA.84.02.103 Indoor Air Quality Investigations
CA.84.02.111Grow Operations
Fighting Mould: The Homeowners’ Guide
Health Protection and Promotion Act

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson