S-3818.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators Kohl‑Welles, Winsley, Thibaudeau, McAuliffe, Franklin, Fairley and Fraser


Read first time 01/30/2002.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.

Creating the Joint Select Committee on Indoor Mold  Contamination.

    WHEREAS, Exposure to indoor mold has been associated with adverse health effects, particularly among people with allergies or asthma; and

    WHEREAS, More than 300 mold species have been found to produce toxins, and these toxins have been found to have adverse health effects on some people's immune and central nervous systems.  The adverse health effects include loss of memory, impairment of the ability to think coherently and function in a job, and may cause fatigue, nausea, and headaches; and

    WHEREAS, Surveys show that 30 to 50 percent of all structures in the northern United States have damp conditions that may encourage the growth and buildup of mold; and

    WHEREAS, Prudent public health practices dictate taking steps to limit the public's exposure to the possible adverse health effects of indoor mold; and

    WHEREAS, The Legislature recognizes that further study of the health effects of exposure to mold is warranted and that there may be financial and administrative burdens associated with efforts to reduce the risks associated with exposure to mold;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the State of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That a Joint Select Committee on Indoor Mold Contamination be created to:

    (1) Examine the health effects of exposure to mold on the general population, including specific effects on members of subgroups that make up a significant portion of the general population, which may include infants, children age six years of age and younger, pregnant women, the elderly, asthmatics, allergic individuals, immune compromised individuals, and other subgroups that may be at greater risk of adverse health effects from mold;

    (2) Review the actions of other jurisdictions nationwide to address the public health threat associated with indoor mold;

    (3) Make recommendations to the Legislature and to the Governor regarding ways that the Legislature and the private sector can work cooperatively to reduce the risk associated with exposure to mold; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That:  (1) The committee consist of the following four voting members:  One member from each major caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives to be appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.

    (2) The Secretary of the Department of Health shall be an ex officio nonvoting member of the joint committee.

    (3) The members of the joint committee shall also select from among their voting members a chair and other officers as the committee deems appropriate.

    (4) The joint committee may appoint the following entities as needed to carry out its duties:

    (a) Subcommittees; and

    (b) Advisory groups of nonmembers, whose membership may include, but is not limited to, representatives of the local health district officers, local health district environmental health officials, code enforcement officers, experts on the health effects of indoor mold, school districts, apartment owners, commercial property owners, homeowners, tenants, and industrial hygienists.

    (5) Senate Committee Services and the House of Representatives Office of Program Research shall provide staffing to the committee.

    (6) All expenses and hiring of additional staff shall be subject to the approval of the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee and the House of Representatives Executive Rules Committee; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by January 1, 2003.


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