One Resident Hospitalized After Ceiling Collapse, Mold Discovery at Hawthorne Home  by Lucas Frau

Water leakage and a mold discovery in a Hawthorne residence led to one man being hospitalized and left the other residents questioning whether the three-family home is habitable, authorities said.Fire Department officials were dispatched to a house on Prescott Avenue on Sunday morning because water leaking from a boiler on the third floor caused the ceiling in the second-floor bathroom to collapse. For full text, click here

NM Environment Department Issues Guidance on Administrative Compliance Costs

NMED Santa Fe, NM

The New Mexico Environment Department issued Guidance on Administrative Compliance Costs to department managers on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. This document provides guidance for managers at NMED for the recovery of administrative costs necessary to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations governing NMED programs. Compliance is one of the key tenets by which NMED implements its mission. Compliance ensures NMED achieves the objectives and intent set forth in its statutory mandates. Compliance also ensures fair and equitable treatment of the regulated community. For full text of the guidance memo, click here

New Analytical Approach to Detecting and Characterizing Unknown Types of PFAS in the Environment by Bob Yirka

North Carolina – A combined team of chemists from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has developed a new approach to detecting and characterizing unknown types of PFAS in the environment. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their new approach. For the full text, click here.

EPA Proposes to Codify Changes to TSCA Risk Evaluations

JD Supra/EPA Washington, DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed revisions of its procedural rule on risk evaluations under TSCA on October 30, 2023. The far-reaching changes are likely to affect all ongoing and future risk evaluations. Stakeholders likely to be affected by future TSCA risk management rules should comment by December 14, 2023. Comments must be received on or before December 14, 2023. For full text of the article, click here. To submit your comment through the Federal Register docket #HQ–OPPT–2023–0496 click here

PFAS in Groundwater: State-by-State Regulations – October 2023

JD Supra by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

National – In the absence of federal cleanup standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in groundwater, several states have started the process of regulating PFAS in groundwater themselves. As a result, states have adopted a patchwork of regulations and guidance standards that present significant compliance challenges to impacted industries. This client alert explores the current landscape of state regulations regarding the advisory, notification, and cleanup levels for PFAS – typically perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (“PFOS”) and perfluorooctanoic acid (”PFOA”) – in groundwater. For the full text, click here

Summaries of the Latest Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Covid Research  

Research Summaries

Elevated PM2.5 levels indoors can detrimentally affect cognitive performance, even during short-term exposure. Building and Environment

Mold inhalation can interfere with cognitive processing in different ways depending on the task and the presence of mycotoxins. Behavioural Brain Research

Residential renovation and buying new furniture in prenatal and postnatal periods consistently increased odds of childhood airway diseases and allergies. Building and Environment

Of 88 published studies that evaluated the indoor environment of schools, only 4 studies evaluated the four main areas of IEQ: indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, and lighting. Buildings

The low-cost PurpleAir PM2.5 monitor showed good performance but struggled with higher concentrations and had lower consistency when measuring particles >1 μm. Building and Environment

Physical barriers did not adequately protect occupants from respiratory particles. Aerosol Science and Technology 

This study proposes a calculation framework to establish carbon dioxide (CO2) threshold limits to control indoor long-range airborne transmission of COVID-19. Building and Environment

This study laid the groundwork for a screening tool that could use fungal VOC emissions to help identify moldy homes. Environmental Research

Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) can be found in the gas phase or condensed on particles.  This study researched how SVOCs can partition between the two phases.  Environmental Science & Technology

This study used artificial neural networks to predict the future indoor temperatures and thermal comfort of buildings. Building and Environment

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Hazardous Mold Outbreak Triggers Army Order to Inspect All Barracks, Offices

USA Today by Tom Vandenbrook

Washington, DC – The Army has issued an order to inspect all its buildings around the world for mold after outbreaks at bases have left barracks uninhabitable, forcing soldiers into temporary housing. The executive order issued by the Army headquarters at the Pentagon requires commanders to inspect 100% of barracks, family housing, and offices for active duty soldiers by Nov. 18 for “unhealthy, unsafe, substandard living conditions.” For the full text, click here.

CT Weatherization Program Will Tackle Mold, Asbestos, and Other Barriers

Energy News Lisa Prevost

National – A new Connecticut program is expected to help cut energy bills and improve living conditions for low-income residents throughout the state. The Statewide Weatherization Barrier Remediation Program, overseen by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will pay for the cleanup of mold, asbestos and other health and safety barriers that can prevent homeowners from pursuing weatherization projects. The new program is expected to cover the cost of remediating hazardous conditions for up to 1,000 income-eligible households over the next three years. For the full text, click here.

CT Legislators Set to Decide On the Acceptable Amount of Mold Found in Marijuana

CT Mirror Ginny Monk

Hartford, CT – Legislators are dealing with an issue that they might not have imagined just a few years ago: The acceptable amount of mold in marijuana. But for some patients who use medical marijuana, the question isn’t a novelty but a serious matter of health. The state Department of Consumer Protection proposed a change that would set the maximum amount of colony-forming mold and yeast units in medical marijuana at 100,000 per gram and would allow no traceable amounts of a breed of mold called Aspergillus that is known to cause a lung infection.

For the full text, click here.

EPA Announces ‘clean Air in Buildings Challenge’ to Help Building Owners and Operators Improve Indoor Air Quality

EPA National

EPA released the “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge,” a call to action and a concise set of guiding principles and actions to assist building owners and operators with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge highlights a range of recommendations and resources available to assist with improving ventilation and indoor air quality, which can help to better protect the health of building occupants and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

For the full text, click here.

For more information on the challenge, click here.