Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 20 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 18. Toxic Mold [26100 - 26157]

  ( Chapter 18 added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 2. Guidelines for Identification of Molds [26120 - 26125]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. )


The department, in consultation with the task force convened pursuant to Section 26101.7, shall adopt mold identification guidelines for the recognition of mold, water damage, or microbial volatile organic compounds in indoor environments.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


Identification guidelines shall include scientifically valid methods to identify the presence of mold including elements for collection of air, surface and bulk samples, visual identification, olfactory identification, laboratory analysis, measurements of amount of moisture, and presence of mold and other recognized analytical methods used for the identification of molds.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


(a)  Identification guidelines developed by the department shall do all of the following:

(1)  Avoid adverse effects on the health of the general population, with an adequate margin of safety, and avoid any significant risk to public health.

(2)  Notwithstanding paragraph (1), balance the protection of public health with technological and economic feasibility.

(3)  Utilize and include the latest scientific data or existing standards for the assessment of molds adopted by authoritative bodies.

(b)  The department shall consider all of the following criteria when it develops identification guidelines for mold:

(1)  Permissible exposure limits to molds developed by the State Department of Health Services pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 26103, or what constitutes a health threat posed by the presence of mold, both visible and invisible or hidden, in an indoor environment, according to the department’s standards as developed pursuant to Section 26105.

(2)  Standards for mold identification, if any, adopted by authoritative bodies.

(3)  Professional judgment and practicality.

(4)  Toxicological reports or additional scientific evidence.

(c)  The department shall not require a commercial, industrial, or residential landlord or a public entity that rents or leases a unit or building to conduct air or surface tests of units or buildings to determine whether the presence of molds exceeds the permissible exposure limits to mold established by subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of Section 26103.

(d)  The department shall develop a reporting form for building inspection that may be used to document the presence of mold.

(e)  The department shall report to the Legislature on its progress in developing identification guidelines for mold by July 1, 2003.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


The department may review, and consider adopting by reference, any information prepared by, or on behalf of, the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other authoritative bodies, for the purpose of adopting national identification standards for molds.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


(a)  The department shall, at the time it commences preparation of identification guidelines for mold, electronically post on its Internet Web site a notice that informs interested persons that it has initiated work on the identification guidelines.

(b)  The notice shall include a brief description, or a bibliography, of the technical documents or other information the department has identified to date as relevant to the preparation of the identification guidelines for mold.

(c)  The notice shall inform persons who wish to submit mold identification information of the name and address of the person in the office to whom the information may be sent, the date by which the information must be received for the department to consider it in the preparation of the identification guidelines, and that all information submitted will be made available to any member of the public who makes the request.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


All identification guidelines for mold published by the department shall be reviewed at least once every five years and revised, as necessary, based upon the availability of new scientific data or information on effective mold identification.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC2.