All Canadian Federal and Provincial agencies consider mould growth in buildings to be a risk factor for health problems. Health Canada recommends that mould growth be prevented by control of moisture sources and removal of mould use established remediation protocols.
There are many recommendations shared by these various Government Agencies including:
- Water-damaged materials must be dried within 48 hours of wetting to prevent mould growth.
- Mould growth in buildings poses a risk of allergic, irritant, infective and possibly toxic responses.
- All types of mould growth must be abated as soon as possible after discovery.
- Information on the presence of mould growth must be communicated to occupants.
- Building-wide evacuation is called for when there is both widespread fungal contamination and confirmed linked illness. Occupants with persistent health complaints potentially linked to mould exposure should seek medical attention and be given copies of any environmental test or reports.
- Occupants with an underlying health condition posing an increased risk of reactivity to mould (e.g., asthma triggered by mould, severe allergies, significantly compromised immune function) should not be present during mould abatement.
- Mould growth should be removed following work practices designed to contain airborne dust and debris, protect the workers performing the removal, and provide a clean condition at completion.
- Medium and large scale mould abatement work should be performed by professionals experienced in mould assessment and remediation.
Examples of Health & Safety Guidelines
- Ontario Ministry of Labour: Alert – Mould in Workplace Buildings
- Manitoba Labour: Guidelines for the Investigation, Assessment & Remediation of Mould
- Alberta Workplace Health and Safety: Do I Have a Workplace Mould Problem?
- WorkSafe BC: Moulds and Indoor Air Quality
- Canadian Construction Association: Mould Guidelines for the Canadian Construction Industry
- Health Canada: Fungal Contamination in Public Buildings: Health Effects and Investigation Methods