Shev Jones, Geri Thompson Want Florida to Have Toxic Mold Protection Advisory Council

This week, state Sen. Shev Jones, D-Miami Gardens, and state Rep. Geri Thompson, D-Orlando, showcased their “Toxic Mold Protections Act.”

The bill “would establish the Toxic Mold Protection Advisory Council, which would work with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to assist in developing and adopting certain limits, standards, and guidelines related to mold in indoor environments” and “also establish certain disclosure requirements and provide enforcement should standards and procedures not be met.”

Thompson’s office offered some of the reasons for the proposal.

“Mold is a significant and frequently encountered threat for many residents in Florida due to the prevalence of moisture. There are currently no federal or state regulations addressing a landlord’s rights and duties in relation to mold specifically, nor are there any disclosure requirements for existing mold issues. A tenant can sue their landlord for breach of the ‘implied warranty of habitability,’ but they must establish that the landlord was negligent, which then resulted in significant injury to the tenant. Lynette Jividen, 56, of Plantation, FL, for example, won a $48 million case after having a chronic ailment as a result of mold exposure. However, not all cases are as clear-cut,” Thompson’s office noted.

“Many people are ill and are not aware that their illness is due to exposure to high levels of toxic molds which are present in their living or work environments. This bill will establish appropriate levels of mold in environments and require that renters or purchasers of properties be informed of the presence of mold,” Thompson said. “Individuals who suffer from respiratory problems or allergic reactions will benefit from this bill which will address unacceptable levels of toxic molds in dwellings. This will allow for appropriate diagnosis of illnesses caused by mold.”

Thompson’s bill was sent to the Professions & Public Health Subcommittee, the Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee, the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the Health & Human Services Committee. Jones’ bill was sent to the Health Policy Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the Appropriations Committee.

Kevin Derby
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