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NM Department of Health to Tenants: Report Persistent Mold


(Santa Fe, NM) -- The New Mexico Department of Health’s Environmental Health Epidemiology and Response Division advises all New Mexico tenants to report leaks or mold growth immediately. Tenants should first contact their landlord or property manager and then local, state, and federal health authorities

Molds grow inside when water intrusion, or leaks, provide sufficient moisture on organic materials inside walls and flooring. These materials, like drywall and wood, provide nutrients for mold colonies to proliferate, often unseen and unchecked.

Molds produce allergens that can cause asthma, upper respiratory symptoms, coughing, wheezing, headaches, and cognitive impairment in sensitized individuals. While molds are commonly found in the atmosphere, individuals with weakened immune systems can become dangerously ill when indoor environments contain visible mold or elevated levels of mold spores in the air. Symptoms of mold toxicity can develop immediately upon exposure, at any time during exposure, or after exposure has occurred. Tenants who have visible mold in their home and who experience symptoms listed here should see their doctor.

Tenants are encouraged to notify their landlords or property managers in writing right away when they notice leaks or visible mold in the home. Landlords are required by law to repair the leak and mold damage within 7 days of tenant written notification. Water leaks that provide moisture for mold growth must be repaired as part of successful mold remediation; if leaks are not repaired, mold will re-colonize the area and materials.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide helpful guidelines for mold remediation. Recommendations for remediating (correcting) mold growth in the home include:

For mold growth covering less than 10 total square feet:
• Remove any material (including belongings) that has been wet for more than two days from the home.
• Throw away any materials/items that cannot be cleaned in hot water.
• Use up to 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of hot water to scrub all hard surfaces such as counters, sinks, stoves, toys, furniture. If the surface is rough, use a stiff brush to scrub well.
• Dry material thoroughly.
• Fix all leaks.
• Replace ceiling tile, carpet, carpet padding, insulation, and sheetrock that has mold growth.

For mold growth covering greater than 10 total square feet, professional protective equipment and mold spore containment procedures are recommended. Property owners are encouraged to follow EPA guidelines and consultation with professional remediators is suggested.

If persistent mold growth has not been remediated according to recommended guidelines, tenants are encouraged to contact local, state or federal health or housing authorities:

CABQ Environmental Health/Air Quality Division
Phone: (505) 768-1972 or 2738
Fax: (505) 768-1977

NM Department of Health
Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau
Santa Fe Phone: 505-476-1734
Albuquerque Phone: 505-841-5891
Toll Free: 888-878-8992

NM Environment Department
Air Quality Bureau
George Schroeder, Sanitarian
Bernalillo Office of Environmental Health
Phone: 505-314-0310

US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6
Mark Berry, Regional Air Quality Contact
Phone: (214) 665-3183
Toll Free: 800-887-6063


 toxic mold
 children’s health

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