Profiles of Innovative State Programs: California - Mold and Dampness

California Department of Public Health,

Indoor Air Quality Section

Educational Resources on Mold and Dampness


The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Indoor Air Quality Section addresses a variety of IAQ issues, including dampness and mold. The agency has developed a wide range of materials on the subject, including information developed specifically to assist housing code enforcement agencies in addressing dampness and mold problems in rental properties.

Why is this Program Important?

As CDPH notes, the health effects consistently associated with indoor dampness and molds include: respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections, new asthma, asthma episodes, eczema, and skin irritation. The California Housing Code establishes that visible residential mold at levels that may endanger health is a condition that makes housing substandard. However, code enforcement remains a challenge. CDPH‘s IAQ Section has developed science-based guidance to help code enforcement officers and other stakeholders properly address indoor dampness and mold conditions. These materials may also be helpful to code enforcement programs outside California.

What Materials and Resources Have Been Developed by the Program?

The CDPH IAQ Section has produced a video, “Dampness and Mold: Science-Based Advice for Housing Code Enforcement,” aimed at explaining best practices for code enforcement officers to assess mold, dampness, and associated health hazards. The agency has also created a database of local housing code enforcement agencies throughout California.

Related CDPH resources include an official CDPH statement on mold and dampness in buildings, the booklet Mold or Moisture in My Home: What Do I Do? and a general FAQ page.

In 2021, CDPH produced a new booklet entitled Information on Dampness and Mold for Renters in California. Beginning January 1, 2022, residential property owners must provide the booklet to all prospective tenants, in accordance with state law (Cal. Health & Safety Code §26148).

How Can You Learn More?

Visit the CDPH Mold and Dampness web page for links to these materials, as well as background on health effects. The CDPH IAQ main web page includes information about other IAQ issues.

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