World Health Organisation… The Dangers of Damp and Mould

Extracts from World Health Organisation’s Free Brochure , Regarding Damp and Mould in European Homes

‘Damp and mould: why you should care! In Europe, an estimated 10–50% (depending on the country) of the indoor environments where human beings live, work and play are damp. Too much moisture makes a home stuffy and gives it a faint odour.

Humid walls create a coldness that makes more heating necessary and increases energy bills.

WHO is concerned about this situation because excessive dampness and mould are a threat to health. Occupants of damp or mouldy buildings are at increased risk of experiencing health problems such as respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma. Some people are more sensitive to mould than others, and some groups are especially vulnerable.

Additional effort should be made to keep away from damp and mould babies and children, elderly people, those with existing skin problems, such as eczema, or respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma, and anyone who is immuno-compromised (e.g., chemotherapy patients).

On the other hand, WHO has demonstrated that remedial action works. For example, research shows that people living in well-insulated and adequately ventilated accommodation are less likely to visit their doctor or be admitted to hospital due to respiratory conditions than those living in damp homes’

‘Practical tips on getting rid of damp and mould Key message: Measures to prevent or reduce moisture are the main way to limit the development of mould (and any microbial) growth: Without water – no mould! The three main actions are:

  1. Detecting and locating the source of the moisture problem;
  2. Removing the mould; and 3. Taking action to control excessive moisture and condensation.’

The full brochure can be downloaded free of charge using the following link;

http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/78636/Damp_Mould_Brochure.pdf