Building Research Establishment. 2021. (accessed 22 November 2022)

2022. (accessed 22 November 2022)

Toxic mould, cold and health

02 December 2022
Volume 33 · Issue 12

Last month's verdict that 2-year-old Awaab Ishak ‘died as a result of a severe respiratory condition due to prolonged exposure to mould in his home environment’ in 2020 should be a wake-up call to both the housing and healthcare sectors. Are health professionals aware of this important issue in their vulnerable patients?

Exposure to damp and mould can make people more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma (NHS, 2022). Babies and older people, and those with pre-existing skin, respiratory and immune system problems are at greatest risk. Senior coroner Joanne Kearsley said: ‘Throughout his life Awaab had recurring cold symptoms such as runny nose, cough, and respiratory tract infections. His GP confirmed that he attended at their surgery more than most children.’ A community midwife had filled in a special circumstances form to children's services highlighting concerns about the mould and the potential impact on his health. However, there is no evidence any action was taken. How can concerned health professionals raise the alarm in future?

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