How dangerous is mould in the home?

How dangerous is mould in the home?
© iStock/Fevziie Ryman

Amid the rise of mould-related health incidents in the UK, Gama Healthcare investigates what can be done to combat the risk of mould in the home.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak was linked to mould in his home. So, how much of a risk is mould in the home, and what can be done to prevent it?

In the case of Awaab Ishak, the coroner ruled that his death was due to a respiratory condition linked to mould in his home. It’s a heartbreaking case, and one that has caused everybody to question what risk is posed by mould.

How can mould in the home impact our health?

Most of the time, a small amount of mould in the home won’t cause any health issues. Sadly, in Awaab Ishak’s home, the mould was extensive. Whilst mould rarely directly causes infections (although it can do in people with weak immune systems), it can be linked to poor respiratory health in homes and other buildings.

What is mould and where does it grow?

Mould is a type of microorganism that thrives in damp and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Mould is all around us, and is a vital component of our ecosystem, so it’s not as if mould can be completely removed from any space (indoor or outdoor). But simple steps can help to reduce the chances of mould developing in the home.

How to prevent mould from growing?

A key part to this is making sure that indoor spaces are not damp. This can usually be achieved through a combination of adequate heating and ventilation. However, sometimes if there is an ongoing source of damp, even adequate heating and ventilation won’t keep the mould at bay. If this is the case, the source of the damp needs to be identified and dealt with. Another mould prevention measure is keeping indoor spaces clean and free from perishing items, such as food waste.

“The tragic case of Awaab Ishak should serve as a wake-up call to us all to make sure relevant bodies are doing all they can to reduce the chances of mould growing in homes to the point where it begins to damage our health.”


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