Health and Moisture in Buildings
Buildings which are too damp or too dry can be bad for occupants’ health.
This fact has been well established by many reports including those of the
World Health Organisation and the Institute of Medicine. Yet precisely
how bad such buildings are to what kinds of occupants at what level of
dampness or dryness is much more difficult to define, as are the agents of
illness, such as the many types of mould, bacteria, other irritants and toxins
that can result from imbalances of moisture in buildings. Consequently, it is difficult not only to identify causes with certainty, but also to calculate how much illness is caused by buildings which are too damp or too dry. For example, the Energy Savings Trust recently stated that around a third of the UK population report that they have mould in their homes is over 8 million properties and 20 million people—a figure which is wildly out of line with the English Housing Survey reports (of 4% of buildings with mould). Nonetheless, even using these most cautious estimates, there are over 1 million damp properties in the UK, with around 2.5 million people potentially affected by exposure to dampness in buildings in England alone, and the costs of this to the National Health Service and the economy may run into many tens, if not hundreds of millions of pounds each year. It is therefore essential to be able to identify more clearly the actual level of this problem and to move forward towards robust evidence which will enable policy makers, industry and financial organisations,as well as building occupants, to act positively and promptly so give us a call and we