HEALTH CONCERNS

The Future

The World Health Organisation states “Microbial pollution of indoor air comes from hundreds of species of bacteria, fungi and moulds that grow indoors when sufficient moisture is available. Exposure to microbial contaminants is clinically associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies and asthma, and can affect the immunological system. Preventing or minimizing persistent damp and microbial growth on interior surfaces and building structures is the most important means of avoiding harmful effects of indoor air on health”

(Ref: World Health Organization: Guidelines for indoor air quality Dampness and Mould- Executive Summary 2009)

Alarmingly, New Zealand has the second highest casualty rate of Asthma and respiratory diseases per capita in the world. There are over 1,000 premature deaths per year with associated costs in excess of $6billion.

Mould and poor air quality in our homes and work places are largely responsible for these figures.

The Facts

  • There is clinical evidence that exposure to mould and other dampness-related microbial agents increases the risks of rare conditions, such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic alveolitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic fungal sinusitis.
  • Toxicological evidence supports these findings, showing the occurrence of diverse inflammatory and toxic responses after exposure to microorganisms isolated from damp buildings, including their spores, metabolites and components.
  • While groups such as atopic and allergic people are particularly susceptible to biological and chemical agents in damp indoor environments, adverse health effects have also been found in nonatopic populations.
  • The increasing prevalences of asthma and allergies in many countries increase the number of people susceptible to the effects of dampness and mould in buildings.

Asthma and respiratory diseases are two of the leading causes of sickness and death in New Zealand

in 6 New Zealander's have a respiratory disease

3rd most common cause of death

Billion

Cost to the country each year

in 7 children have asthma

(Ref: Asthma & Respiratory Foundation NZ)