Identifying and Managing Health Symptoms and Complaints Related to Mould Damage
The following are typical of complaints relating to odours or health symptoms reported by either occupants or mould remediation workers that may be due to the presence of mould growth.
- Eye irritation
- Runny nose
- Inability to concentrate
- Constriction of air passages
- Skin irritations
- Shortness of breath
- Aggravation of asthma
Prescribed Illness and Duty of Care
It is recommended that any area undergoing mould remediation be unoccupied during cleaning and/or remediation works. In most cases it should no be necessary to evacuate people from adjacent areas as long as the correct containment procedures are adhered to. It is highly recommended that the people who fit into one of the following health categories should be advised to temporarily relocate during the cleaning and/or remediation:
- Infants and children’s less than 2 years old
- People with compromised immune systems
- People with chronic inflammatory lung disease such as
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and
- Severe allergies
- People recovering from recent surgery.
Failing to inform or evacuate people in these conditions may lead to serious breach of your duty of care. The Immune system of a child less than 2 years old may not be fully developed and there is evidence that Kawasaki syndrome is related to wet cleaning methods on carpet.
Biohazard Contamination Strategy
When the remediation work involves a mould contaminated building the building’s owner, manager or employer should notify the occupants in the affected area that mould growth is requiring remediation. This should include the basic results from the testing and analysis, the type of remedial works that will be performed, and a schedule for completion.
Individuals that may have health problem associated with exposure to mould should be advised to seek medical advice from medical practitioner who specialising occupational or environmental medicine or related discipline and who are knowledgeable about the potential impact of mould on health. Any individual that requires medical assessment should be provided with a copy of all inspection and sampling results and interruptions to take with them to their medial practitioner.