• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of bmjBMJ helping doctors make better decisionsSearch bmj.comLatest content
BMJ. Jun 24, 1989; 298(6689): 1673–1678.
PMCID: PMC1836778

Damp housing, mould growth, and symptomatic health state.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE--To examine the relation between damp and mould growth and symptomatic ill health. DESIGN--Cross-sectional study of random sample of households containing children; separate and independent assessments of housing conditions (by surveyor) and health (structured interview by trained researcher). SETTING--Subjects' homes (in selected areas of public housing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London). SUBJECTS--Adult respondents (94% women) and 1169 children living in 597 households. END POINTS--Specific health symptoms and general evaluation of health among respondents and children over two weeks before interview; and score on general health questionnaire (only respondents). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Damp was found in 184 (30.8%) dwellings and actual mould growth in 274 (45.9%). Adult respondents living in damp and mouldy dwellings were likely to report more symptoms overall, including nausea and vomiting, blocked nose, breathlessness, backache, fainting, and bad nerves, than respondents in dry dwellings. Children living in damp and mouldy dwellings had a greater prevalence of respiratory symptoms (wheeze, sore throat, runny nose) and headaches and fever compared with those living in dry dwellings. The mean number of symptoms was higher in damp and mouldy houses and positively associated with increasing severity of dampness and mould (dose response relation). All these differences persisted after controlling for possible confounding factors such as household income, cigarette smoking, unemployment, and overcrowding. Other possible sources of bias that might invalidate the assumption of a causal link between housing conditions and ill health--namely, investigator bias, respondent bias, and selection bias--were also considered and ruled out. CONCLUSION--Damp and mouldy living conditions have an adverse effect on symptomatic health, particularly among children.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.4M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Martin CJ, Platt SD, Hunt SM. Housing conditions and ill health. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 May 2;294(6580):1125–1127. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gravesen S. Fungi as a cause of allergic disease. Allergy. 1979 Jun;34(3):135–154. [PubMed]
  • Larsen LS. A three-year-survey of microfungi in the air of Copenhagen 1977-79. Allergy. 1981 Jan;36(1):15–22. [PubMed]
  • Obituary. BMJ. 1988 Oct 29;297(6656):1123–1124. [PMC free article]
  • Burr ML, Mullins J, Merrett TG, Stott NC. Indoor moulds and asthma. J R Soc Health. 1988 Jun;108(3):99–101. [PubMed]
  • MAUNSELL K. Sensitization risk from inhalation of fungal spores. J Laryngol Otol. 1954 Nov;68(11):765–775. [PubMed]
  • May JJ, Stallones L, Darrow D, Pratt DS. Organic dust toxicity (pulmonary mycotoxicosis) associated with silo unloading. Thorax. 1986 Dec;41(12):919–923. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Andersen TF. Persistence of social and health problems in the welfare state: a Danish cohort experience from 1948 to 1979. Soc Sci Med. 1984;18(7):555–560. [PubMed]
  • Britten N, Davies JM, Colley JR. Early respiratory experience and subsequent cough and peak expiratory flow rate in 36 year old men and women. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 May 23;294(6583):1317–1320. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...