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Kedgley demands health action on leaky buildings

Leaky buildings seriously threaten the health of homeowners and repair workers, and the Government must issue guidelines now, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

Ms Kedgley would ask oral questions on the issue during question time in the House today.

Ms Kedgley is calling on the Government to urgently issue health guidelines to people living in and working on leaky buildings. People's health was at risk now, she said.

Residents should be advised whether to move out of their homes while mould was being removed; and people removing Stachybotrys should be advised to wear protective or disposable clothing, gloves and masks. There was also an urgent need to train people in correct procedures for removing Stachybotrys and other moulds, Ms Kedgley said.

Health problems caused by leaky buildings ranged from headaches and breathing difficulties to fatigue and - potentially - lung disease, Ms Kedgley said. People most at risk were babies and the elderly; workers exposed to toxic mould spores; and people with allergies, asthma or rheumatic problems.

The biggest concern was the toxic mould Stachybotrys, Ms Kedgley said. This mould was most commonly found in buildings which had sustained flooding or water damage from roof, wall or floor leaks. Overseas research showed Stachybotrys could cause rashes, breathing problems, and bleeding lungs. It was most dangerous when it dried and its spores became airborne, such as during removal, vacuuming or if exposed to a draught, she said.


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