CIEH member to serve on key government advisory group on damp and mould

31 March 2023, Mark Hope

A Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) expert member is to serve on a key UK Government housing advisory group on damp and mould.

The advisory group, which has been set up following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak due to exposure to mould in his home, will provide expert input into the development of new guidance for the rented housing sector on the health impacts of damp and mould.

The CIEH nominee who will serve on the group is Ian Sanders. Ian is a member of the CIEH Housing Advisory Panel and has been a Principal Environmental Health Officer specialising in housing for twenty years.

The Government is committed to publishing the guidance by the summer and aims to do so if possible before the parliamentary recess on 20 July.

There is a huge volume of chronic ill-health affecting large sections of the population arising from exposure to damp and mouldy housing. Damp and mould are often caused by persistent condensation and the biggest factors are poorly heated and poorly insulated dwellings.

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“We welcome the fact that the Government is trying to address the issue of damp and mould and has given us an opportunity to nominate an environmental health professional for the advisory group.

The tragic case of Awaab Ishak illustrates the need for more awareness and better resourcing of the crucial role played by environmental health professionals in tackling poor housing conditions in all types of tenure and thereby reducing ill health and saving lives.

We recognise that further laws or guidance with no money for local authorities to enforce them are not the solution. If new guidance is being developed, however, we want to ensure that the voice of environmental health professionals is heard in this development.

We believe that Ian’s extensive on the ground experience make him ideally placed to reflect the perspective of environmental health professionals in this important role.”

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