The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed the publication by the UK Government of new damp and mould guidance with environmental health input.
The guidance has been developed in response to the Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths report following the death of 2-year-old Awaab Ishak from a severe respiratory condition due to prolonged exposure to mould in his home.
A CIEH member, Ian Sanders, served on the advisory group that provided expert input into the development of the guidance.
Ian is a member of the CIEH Housing Advisory Panel and has been a Principal Environmental Health Officer specialising in housing for twenty years.
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.
Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:
“Ian has provided outstanding input into the development of this guidance. We are very pleased that he has been able to utilise his extensive on the ground experience and to reflect the perspective of environmental health professionals in this important role on a key government advisory group.
Ian was able to serve on the group in virtue of his membership of a CIEH advisory panel. This illustrates the crucial role of our advisory panels in providing opportunities for our members to have real influence in government.
The tragic case of Awaab Ishak illustrates the need for more awareness and better resourcing of the 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 without money for local authorities to enforce them will not solve the problem of poor housing conditions. If new guidance is being developed, however, we want to ensure that the voice of environmental health professionals is heard in this development.”