Technical and policy recommendations to reduce health risks due to dampness and mould





The presence of dampness or biological agents such as mould in indoor air or building structures is largely attributable to occupant behaviour, building characteristics and, in particular, to condensation, inadequate ventilation and structural failures. Although the presence of dampness and mould has been confirmed as a health threat, the health sector has responded to this challenge with little action. In part, this lack of action is due to the lack of guidance and recommendations on actions against dampness and mould.

To provide recommendations on policy actions and frameworks that support interventions against dampness and mould, WHO reviewed technical interventions as well as national policies and regulations to discuss the best mechanisms for the protection of public health and the reduction or mitigation of exposure to dampness
and mould problems in indoor settings.

This WHO report consists of the two expert meeting reports that were held in the context of this project. The first meeting report summarizes the review of technical actions and interventions against dampness and mould which were provided as case studies from a variety of countries. It provides a range of recommendations on good technical practices to prevent, reduce or remove dampness and mould.

The second meeting report provides policy-related recommendations and identifies potential ways for international, national and local authorities to prevent, reduce or mitigate exposure to dampness and mould. It will enable policy-makers to identify appropriate measures to support and advocate in the field of public health protection and will provide them with relevant examples and guidance for policy and regulatory measures.

This report complements the WHO indoor air quality guidelines: dampness and mould with recommendations on actions for achieving conditions recommended by the WHO guidelines.