Statistics on Mold

The research is clear.  Mold and indoor contaminants
can cause serious health problems.

According to a Senior EPA Official, indoor air pollutants
cause 50% of illnesses globally.

The following information provides some of the statistics.

From the 2009 World Health Organization report:

Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould (2009).  Click here to read the report.

“Indoor air pollution – such as from dampness and mould, chemicals and other biological agents – is a
major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. About 1.5 million deaths each year are associated with
the indoor combustion of solid fuels, the majority of which occur among women and children in low-income

“The prevalence of indoor dampness varies widely within and among countries, continents and climate
zones. It is estimated to affect 10–50% of indoor environments in Europe, North America, Australia, India
and Japan. In certain settings, such as river valleys and coastal areas, the conditions of dampness are
substantially more severe than the national averages for such conditions.”

From a joint study conducted by the EPA and Berkeley National Laboratory:

Berkeley Lab, EPA Studies Confirm Large Public Health and Economic Impact of Dampness and
Mold (2007).
Click here to read the press release.

“Building dampness and mold raised the risk of a variety of respiratory and asthma-related health
outcomes by 30 to 50 percent.”

“Of the 21.8 million people reported to have asthma in the U.S., approximately 4.6 million cases are
estimated to be attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home.”

“The national annual cost of asthma that is attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home is
$3.5 billion.”

From a 1999 study by the Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus as Cause of Chronis Sinusitis. Click here to read the news

“An estimated 37 million people in the United States suffer from chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the
membranes of the nose and sinus cavity.”

“Mayo Clinic researchers say they have found the cause of most chronic sinus infections — an immune
system response to fungus. They say this discovery opens the door to the first effective treatment for this
problem, the most common chronic disease in the United States.”


From a 2007 study conducted in Finland:

Finnish Study Links Child Asthma with Structural Dampness in Buildings. Click here to read the
news article.

“At least one in ten, and possibly as many as one in five, cases of asthma among children are linked with
water damage in the building.”

“It has been estimated that between 84 to 95 per cent of fungus spores and 27 to 46 per cent of fragments
can end up in the lungs, and it is believed that the fragments can get into the lower respiratory tracts of
small children more easily than that of others.”

From a January 27, 2010 article posted on Wire Service Canada:

B.C. Company Fights Back Against Sick Building Syndrome. Click here to read the news article.

“In a survey of 100 U.S. office buildings, 23 percent of office workers experienced frequent symptoms of
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) such as respiratory ailments, allergies and asthma. The impact has been
usually hidden in sick days, lower productivity and medical cost, but the economic impact is enormous, with
an estimated decrease in productivity around 2 percent nationwide, resulting in an annual cost to the
United States of approximately $60 billion.”

“William Fisk from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California established a baseline for
quantifying benefits from improved IAQ and demonstrated the economic impacts of increased productivity.
Findings are showing that improvement in IAQ can: Reduce SBS symptoms by 20 to 50 percent, with
estimated savings of $10 to $100 billion; Reduce asthma by 8 to 25 percent, with estimated savings of $1
to $4 billion; Reduce other respiratory illnesses by 23 to 76 percent, with estimated savings of $6 to $14
billion; Improve office worker productivity by 0.5 to 5 percent, with estimated savings of $20 to $200 billion.”

From a February 2011 seminar organized by the University of Cape Coast:

Indoor Air Pollutants Cause 50% of Illnesses Globally. Click here to read the news article.

“Mr. Ebenezer Fiahagbe, a Senior Programme Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has
said indoor pollution has been as among the top five environmental risks to public health which also
contributes to an annual 8.5 million deaths globally.”

“Some indoor pollutants like carpets, detergent, asbestos ceiling, lead paints, stoves, disinfectants, dust
and mites causes lung related illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, coughing, respiratory infections and

He said, the “World Health Organization (WHO) has stated in a recent report that over 300,000 lung related
deaths are recorded annually with indoor pollutants like smoke from tobacco, pesticides, mold, mildew and
dust mites which have identified as a major cause.”

From the 2010 World Health Organization report:

WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Selected Pollutants. Click here to read the report.

“The 2005 global update of the air quality guidelines drew attention to the large impact on health of indoor
air pollution in developing countries. The high concentration of particulates and gases found indoors in
houses using solid fuel, including biomass, were noted and it was estimated that exposure might be
responsible for nearly 1.6 million excess deaths annually and about 3% of the global Introduction burden of
disease. This is a huge impact on health; indeed, far larger than that imposed by exposure to outdoor air

From the 2011 World Health Organization report:

Environmental Burden of Disease Associated with Inadequate Housing.  Click here to read the

“About 12% of new childhood asthma in Europe can be attributed to indoor mould exposure, which
represents approximately 55 842 potentially avoidable DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) and 83
potentially avoidable deaths per year.”

“About 15% of new childhood asthma in Europe can be attributed to indoor dampness, which represents
approximately 69 462 potentially avoidable DALYs and 103 potentially avoidable deaths per year.”

“Some 4.8 million (22%) of England’s 22 million dwellings were identified as having a Category 1 HHSRS
(Housing Health and Safety Rating System) hazard and thus by our definition deemed to be ‘unhealthy

“The total cost of dealing with HHSRS Category 1 hazards in the English housing stock is some £17.6

“Another paper from the United States shows that remediation of lead paint hazards in housing yields a net
benefit of $67 billion (Nevin et al., 2008).”

From a 2011 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. EPA:

Benefits and Costs of Improved IEQ in U.S. Offices.  Click here to read the abstract.

“The estimated benefits of the scenarios analyzed are substantial in magnitude, including increased work
performance, reduced Sick Building Syndrome symptoms, reduced absence, and improved thermal comfort
for millions of office workers.  The combined potential
annual economic benefit of a set of overlapping
scenarios is approximately $20 billion.”

Source: Global Indoor Health Network


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