C&D Demolition Consultancy warns of “hidden killer” mould.
At the Institute of Demolition Engineers regional meeting before the World Demolition Summit in Dublin last year John Woodward of C&D Demolition Consultants Limited gave a brief talk about “Hidden Killers” including asbestos, silica, lead, anthrax, nano particles and aspergillus.
The mention of aspergillus led to some discussion in the room about the type of structures that could contain aspergillus spores; how people with a low immune system could be seriously affected; and the fact that aspergillus and similar mould spores kill over 4,000 people a year in the UK.
Fast forward now to March 2019 and an article on STV News that states infections contracted by heart patients ‘related to mould’ and “A number of patients died following cardiac surgeries at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.” The article goes on to say that moulds were identified within the hospital but does not specifically mention aspergillus, though it appears regularly within such establishments.
If your company is contracted to demolish structures within or near to a live hospital environment where there is a possibility of patients with low or compromised immune system you have to consider the possibility of infection from aspergillus or other similar moulds. Aspergillus mould comes in many forms but the most commonly seen form is the grey/blue mould that grows on an orange that has been left on the fruit bowl for a few weeks.
“From my experience of working in over 50 hospitals I have encountered and safely removed aspergillus on many occasions, and I would advise all contractors to implement a comprehensive survey and testing regime and then to call in an expert removal company. Don’t think you can just leave the mould on the walls when you demolish as the spores become airborne, can be pulled into wards through open windows and air conditioning systems, and can potentially kill innocent people recovering from surgery,” says C&D’s Mike Kehoe. “Remember that Aspergillus kills as many people per year as asbestos disease but our knowledge of aspergillus is far lower than of asbestos.”