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Paper of the day - Removing mould significantly reduces asthma symptoms

Removing mould with a fungicidal wash and improving ventilation improves the symptoms of asthma and reduces the need for asthma treatment, compared to leaving the mould in place, a Welsh study has found.

Researchers assessed the effects of mould removal in 182 people with asthma living in 164 houses in two areas of south Wales, and found that there were improvements in nasal symptoms (sneezing, blocked and runny noses) and of itchy and/or watery eyes in houses where mould had been removed compared to where it had not.

There was also a 25% reduction in wheeze affecting activity (p=0.028) in those living in houses where mould had been removed. Patients also used less asthma treatment.

However there was no difference in lung function between those living in houses where mould had been removed and those where it stayed, perhaps, the researchers say, because patients took treatment to compensate for the effects of the mould

The researchers behind the study, from Cardiff University school of medicine say the study shows the importance of dry and well-ventilated housing, and points up the role of asthma triggers such as mould spores

Thorax 2007; 62: 766-771.

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