Norback D, Zock JP, Plana E, Heinrich J, Tischer C, Jacobsen R, Sunyer J, Kunzli N, Villani S, Olivieri M, Verlato G, Soon A, Schlunssen V, Gunnbjornsdottir MI, Jarvis D. Building dampness and mould in European homes in relation to climate, building characteristics and socio-economic status: the European Community Respiratory Health Survey ECRHS II. Indoor Air. 2017 Sep;27(5):921-32. doi: 10.1111/ina.12375.


We studied dampness and mould in homes in relation to climate, building characteristics and socioeconomic status (SES) across Europe, for 7127 homes in 22 centres. A subsample of 3118 homes were inspected. Multilevel analysis was applied, including age, gender, centre, SES, climate and building factors. Self-reported water damage (10%), damp spots (21%), and mould (16%) in past year were similar as observed data (19% dampness and 14% mould). Ambient temperature was associated with self-reported water damage (OR=1.63 per 10 °C; 95% CI 1.02-2.63), damp spots (OR=2.95; 95% CI 1.98-4.39) and mould (OR=2.28; 95% CI 1.04-4.67). Precipitation was associated with water damage (OR=1.12 per 100 mm; 95% CI 1.02-1.23) and damp spots (OR=1.11; 95% CI 1.02-1.20). Ambient relative air humidity was not associated with indoor dampness and mould. Older buildings had more dampness and mould (p<0.001). Manual workers reported less water damage (OR=0.69; 95% CI 0.53-0.89) but more mould (OR=1.27; 95% CI 1.03-1.55) as compared to managerial/professional workers. There were correlations between reported and observed data at centre level (Spearman rho 0.61 for dampness and 0.73 for mould). In conclusion, high ambient temperature and precipitation and high building age can be risk factors for dampness and mould in homes in Europe. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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