Acting at a distance – prevention of mould or promotion of healthy housing

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Housing and health have been subject for health policies for several decades. The subject is currently gaining attention from several disciplines and “healthy housing” is establishing as a field of multi-disciplinary research. One of the is-sues that concern both health and housing is the phenomenon of mould. As one of the sources of indoor air pollution, mould is associated with health risks such as respiratory symptoms, asthma, allergy and immunological reactions. The very microbial exposure and the health effects are complex matter, but so is the cause. Mould growth is the result of a time-dependent process including relative humidity, temperature and organic material; and each of the factors can both be caused by the building structure itself and/or the use of the building. Due to the uncertainties in quantifying the relation between conditions, exposure and effects it has been impossible to set definitive guideline values or thresholds for tolerable quantities. Consequently, emphasis is put on prevention: WHO address action by relevant stakeholders – including building owners, developers, users and occupants, but also the responsibility of public authorities to regulate and guide.

But is the issue communicated? Regulations, guidelines and information cam-paigns tend to focus on the negative health impacts and the prevention of haz-ards and risks. This knowledge often appertain a growing concern about the health risks, however, knowing the consequences doesn’t necessary result in a change of practice. As an alternative or addition to the preventive regulatory ac-tion is the promotion of health : encouraging well-being and setting the conditions for people to obtain and maintain a healthy home.

Various approaches are taken to solve or avoid the problem and this paper ex-plores further how, in the Danish context, national regulations, health policy, guidelines and local initiatives manage to work with the problem in different ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARCH 17 : 3rd International Conference on Architecture, Research, Care and Health. Conference proceedings
EditorsNanet Mathiasen, Anne Kathrine Frandsen
Number of pages15
PublisherPolyteknisk Boghandel og Forlag
Publication date26 Apr 2017
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-93585-00-3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017
Event ARCH17 - The 3rd International Conference on Architecture, Research, Care and Health: 3rd international conference on architecture, research, care and health - Aalborg Universitet, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, København, Denmark
Duration: 26 Apr 201727 Apr 2017
Conference number: 3


Conference ARCH17 - The 3rd International Conference on Architecture, Research, Care and Health
LocationAalborg Universitet, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15
Internet address


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