Contact your local team for a free consultation to find out if you are eligible for compensation
June 7, 2019
Mould is an environmental hazard that can have devasting effects on the lives of those it impacts. This article explores what to do if you have sustained illnesses from mould or been affected by mould, as well as the commonality of mould in Australia.
The Effect of Mould
Mould favours moist areas with inadequate ventilation, especially walls, ceilings, carpets and wood. Generally, mould appears as a smudge or discolouration.
In order to spread, mould releases spores, which have a significant effect on people. The mould itself also produces airborne biotoxins which can trigger inflammatory reactions, affecting hormones and autoimmune responses.
It is not always clear that someone has been affected by mould, as some of the more common symptoms are also symptoms of common colds and flus. These include:
Some of the more dangerous symptoms include:
Neurological changes such as memory loss and an inability to focus
Joint and abdominal pain
Hormonal changes, which can lead to depression, anxiety and rage
Mould infections in lungs
Increase in Mould
Building changes in the 1970s meant that Australian homes began being built with less ventilation in tightly sealed areas. Fungicides also began being introduced into paints at this time. This, coupled with changes in the climate and increased rains and flooding all over Australia, led to a significant increase in mould-related illnesses. It is especially common in eastern Australia due to the wet climate and frequent flooding.
Affected by Mould?
If you have been personally affected by mould, you may be able to claim compensation.
A property must be in a reasonable state for tenants to inhabit it. This includes being free from mould, which can have a significant impact upon someone’s health.
Firstly, the tenant must report the mould to the landlord. The landlord then has a duty to remove the mould. If they refuse to do so in an appropriate time frame, the tenant may take legal action.
Employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are working in a safe and healthy environment. If there are hazards in the environment, it is the duty of the employer to identify and eliminate these hazards. Mould, as an environmental hazard, comes under this umbrella.
Public Liability Claim
If someone develops long-term health problems due to mould, they may be able to receive compensation through a public liability claim.
Lodging a public liability claim will involve consulting with a lawyer, who can further advise you as to how to continue with your situation.
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