In the north of England, a two-year-old boy died after a long-term mold infestation in the apartment where he lived, according to the results of a survey published on Tuesday, which warns of social housing conditions.
Awab Ishaq died in December 2020 “following a severe respiratory condition due to long-term exposure to mold in his residence”, coroner Joan Kearsley, who is responsible for the inquest to determine the boy’s cause of death, concluded.
“No measures were taken to prevent treatment and mold. Her respiratory condition led to suffocation” and then the heart attack, explained the doctor questioning the housing and health ministers.
“In England, in 2020, how can a two-year-old child be exposed to mold in their home?”
The child’s father, Faisal Abdullah, has since 2017 complained repeatedly about housing conditions to Rochdale Borowhite Housing (RBH), the association he rented the apartment to.
According to Joan Kerley, the family was advised to repaint the apartment over the mildew.
“How many medical professionals we cried, how many RBH staff we begged for, worried about the conditions we and Awab lived in,” the family wrote in a statement.
In July 2020, a health officer contacted RBH and raised the issue when Awab was suffering from a cold and chronic respiratory problems.
Joan Kearsley concluded that mold was caused by “normal activities of daily living” and lack of effective ventilation.
“No action was taken and from July 2020 to December 2020, Awab had chronic exposure to harmful fungi,” the coroner said.
Joan Kearsley concluded that Awab’s tragic death “will be a game changer in the real estate industry in terms of increased knowledge, awareness and a deeper understanding of the damp and mold problem”.
RBH’s chairman, Gareth Swarbrick, said he wanted to make sure this situation “never happens again”.