A Parliamentary Standing Committee has handed down recommendations to address a lack of education and awareness about the impact of poor indoor air quality and mould-related illnesses.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport inquiry into biotoxin-related illnesses has released its final report which recommends tougher standards and changes to the National Construction Code.
It also supports guidelines for medical practitioners to raise awareness about sick building syndrome and other manifestations of biotoxin-caused illness including Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) .
Other problems identified include fungal fragments, mycotoxins, mVOCS (microbial volatile organic compounds), volatile organic compounds from building materials, bacteria and bacterial toxins, viruses and parasites.
Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the inquiry was an opportunity to examine the links between CIRS and mould in buildings and to improve building standards around moisture control.
“From this report we have seen an important outcome for people struggling with mould-related illness or living in water-damaged buildings,” Wicks said.
"With the adoption of some of these recommendations, we could see a more a widespread knowledge of Biotoxin-related illness, standards of practice around mould in building codes and better health outcomes, both in diagnosis and treatment for people with CIRS-like symptoms.”
Currently, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has a non-mandatory guide for condensation in buildings, but it is not part of the National Construction Code (NCC).