Dampness in buildings as a risk factor for health effects, EUROEXPO: a multidisciplinary review of the literature (1998-2000) on dampness and mite exposure in buildings and health effects

Indoor Air. 2004 Aug;14(4):243-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2004.00240.x.


The scientific literature on health effects from dampness in buildings, including mite exposure over the period 1998-2000 has been reviewed by an European group (EUROEXPO) of eight scientists in experience from medicine, epidemiology, toxicology and engineering. Forty studies deemed relevant have been the foundation for the conclusions. Dampness in buildings is a risk factor for health effects among atopics and non-atopics both in domestic and in public environments. However, the literature is not conclusive in respect of causative agents, e.g. mites, microbiological agents and organic chemicals from degraded building materials. There is a strong need for more multidisciplinary studies including expertise from all relevant areas. A general conclusion from the work was that there is a strong need for multidisciplinary reviews in scientific journals of articles dealing with associations between indoor environmental factors and health effects.

Practical implications: There is good evidence for a true association between dampness in buildings and health. As the causative factors behind this association are not known, the main focus in practical investigations should be on finding out and remediate the reasons for the humidity problem.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Mites
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Building Syndrome / etiology*
  • Sick Building Syndrome / prevention & control