GNWT says mould in homes doesn't pose health hazard
The territorial health department says research has yet to establish a link between mould and health problems.
A Yellowknife man asked the government for help after his apartment flooded earlier this month. But an environmental health inspector says the territory doesn't consider household mould a health hazard.
"In the case with mould, at the moment we can't declare it a health hazard because we simply don't have the evidence to make that definitive connection," says Jeremy Roberts, an environmental health officer with the Department of Health.
"Once there's a body of research out there that shows very strongly that there is that connection between household mould and somebody actually getting sick from that mould, that's when we would look at changing the policy."
Roberts says mould is like dust -- something that can irritate but it doesn't cause infections.
According to Health Canada, there's plenty of research showing that mould causes health problems.
"Both North American and European studies show a relationship between mould and an increase in ...eyes and nose irritations, and wheezing and coughing. So it seems pretty clear that mould can have these symptoms and can worsen the symptoms of asthma," said Francis Lavoie, a biologist with the federal department.
Lavoie says mould is the most common indoor air contaminant in Canada.
Health Canada recommends anyone with mould in their house -- no matter how little or what kind -- get rid of it as soon as possible.