During construction work, such as demolition and refurbishment, various types of the Aspergillus mitosporic fungus may be released. This is a risk to people whose lungs are affected by weakness or disease, and those whose immune systems have been weakened through treatments such as chemotherapy.
The term aspergillosis refers to a group of diseases caused by the Aspergillus fungus, ranging from mild to serious in severity. There are three types, with symptoms ranging from coughing to cavities and fungal balls (aspergillomas) forming in the lungs.
Managing this risk is a special concern when older buildings such as hospitals are demolished or refurbished, especially when work is being completed at hospitals and care homes, where the health of vulnerable patients and residents has to be protected. Work on heating systems and air-conditioning units may also cause Aspergillus spores to be released.
Site managers may need to reduce the risk of people on site being exposed to these spores and developing aspergillosis. The recommended strategy is to 'Assess, Control and Review'. Specialist advice will be needed to install the appropriate control measures.
For more information on how to address the Aspergillus fungus, download our full white paper.
Due to the small size of Aspergillus spores, HEPA filtration is strongly recommended.