The boy died in December 2020 as a result of a serious respiratory illness, coroner Joanne Kearsley said on Tuesday. This was triggered by the fact that the child was exposed to the mold over a long period of time – without measures being taken to prevent and treat the mold.
The boy lived with his parents in a one-room council flat in Rochdale, near Manchester. The father had complained several times to the rental company of the apartment. He was advised to paint over the mold, Kearsley said. The inquest dealt with the causes and circumstances of the death, not with guilt or criminal liability.
In the summer of 2020, the rental company was made aware of the problem again. According to Kearsley, although the boy suffered from chronic respiratory problems, no action was taken. According to the medical examiner, the mold was caused by “normal everyday activities” and insufficient ventilation.
In December 2020, the toddler was taken to a hospital but later discharged. His condition then deteriorated. The boy went into respiratory and then cardiac arrest. “How can a two-year-old die from mold in their home in the UK in 2020?” asked Coroner Kearsley.
The manager of the rental company said it was not recognized “how great the risk to the health of the little boy was from the mold in the family home”. It must be ensured that something like this can never happen again. The death should be a “wake-up call for everyone in the housing, social and healthcare sectors”.