‘Chronic exposure to harmful mould’ has caused the death of a young boy

Black mould found in a flat in Rochdale caused a severe respiratory condition in two-year-old Awaab Ishack and resulted in his death, a coroner has ruled.  

Following a six-day inquest the court has ruled the mould in the family’s home caused the child’s death and after the hearing Awaab’s family said: ‘We cannot tell you how many health professionals we’ve cried in front of and Rochdale Boroughwide Staff we have pleaded to, expressing concern for the conditions ourselves and Awaab have been living in.

gray concrete wall during daytime

‘We shouted as loudly as we could, but despite making all those efforts, every night we would come back to the same problem,’ the BBC reported. 

Rochdale’s Coroner’s Court heard Awaab’s father reported mould developing in their one-bedroom flat in 2017, but Rochdale Boroughwide Housing told them to ‘paint over it’.

In June 2020, Mr Abdullah informed solicitors of the conditions his family were living in and initiated a claim over the reoccurring mould issue. However, authorities told him that due to policy reasons, any repairs could not be completed until an agreement had been reached.

Later in the year, on 19th December 2020, the court heard Awaab was taken to Rochdale Urgent Care with shortness of breath and transferred to Royal Oldham Hospital before being discharged.

After deteriorating the next day, Awaab’s parents were informed by the community children’s nursing team, to take their son back to the urgent care centre where he suffered a cardiac and respiratory arrest and died after being transferred to hospital.

Coroner Joanne Kearsley concluded at the end of the trial that the ventilation in the one-bedroom flat was not effective and was a ‘direct contributing factor in the development of the mould’.

The inquest also heard Awaab had frequently suffered with colds and respiratory issues throughout his life.

In September 2020, a community midwife had completed a special circumstances form to children’s services expressing her concerns about the mould and potential impact on the child’s health.

However, Ms Kearsley said the document was not shared with the GP or health visitor and there was ‘no evidence’ to show it was received by children’s services or to show that ‘any action was taken’.

Photo by boris misevic


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