How big a health hazard is mould growing in London Underground stations?

  • Watch ITV News London's investigation

An investigation by ITV News London has uncovered a health risk found in homes has also been discovered on the underground.

Black mould, which thrives in damp conditions, has spread through part of a busy station in West London.

Thousands of Londoners walk just inches from it each day at Shepherd's Bush and some told us they are worried about the impact on their well-being.

Armed with special testing equipment we took a scientist for an expert opinion on the potential danger to Londoners. He said it was "as bad as it can get".

What we found doesn't pose an immediate danger to commuters but it's unsightly, unpleasant and Transport for London is taking action to get it cleaned up.

Daniel Henk, Myologist at University of Bath added: "I was a little surprised by it in the stations we were going, how frequent there were these damp patches that had damage and maybe some fungal presence.

"Maybe there's more than I expected. I was taken a little bit aside by just how much I saw of damp damage. I think there is a maintenance issue there."

Mould on the wall at Shepherd's Bush station Credit: ITV News

ITV News London made a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London about its mould.

They told us they don't have any "significant growth" in public facing areas and added there was no specific budget for dealing with mould.

Daniel Henk added: "I would be very surprised if they weren't concerned with mould. It should be part of what they always are considering.

"I would say consider the fungi. Take the fungal component of what they do seriously. I wouldn't say that it's an issue that needs to be raised to red alert for them.

"But having that as the list of the many things that they have to keep track of in terms of maintenance seems like a good idea to me."

The samples from Shepherd's Bush grew into a 'diverse set' of fungi Credit: ITV News

Since revealing the findings to Transport for London a spokesperson told us they are now aware of mould at Shepherd's Bush.

A statement added: "We are treating the area with detergent and anti-mould cleaning products."

TfL said they were confident that the action would ensure no health risks to customers using the station.

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