Builders in Hampshire have been warned over the serious risk of pigeon droppings after two people died after inhaling the fungus. It can be found on construction sites and can cause meningitis and chest infections.
A Fareham based company which analyses pigeon nesting sites has issued warnings over the risk of infection on building sites.
Duncan Russell, a representative of Envirochem said that the fungus is something people working on construction sites should be worried about.
He said: “If they are working near pigeon nesting sites it’s inevitable that they will come in contact with pigeon droppings.
“Then they sit down and eat a sandwich, and that’s the most common way they get infected. They need to have strict hygiene and wear gloves and masks.”
The warning follows the deaths of two people at the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow.
Pigeon droppings can carry the fungus Cryptococcus which if mostly found in pigeon dirt and soil. They can cause illness in people with weakened immune systems.
It is often found on windowsills where the birds have been nesting. This makes it a potential risk for builders clearing derelict spaces and working on building sites.
Inhaling dust or water droplets containing pigeon droppings can also lead to other serious diseases, including salmonella.