Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has vowed to continue helping local residents affected by ‘whisky black’ – a fungus believed to cause the discolouration of property located near to whisky bonds.
The local SNP MP became the first ever parliamentarian to raise the issue of whisky black in the House of Commons, highlighting concerns following the results of a survey of constituents living in Clydebank, Dumbarton and Alexandria.
Hundreds of local residents responded to Martin’s survey last year, with 85 per cent of respondents highlighting concerns about the impact of whisky black – including damage to property, cleaning costs and health concerns.
The growth of the fungus, known as baudoinia compniacensis, is believed to be the result of the evaporation of ethanol during the whisky maturation process.
In recent developments, Martin has met with public health experts to seek assurances on behalf of local residents about the impact of the fungus.
During a meeting between the MP and Dr Linda de Caestecker (Director of Public Health) and Dr Gillian Penrice (Head of Health Protection Scotland), it was made clear that whilst the fungus may be causing a nuisance there’s no evidence of it having a negative impact on health.
Martin Docherty-Hughes has written to local residents with an update on the progress of his enquiries. The local MP has also welcomed the progress of a ‘whisky black’ test case at the Edinburgh Court of Session involving a couple from Bonnybridge as an important step forward.
It’s been reported that Thomas and Gail Chalmers, whose home has been blighted by a black fungus linked to a nearby whisky bond, have been given the go ahead to move forward with a lawsuit at the Court of Session.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“The progress of the case at the Court of Session is a welcome step forward, and will hopefully bring more attention to tackling the problem of whisky black.
“It’s an issue that too many people, not just here but in other parts of the country, have experienced difficulties with for too long now.
“When I surveyed residents across Clydebank, Dumbarton & Alexandria on the black fungus one of the concerns I heard about was on its health impacts.
“I recently met with Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health and Dr Gillian Penrice, Head of Health Protection Scotland. They assured me that there’s no evidence of a detrimental impact to public health caused by the fungus known as baudoinia compniacensis.
“This is reassuring, and is backed up by the scientific research I’ve read. However, I continue to be contacted by local residents whose property is being blighted by whisky black, and I’m determined to keep doing all I can to help.
“If you’re a constituent and would like updates on the progress of my work on whisky black please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 952 2988.”