Wednesday 30 September 2020
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The dangers of household mould

Mould and symptoms

Some types of mould are harmless, but if mould begins to grow in your home, it can be doing serious damage to your health. Mould is a type of fungi that thrives in damp and poorly lit areas such as attics, basements, and bathrooms.

Mould spores are small and light and can easily become airborne. Once airborne, the mould spores can be easily inhaled and transported through wind. We also bring spores from outdoors inside on our clothes and shoes.

There has been plenty of media coverage about the dangers of exposure to black mould. Not everyone is affected by exposure to black mould but there are people that are more susceptible to mould exposure.

House Call Doctor’s Ryan Harvey said that “If a person is going to react to exposure to black mould than it will likely result in upper respiratory or allergy-like symptoms, which may include watery eyes, runny nose, dry cough, wheeze or sinus pain.”

“Exposure to these aerosolised spores can have numerous effects on people,” Dr Harvey said.

“Most people will have no problem when coming into contact with them. Some people will have hay fever-like symptoms, and respiratory symptoms.

“Black mould spores can worsen a person’s asthma and set off an attack as well. Rarely, black mould spores can cause a fungal respiratory tract infection or pneumonia,” Dr Harvey said.

People most commonly affected by exposure to mould are babies and children, elderly people, people with existing skin conditions, allergy sufferers and those with lowered immune systems, including those on immunosuppressive therapy and those suffering HIV. Exposure to mould can also exacerbate existing medical conditions.

Even your pets can be affected by household mould.

Preventing and cleaning mould

It is important to make sure mould does not grow unchecked in your home.

Cleaning and removing mould from your home can be a difficult process and needs to be done carefully. Removing mould can release more spores into the air causing more mould-related illness so it’s important cleaning is done effectively. If you miss a small bit, mould can easily grow back sending you back to the beginning.

Mould is easier to remove from surfaces like tiles and bathtubs, but carpets, wood and drywall may need to be removed and replaced to completely eradicate spores. Mould can also grow in hidden places, such as inside walls, under carpet and inside heating and air conditioning ducts.

Supermarkets are full of cleaning products designed to remove mould, but often these products will not kill the mould’s root system. If you have a large quantity of mould, it is highly recommended that you enlist the help of a mould removal professional to clean your home.