Health Risks from Mould

Health risks from mould
Pic credits: flickr.com

Mould has been on the earth for millions of years and there is always some of it everywhere. Like a moth to a flame, mould is attracted to moisture and dampness. It is present in the air, and finds its way into your home through a leak in the roof, or a crack in a water pipe, open doors, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. It takes up residence in damp areas, especially those with poor ventilation. It thrives on ceilings, bathroom tiles, cardboard, wood, insulation material not even sparing dust, wallpaper, carpets, and upholstery, gradually damaging everything in its way.

Unfortunately, mould is often ignored until it starts damaging the property. But, more alarmingly, it could bring with it a host of health problems for people living in a mould-infested house. In the act of reproduction, mould produces tiny particles called spores. The first to be affected from inhaling or touching these spores would naturally be those who are sensitive or allergic to mould.

Allergic reactions can be immediate or delayed and range from sneezing, a runny or nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, irritation of the eyes, skin rashes, coughing, and wheezing. For people with asthma, this could mean an asthma attack. But indoor mould exposure is known to cause respiratory problems even in otherwise healthy people and children. In more severe cases, people may develop a mould infection in the lungs.

While mould doesn’t affect most people, it carries greater risk for others. These persons include babies and children, elderly persons, people with skin problems like eczema, those with respiratory problems, those whose immune systems are compromised due to an illness, people with chronic lung diseases, those infected with diseases such as HIV, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and people who have received an organ transplant. These people should avoid wooded areas or where there might be cut grass or compost piles.

Mould growth often appears like spots, and can be different colours, and would generally emit a musty odour. The old adage “prevention is better than cure” holds true here. Ventilation and adequate & proper drainage go a long way in controlling mould in the house. It is important to control the moisture and humidity levels.

If the mould growth is over a large area and in case of heavy water damage, professional help is advisable and available. We at Biosite Cleanup provide mould inspection and mould remediation services in Goulburn, Canberra, Batemans Bay and other areas of NSW. Contact us on 0409037634.

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