The Effects of Mould on our Health
Mould ExposureWe are all exposed to moulds every day, usually by touching or breathing them. Because moulds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totally mould-free environment is practically impossible. As moulds grow, spores are released into the air where they can be easily inhaled. People who inhale large numbers of spores may get sick. Therefore, possible health concerns are an important reason to prevent mould growth and to clean up moulds in indoor environments.
Health EffectsMany moulds can cause health effects. Moulds produce allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction to mould depends on how much a person is exposed to, the age of the person and the person’s sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mould may cause health effects in one person, but not in another. Exposure to mould can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who have touched or inhaled mould or mould spores may have allergic reactions such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching (dermatitis). Moulds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to moulds, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A disease like pneumonia may also develop after exposure to mould, but this is uncommon. Infectious diseases from moulds can occur in people with weakened immune systems, such as those who are immune-compromised or immune-suppressed from drug treatment. Some types of mould are known to cause infections in immune-compromised people. Such infections can affect the skin, eyes, lungs or other organs. These are considered opportunistic infections that usually do not affect healthy people.
Prevention & Cure
- Clean mould away from the affected areas on walls and window sills with an anti mould cleaning agent.
- Paint over the mould that you have cleared from your wall/ceiling/window with an anti mould paint.
- Buy a moisture absorption system, or keep a bowl of sea salt near the affected area as the salt will naturally absorb the moisture in the air. Replace every few weeks.