Many consider that mould is simply an annoying aesthetic issue, being unaware of the dangers that having mould in a home has. Mould, is indeed quite unaesthetic, but the health hazard it has, has a truly dangerous potential. Affecting especially small children and elders, mould infestations can cause anything, from brain hemorrhage, to respiratory problems, allergies and pulmonary infections. This is why testing the air quality in a home is necessary to be performed regularly: to detect and find solutions to such problems. Mould affects generally babies and young children, elders, people with already existing skin issues, respiratory issues, and those with a weak immune system, by exacerbating them. Most of those health issues are oftentimes caused by mould or mildew. However, let’s find out more about mould, mildew and their health implications in the following paragraphs.
Common types of mould found in homes
There are thousands of types of mould, however, certain ones are found in a household more often than others. All of those have a dangerous potential, affecting humans’ and pets’ health is various ways.
- Alternaria – is a type of mould usually found outdoors, but in damp and dark environment, they easily develop indoors as well. Exposure to this type of mould causes allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- Aspergillus – is a frequently found indoors, and it causes lung inflammation, respiratory issues, allergic reactions as well as asthma attacks.
- Botrytis – is a type of fungus usually found in poorly ventilated bathrooms, and is very humid places, in general. It has similar health responses with the previous two type of mould.
- Chaetomium – is a type of mould that produces a pungent musty odour and it can be found on drywall, windows and carpets.
- Cladosporium – this is an adaptable type of mould. Although most species prefer warm, damp places, this particular one grows and develops prolifically even in cold areas.
- Fusarium – is yet another type of mould that easily develops in cold areas. It can develop on carpeting, and fabrics, being guilty of allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- Stachybotrys chartarum – or the already notorious black mould or toxic mould develop in places that are continuously damp, such as air conditioning systems, pipes and other spaces where condensation is present. The mycotoxins that are released by this type of fungus cause a wide variety of health issues for both humans and pets. Chronic sinus infections, severe allergic reactions, depression, asthma attacks, lung haemorrhage, and extreme fatigue.
Health issues cause by mould
Obviously, there are plenty of health issues triggered by mould’s presence. However, below we have more details on them, in a systematic manner.
- Asthma – diverse species of mould have the potential to trigger asthma attacks in sufferers. More than 37% of asthma sufferers have reported as main cause mould’s presence. Especially when asthma patients experience cold symptoms, they are more likely to experience exacerbated symptoms if mould is present as well. Symptoms such as wheezing, tight chest or coughing have a disastrous potential in mould’s presence, as a result, limiting the exposure to it might in fact, help numerous patients to increase or even eliminate the interval between attacks.
- Atopic dermatitis – or eczema causes the skin on one’s body to become inflamed, itchy and red. And different types of mould have the potential to worsen the symptoms, because of their increased levels of toxicity. Although many have intervals in which the symptoms are less noticeable, this is not in the case of mould exposure. To de diagnosed with atopic eczema, you must experience in a span of 12 months three of the following symptoms: visibly irritated or red skin. Visible creases on your elbows or behind your knees. A skin irritation manifesting in the same areas like those previously mentioned. Very dry skin in the past year. A history of hay fever or asthma. Although the exact cause of atopic dermatitis remains unknown, there are certain factors that act as triggers. Including mould. It develops together with hay fever or asthma, allergic reactions and numerous other outside triggers.
- Severe allergies – although allergies are very common, the toxins present in mould, especially black mould always exacerbate the symptoms. As a result, untreated and in a mould infested environment, a simple allergic reaction might have a life threatening potential.
Mould infestation – Solutions
Now that we established what how dangerous mould exposure could be, we must discuss what options people have when it comes to getting rid of it. There are several DIY tests and solutions you could apply, but oftentimes, they are ineffective since mould hides inside ventilation systems, pipes and narrow spaces in a home. Some DIY solutions would be to prepare a mixture of 1 part bleach and 3 parts water and apply it on the areas in which mould is present. Make sure to wear a mask, otherwise there is the danger of bleach intoxication. However, a more efficient solution is to get in touch with a company that has the capability of testing the indoor air and find flexible solutions for each of their clients. The report resulted from the air testing process will offer enough data on which the team will develop their solutions. This is a more scientific approach, each type of mould responding differently to diverse solutions. Also, these companies are more than willing to help their clients with periodic telephonic check-ups and consultations, regarding the state of their services. However, make sure to collaborate with a certified company, which is also specialised in offering solutions in other indoor issues. Some recommend finding a company with a history in asbestos removal, because they seem to have more technologized processes than others do.
These are some considerations regarding the continuously growing issue of mould and mould exposure. AS you can easily notice, the issue is deeper than the aesthetic part of the problem. It’s health and compromising it is dangerous, especially if we are speaking about mould exposure.