Many of us have encountered mould at some point in our lives, whether in a damp basement or in the corner of the shower. And as it turns out, it’s much more than just unpleasant to look at – mould can actually be responsible for a host of damaging and even deadly conditions. If you or your family have been getting sick recently, you may just have found the reason why. |
How Does Mould Affect Your Health?
Through air borne spores, mould is able to enter your body and compromise your immune system. It basically functions like an environmental pollutant and it’s one you can’t escape, since it compromises the safety of your home itself. Mould can affect you either with symptoms that manifest themselves immediately, or with chronic diseases that develop over time.
The presence of any of the following medical problems may be due to the presence of mould in your home:
Headaches Allergies when no known allergens are present Sinus problems A flu-like illness similar to Lyme disease Fatigue Weight gain Joint pain Emotional instability (anger, depression, etc) Compromised immune system with higher risk of infections Higher risk of certain cancers and cardiac conditions
As you can see, mould can affect people in a huge variety of ways, so it’s not something you can afford to ignore.
Types of Mould
Although most mould can be damaging, the level of danger depends on the type of mould. Typically, household mould comes in one of three kinds:
Allergenic mould. This is the type responsible for allergy-like symptoms. Children, asthmatics and those with other kinds of allergies are particularly susceptible. Pathogenic mould. This kind is more dangerous than allergenic mould, as it results in more severe infections (like ones resembling Lyme disease and pneumonia). People with already-compromised immune systems are at the highest risk if this is present. Toxigenic mould. This is the most dangerous variety yet, as it produces poisonous chemical “mycotoxins” that can affect anyone. Some varieties of toxic mould are actually carcinogenic, others can cause lung bleeding, intestinal conditions, skin damage and more.
How Do I Get Rid of Mould?
To make sure your house is free of mould hazards, you’ll need to first identify it, take steps to treat it in its existing form, then set up a long-term strategy for prevention. There are a few options for how to do this.
Identify. First, do a visual sweep. Pay special attention to bathrooms, the kitchen, the garage, and the basement, as these are the most likely places to be affected by dampness. Common colours are white, orange, blue, grey, or (usually considered the worst kind) black. If you suspect your house has mould but can’t find it by sight alone, have professional conduct an air test for you.
Treat. Mild mould problems can usually be solved on your own. Remove all visible mould using a household cleaning solution, then thoroughly scrub the area with bleach or a fungicide. Wear gloves and eye protection during this step. If you have a severe mould problem or black mould, DO NOT try to fight it on your own. Doing this may release more poisonous spores into the air. For this kind, contact a professional.
Prevent. You don’t want that mould returning, so make sure you’re taking steps to maintain good air quality and minimise risk. Invest in a good air purifier to filter any toxins. Ones that use small amounts of ozone can permanently remove air toxins and odours. Also be vigilant about checking potential mould growth areas.
If there’s one place where you should feel safe, it’s your home. Invisible invaders like mould are just as dangerous as other security risks like burglars, so take the proper defence measures to protect yourself and your loved ones, and keep your home healthy and safe.
Have you had any experience with mould in your home?
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