The dangers of mould.

WHAT CAUSES MOULD?

Moisture is a vital element in the development of mould. There are several ways in which moisture can enter the home and create a mould problem. A leaky roof, broken pipes, or water from a flood can be external causes of moisture in the house. Mould grows very quickly and becomes a problem in areas that have been flooded – Cyclone Yasi and cyclone Larry, the Townsville floods and Brisbane floods and the Japanese tsunami all saw serious mould issues emerge very rapidly once the flood waters had subsided. Moisture can also be created within the building itself: through the overcrowding of rooms (people breathing and sweating creates moisture), air drying of clothes indoors, appliances such as stoves, washing machines and dishwashers with no exhaust systems and poor temperature control, leading to condensation on windows and walls. Mould grows on anything organic, and also on glass, rubber and plastic often damaging the material beyond repair.

HEALTH IMPACTS OF MOULD

Mould is toxic, and particularly problematic for the young, elderly or sick and a continual battle for those with asthma and allergies. An allergy to mould can develop as a result of exposure over an extended period of time and, according to health experts, about 50% of people who live in mouldy conditions will develop hay fever-like symptoms.

Health conditions are made worse by the presence of mould, which increases symptoms in several ways: Mould irritates your airways and aggravates asthma. Mould infects the sinuses, growing within the nasal passage creating painful congestion, and can require surgical removal. In rare, worst-case scenarios, mould can invade the lungs, taking root inside the body with possible fatal consequences.

The main symptoms of mould exposure are:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore Throat
  • Irritated Skin
  • Sore eyes
  • Sinus pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling faint
  • Hair loss (But this can sometimes be reversed with mould inhibitors)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea