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In this article, we’ll be discussing the harmful effects of mould.
First of all, what exactly is mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that are naturally occurring organisms playing a major role in the ecosystem of the earth. There are many types of mould out there in nature, but the one that we’ll be talking about is household mould as it poses the greatest threat to us humans.
Mould grows best in damp, humid and poorly ventilated areas, and reproduces by making spores as it is a type of fungi.
Mould spores are present virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors and are present in every human habitat. They’re airborne, light, and are individually invisible to our naked human eyes.
It’s impossible to get rid of all of them, and they generally do not pose a threat to you and your household. Generally, they grow in and on materials such as old food, fabric furniture, behind and on top of walls, paper and household plumbing.
So, why are the harmful effects of mould?
This article will be split into two parts – firstly, the harmful effects of mould on your health, and secondly the damaging effects of mould on homes and workplaces.
Harmful effects of mould on health
Firstly, let me start off by saying that most moulds are not overly detrimental to your health, and reactions to moulds can vary between individuals.
Minor allergic reactions are the most common health effect with most individuals when it comes to most moulds, but some people with severe allergies may suffer longer lasting and more severe health issues when it comes to mould.
Hence, it’s best not to take mould lightly, as you don’t exactly know how you may react to certain mould types.
If you are exposed to mould for a long period of time, you may suffer these effects:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Throat irritation
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, but they are the most common ones. In addition to this, if you have infants or young children at home, be on guard for a common fungal mould called Penicillium.
The Penicillium mould has been shown to cause an increased probability of developing respiratory symptoms such as asthma during their first year of life. Signs that an infant may have mould-related respiratory problems include (but are not limited to) a persistent cough and/or wheeze.