posted over 8 years ago by margpollon
Mould is found everywhere in our natural environment. For the outdoors, it plays a part in breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves and dead trees. But mould that grows indoors may cause health problems, especially to those with allergies.
High humidity and moisture are the main causes of mould growth. It reproduces by means of tiny spores that float through the air. When they land on surfaces that are wet, mould may begin growing within 72 hours (note: anything wet longer than 48 hours should be treated as a ‘mould removal’).
Most healthy people have little or no reaction when exposed to mould. However, mould does produce allergens, (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some rare cases, potentially toxic substances, such as mycotoxins. Inhaling or touching mould or mould spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash (dermatitis).
Allergic reactions to mould are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Mould can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mould. In addition, mould exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mould-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mould. If symptoms do occur, they are most likely to be irritation effects to the skin, eyes or respiratory tract. These symptoms are usually temporary and will go away when exposure to mould stops.
If you discover mould, steps should be taken to have it cleaned-up and/or removed. How much mould growth there is and the type of surface the mould has grown on will assist in determining the proper course of action.
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