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Hidden Threats: How Mould in Your Home Could Be Making You Sick

Hidden Threats: How Mould in Your Home Could Be Making You Sick

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 8 min reading time

Ever wondered why you're feeling under the weather more often than not, even when your home seems spotless? We seldom associate our homes with potential health threats, but the truth is, the air we breathe within those four walls can significantly impact our well-being. Here’s the truth: there might be a subtle intruder in the air you breathe—mould. It's not always the visible green or black patches on the bathroom tiles or the fuzzy stuff on forgotten leftovers.

What's even trickier is that airborne mould spores and particles may be floating around, triggering health issues without you connecting the dots. So, that persistent cough, those unexplained allergies, or that feeling of fatigue might not be just random occurrences.

Effects of mould on health

Prolonged exposure to mould can result in mould toxicity, causing various adverse effects on health. Individuals may experience mould poisoning symptoms, mould allergy symptoms, and other manifestations of mould-related health issues.

These are some of the symptoms of mould sickness:

  1. Respiratory symptoms
  • Coughing 
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

On this note, individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like COPD or asthma may dismiss the symptoms as part of their chronic condition, however, consistent and unexplained exacerbation of shortness of breath or persistent coughing could signal a need to investigate environmental factors, including mould. A 2007 study found that exposure to dampness and mould increases the risk for asthma development, and even existing asthma by 30-50%. 

  1. Allergic reactions
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy or watery eyes 
  1. Neurological symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep disorders

Neurological symptoms associated with toxic mould, often referred to as mould toxicity, arise from the exposure to mycotoxins produced by certain mould species. Based on a study, these mycotoxins, released into the air as mould spores, can have profound effects on the nervous system, giving rise to a range of symptoms that impact cognitive function and overall mental well-being. 

  1. General health issues
  • Constant feeling of fatigue
  • Malaise

How to test for mould? Here’s how to identify mould in your home

Identifying mould in your home is essential for maintaining a healthy living environment. Here are some of the recognisable signs of mould growth:

  1. Distinctive musty odour - If you notice a persistent and unpleasant smell in certain areas of your home, it could indicate the presence of mould. 
  2. Discolouration on surface - Mould often appears as dark spots or patches on walls, ceilings, or even furniture. It may also be seen as dirt on the walls. To check if it’s mould or not, you can dab with a swab with diluted bleach. If the surface lightens, then it may indicate mould. Pay attention to any changes in colour, especially in areas prone to dampness.
  3. Signs of rot in hidden spaces - When inspecting areas such as behind wallpaper, beneath floorboards, or within wall cavities, be attentive to signs of decay. An effective method to confirm the presence of mould is to gently probe these concealed spaces with a screwdriver. If the wood or wall surface crumbles easily upon probing and reveals dotted patches of black, it likely indicates the presence of mould.

Tips for removing mould

1. DIY remediation

First and foremost, prioritise your safety by wearing protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and safety goggles to avoid exposure to mould spores. Adequate ventilation is crucial, so open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate during the removal.

For the cleaning process, opt for eco-friendly alternatives and natural solutions. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda mixed with water can be effective against mould. Scrub the affected surfaces thoroughly, ensuring you reach hidden nooks and corners.

But there is another natural and alternative solution for a more comprehensive cleaning of moulds - plus, they’re not harmful to you, children and even pets! Consider using these SAN-AIR products:

 SAN-AIR™ Mould Gone:

  • Ideal for enclosed spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and closets.
  • This water-based gel effortlessly evaporates into the air, efficiently spreading throughout indoor spaces to not only kill existing mould but also protect against future growth for up to 3 months.
  • Simply peel the protective seal off and place the Mould Gone product in the desired area, allowing it to work its way through the space.

SAN-AIR™ V3R Split System Reactive Gel:

  • Specifically designed as an air conditioning cleaner to combat mould growth within air conditioning units.
  • To use, place the V3R Split System Reactive Gel behind the machine filter of your air conditioner for a couple of hours with all doors and windows closed. This helps in cleaning mould and reducing dirty, stale, and musty air circulated by the unit.

SAN-AIR™ Surface Mould Remover:

  • An effective mould remover spray designed for various surfaces.
  • Use it to clean walls, floors, carpets, and furniture. A light spray on these surfaces, followed by allowing them to air dry, ensures effective mould removal without causing damage to the treated areas.

SAN-AIR™ V3R Surface Disinfectant:

  • Can be used with the SAN-AIR Portable Nano Atomizer for household-grade disinfection.
  • This surface disinfectant can be applied to any surfaces, including door knobs, walls, ceilings, furniture, air conditioning units, kitchen countertops, and appliances. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for ensuring a comprehensive and thorough disinfection process.

2. Professional remediation

In situations where mould growth is extensive or health concerns arise, seeking professional help is paramount. Professional remediation is crucial when dealing with large infestations that surpass the scope of a DIY approach. It is especially important for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies, as exposure to mould can exacerbate these conditions.

When selecting a mould remediation professional, prioritise those with reputable certifications and experience. Check for reviews and testimonials, and inquire about their methods for both removal and prevention. A reliable professional should not only address the visible mould but also investigate and rectify the root cause of the issue to prevent future growth.

3. Preventive measures

Preventive measures against mould growth are paramount for maintaining a healthy living environment and safeguarding against potential health risks associated with prolonged exposure. These measures act as a proactive defence, addressing the root causes of mould before it becomes a pervasive issue within your home.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the health implications of mould exposure extend beyond the immediate and often visible symptoms, with silent and long-term effects that can significantly impact overall well-being. It is crucial to recognise that mould-related health issues can sometimes go unnoticed or be misattributed to other causes, especially when symptoms overlap with pre-existing conditions.

The subtlety of mould-related symptoms, coupled with their potential to mimic other health concerns, emphasises the need for vigilance. Regular inspections, swift remediation, and the adoption of preventative measures are key in creating a healthy indoor environment. By prioritising health and taking proactive steps, you can foster a home environment that promotes well-being and guards against the potential hazards associated with mould exposure.


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