24th June 2011
As a result of a wetter than normal Summer in many parts of Australia, many regions may be experiencing increased incidents of mould in our homes and businesses. As home and business owners, it is critical that any water damaged material is removed or completely dried out and the mould correctly removed or remediated. Just because you cannot see mould growing does not mean that it is not there. Mould grows wherever there is little or no ventilation and it is therefore common for mould growth to occur behind skirting boards, in carpet underlay, in cavity walls, in ceiling spaces, in walk in robes, in cupboards, under floorboards and behind pictures and bookshelves. If respiratory symptoms are experienced a building biologist should be consulted to investigate and conduct air sampling for mould spores.
Mould is a fungus and needs moisture and food to germinate and grow. Some moulds are helpful and some are detrimental. It is important that we are made aware of the fact that some mould species contain mycotoxins which can cause serious health effects.
Mould causes various health effects such as eye, nose and throat irritation / inflammation, wheezing, nasal congestion, sneezing, sinusitis, asthma, recurring colds, headaches, coughing and sore throat, fatigue not eradicated by rest, Candida, rashes and various skin conditions. If the mould problem is not rectified the health problems will escalate and have the potential to cause long term health effects. With prolonged toxic mould exposure the endocrine and nervous system can be affected and this can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, mood changes and memory loss. The main concern is breathing in toxic mould spores as this can seriously compromise the body’s immune system. This is particularly the case of those with chronic illnesses, the elderly, infants and those with existing respiratory ailments such as asthma. In some cases toxic mould exposure has been fatal to humans and animals.
Mould / Mold / Mildew problems are often not dealt with in the correct manner and the mould is simply removed whenever it appears. Removing mould does not get rid of the problem and it will always come back unless the source of the problem is discovered and rectified.