The health risks caused by exposure to mould can sometimes be deadly. Mould lurking in the walls of your building could make your home unhealthier than a polluted city.
Researchers have found that dampness and mould inside a building increase the risk of respiratory and asthma-related problems by 30 to 50 per cent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
And dampness or mould in the main living area of a home may even cause asthma among children, according to the WHO’s report.
The main ailments linked to mould include allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Here are the signs to watch out for.
Allergy attacks in mouldy environments
Mould allergies cause your immune system to overreact, which triggers a wave of reactions when your body is exposed to mould spores, generally through breathing. Here are some of the common symptoms:
- Coughing, wheezing, throat irritation and trouble breathing
- Red, itchy and watery eyes
- Rash outbreak on the skin
- Headaches and congestion of nasal and sinus passages
Workers in mouldy environments – examples include farm workers exposed to mouldy hay – may find themselves experiencing severe allergic reactions. These allergy attacks could include shortness of breath and fever.
Mould triggers asthma attacks
An asthma attack is signalled by shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Mould is an issue for people coping with asthma, because the spores may trigger an attack. Mould exposure may even lead to worsening symptoms among asthmatics, according to a 2004 study.
There is also evidence linking dampness to a variety of health issues, including the development of asthma, according to the WHO.
Other mould-linked conditions
Indoor mould and dampness is linked to a number of respiratory ailments, including respiratory infections. This is a bigger risk for people already suffering from a chronic lung illness, like obstructive lung disease, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
An inflammation of the lung known as “hypersensitivity pneumonitis” can also be caused by the body’s reaction to mould exposure. Symptoms include body aches, coughing, chills, fever, and shortness of breath.
Healthy Environmental can help
If you are concerned about mould in your building, it’s important to get help from professionals. Healthy Environment provides mould inspection and removal services for all of Southern Ontario.
We have experience in both residential and commercial buildings, and adheres to guidelines developed by the Canadian Construction Association, or described by an environmental consultant.
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