Mould. It’s a topic surrounded by its fair share of misunderstanding and misinformation when it comes to its actual health implications.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the health effects of mould – its exposure symptoms, who is most at risk and what types you should be concerned about.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Can Mould Do To Your Health?
Mould affects everyone differently.
Exposure to mould and mould spores can negatively impact your health to varying degrees. However, in small amounts, mould spores are typically harmless.
The duration of exposure, the type of mould and the individuals immune system all play a part in a persons reaction to mould. So, while some individuals may experience no symptoms at all, others may experience severe reactions to mould.
Is Black Mould The Only Dangerous Mould?
Despite black mould being the only mould commonly referred to as ‘toxic’, it’s actually no more dangerous to your health than any other type of mould.
Mould of any colour can be toxic under the right circumstances, not just black mould.
The concept of black mould being the most dangerous mould is often just the result of misinformation and media hype. In fact, a mould’s colour generally has no correlation to its level of toxicity.
Who Is Most At Risk?
As we’ve mentioned, an individual’s sensitivity to mould greatly depends on their immune system and the duration of exposure.
Therefore, people who may be more at risk to the negative consequences of mould include:
- Children and The Elderly: With weaker lungs and vulnerable immune systems, exposure to mould can be dangerous for the very young or very old.
- People With Asthma: When mould spores are inhaled, they can significantly increase the risk of an asthma flare up.
- Immunocompromised: Those with weak or compromised immune systems, as well as cancer, HIV and transplant patients are at an increased risk of prolonged exposure to mould. Because their immune systems are have been subject to damage or are under significant strain, it makes it more difficult for them to fight off mould related infections.
So, What Mould Types Should I Be Concerned About?
Mould types are typically categorised into one of three categories based on their level of health concern. These include:
The most low risk of the three, allergenic moulds are only an issue for those with pre-existing allergies or asthma. For these groups, inhaling the spores of allergenic moulds results in allergy like symptoms such as runny nose, itchy and watery eyes (often referred to as mould allergies).
While most healthy individuals with good immune systems will be able to fight off pathogenic moulds, for those with weak immune systems, this is often not the case. For these individuals, pathogenic moulds are capable of causing fungal related infections and diseases.
Some pathogenic mould species include Aspergillus species, Cryptococcus Neoformans and Histoplasma Capsulatum.
Unlike allergenic and pathogenic moulds, toxic moulds are harmful and pose a risk to all. Toxic moulds produce mycotoxins, poisonous chemicals that can lead to irritations and illnesses if inhaled.
Some toxic mould species include Stachybotrys Chartarum, Penicillium, Fusarium and Aspergillus species.
The Symptoms Of Mould Exposure
When individuals are exposed to mould and its spores, they can start to experience certain mould exposure symptoms. These symptoms often arise as a result of prolonged exposure to mould, such as sleeping in a room or living in a home infested with mould.
6 Common Exposure Symptoms
While mould effects everyone differently, some of the most common symptoms that arise as a result of mould exposure include:
- Runny nose
However, as we’ve mentioned, those with weaker immune systems may experience more severe reactions to mould such as asthma attacks and respiratory irritations.
Worried About Mould In Your Home?
The best way to protect yourself from the health effects of mould is to actively take steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
However, if you do find mould growing in your home or suspect a hidden infestation lurking, the best thing you can do is organise an inspection from a professional mould remediation service.
A free inspection will help identify a mould infestation early and outline the best steps to take to return your home to a safe, mould neutral state as soon as possible.
Book Your Free Inspection Today
The MouldMen team will inspect, treat and provide you with a Mould Management and Prevention Plan to ensure that your home is kept safe and free from mould. Call us on 1300 60 59 60 to book your free inspection today.