Mould is a natural part of the ecosystem, with humans estimated to breathe in between 1,000 to 1 billion spores in a single day. That’s right, mould is everywhere.
But when does inhaling these spores start to become a concern?
In this article we’ll examine everything you need to know about mould exposure – it’s symptoms, when it becomes a health concern and when to seek professional help.
What Is Mould Exposure?
Quite simply, mould exposure is the act of being exposed to mould and its potential health concerns. It typically occurs over an extended period of time as a result of living in a home or sleeping in a room infested with mould.
Symptoms Of Mould Exposure
Mould exposure symptoms arise as a result of continuous exposure to large infestations of mould and its airborne spores. This can occur in situations where there is substantial mould growth in household areas like carpets, ceilings or walls.
6 Common Mould Exposure Symptoms:
While symptoms will vary depending on the persons immune system and the duration of exposure, some of the most common mould exposure symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Runny Nose
However, it is often not always that straight forward. Mould effects everyone differently, with some people experiencing no symptoms at all or more extreme ‘mould poisoning’ symptoms such as:
- Asthma attacks
- Respiratory irritations
What About Black Mould Exposure?
Contrary to what you might believe, the symptoms of black mould exposure are no different than exposure to mould of any other kind.
This is because many mould types produce mycotoxins that can cause symptoms, not just black moulds.
Does All Mould Cause Allergy Symptoms?
No – only certain types of mould cause allergy-like symptoms. These mould’s are known as ‘allergenic moulds’.
These allergy symptoms are often triggered when someone with a sensitive immune system inhales mould’s tiny, airborne spores.
If you have identified mould in your home and are experiencing the above symptoms, it’s always best to speak to your doctor and a professional mould remediation company to get the issue sorted quickly.
Can Mould Exposure Cause Serious Health Problems?
Yes – particularly in the case of long term exposure.
While most moulds produce allergens that can spark the allergy-like symptoms listed above, some mould types pose a more serious risk to your health.
Some moulds can produce mycotoxins, a toxic substance that can cause a variety of respiratory, dermatological and eye irritations as a result of prolonged exposure.
Who Is Most At Risk?
There are a number of factors that can put you at a heightened risk of the more severe health effects of mould exposure. These include:
Those With Weak Immune Systems
Prolonged exposure to mould can be especially dangerous to those with weakened immune systems such as:
- The elderly
- Transplant and cancer patients
People in these groups will often experience more severe reactions as a result of mould exposure as their immune systems are less capable of fighting off infections.
Those Living In A Building With Excess Moisture
Living in a damp, mouldly building puts you more at risk of developing respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma. This is particularly an issue if you fall into one of the immunocompromised groups listed above.
Those Working In A High Mould Exposure Occupation
Frequently working in a mould infested environment can be a serious health and safety hazard. Occupations that are more susceptible to the risks of prolonged mould exposure include farming, logging, carpentry, furniture repair, winemaking and millwork.
Experiencing Symptoms But Can’t See Mould?
It is important to note that not all mould infestations are visible to the naked eye.
That’s right, mould can often grow out of sight behind walls, paintings and in basements, only to be detected once a serious infestation has taken hold.
So, if you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of mould exposure we’ve listed above but can’t see any mould growing, you might want to keep an eye out for these tell-signs.
Mould can begin to produce an unpleasant, lingering smell as a result of water damage, plumbing problems or an excessive buildup of moisture.
Most people describe mould as a musty, damp or rotting smell like that of ‘out of date cheese’. So, if you begin to notice an unpleasant waft in your home, you might be dealing with a hidden mould infestation.
Water damage can often occur in the ceiling or behind walls, making it hard to detect until a serious mould infestation has arisen.
Any leaks or water damage left untreated for as little as 48 hours can lead to mould growth.
So if you spot any bulging walls, discolouration, peeling or cracking paint, you’ll want to take action immediately.
Seek Out Professional Help
The only way to know for sure if you’re dealing with a hidden mould infestation is to seek out the help of a professional mould remediation service.
The MouldMen team can help you take action to avoid a serious infestation. We’ve helped thousands of Australian’s remove and keep mould out of their properties. To get back to living in a safe, healthy home sooner, contact us today on 1300 605 960 or book your free inspection today.