A very mouldy concern

By Jennifer Kent

IF you’ve been battling a seemingly never-ending encounter with mould throughout your home recently, you’re not alone. The ground has barely had a chance to dry between rain, add to that high levels of humidity and the result is almost perfect for mould growth.

Exposure to mould can cause health issues to individuals and can sometimes lead to more serious respiratory issues.

Exposure may be through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion and can result in eye, nose, throat and skin irritation. Some people may experience an allergic reaction such as an asthma flare-up or symptoms similar to hay fever. It may also lead to fatigue. Exposure can, in some cases, result in infection, and in very serious cases, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which causes inflammation of the lungs.

So, how can we tackle this unpleasant and unwelcome addition to our homes? Firstly, ensure you wear protective clothing whilst cleaning up, this include good quality rubber gloves, eye protection and a mask. Queensland Health suggests using a P2 disposable respirator if the clean-up is extensive or if you have a pre-existing respiratory condition.

It’s not recommended to abrasively clean surfaces and Queensland Health explain the use of bleach may not be effective in killing mould on porous surfaces. They do, however, advise that household cleaning agents or detergents “can do an effective job if used correctly”, as can a white fermented vinegar cleaning solution.

Ventilation and reducing moisture is important to stop the spread of mould; where possible open doors and windows to let as much sunlight in as possible. Use fans or air conditioners on the dry setting to help speed up the process. Dehumidifiers and moisture absorbers can also help.