Follow these precautions when working with mould
When mould is disturbed, it can greatly increase the amount of mould spores present in the air, even though mould can come in a variety of colours it can cause a wide array of adverse responses in humans depending on the type and quantity present.
However, these are not the lone factors when considering the health affects to mould exposure. Since dose and human response can be highly individualistic, the sensitivity of the person exposed is also an important consideration.
Infants and young children, the immune-compromised, and the elderly are at an increased risk of experiencing adverse health effects related to mould exposure. The effects those persons with abnormally functioning immune systems. For example, those with HIV/AIDS or those receiving immunosuppressive drugs such as transplant or chemotherapy patients.
People with existing health problems or those very sensitive to mould should not do clean-up work in situations where there is heavy mould growth.
It may be prudent to consider using professionals to do the clean-up work for you if you have any doubts about your safety or the effectiveness of the work to be undertaken.
Do not eat, drink or smoke in the contaminated area, since disease-causing organisms from mould spores or if problem has been caused by flooding, sewage could be present.
It is unlikely that a home can be completely condensation free, even a new one, however by keeping your property properly maintained and thinking about the lifestyles issues you should be able to control condensation to an acceptable level.
Different mould species can have varying health effects, but it is important to remember that any excessive Mould growth needs to be taken care of, regardless of the species.
Excessive Mould growth can lead to increased allergies, toxicity, and house/building structural problems.
Allergic reactions are elicited when a substance such as mould that is not harmful in itself causes an immune response in susceptible individuals. The most common symptoms of an allergic response to increased levels of mould range from runny noses, itchy-watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and throat irritation to more severe symptoms caused by chronic conditions such as sinusitis and asthma.
Produce Volatile Organic Compounds during the process of degrading substances to obtain nutrition. The VOCs are the cause of the typical mouldy/musty smell commonly associated with fungal contamination indoors. Exposure to high levels of VOCs may irritate the mucous membranes and the central nervous system leading to symptoms of headaches, decreased attention span, difficulty in concentration, and dizziness.
Aspergillus is the most common genus of fungi in our environment with more than 160 different species of Mould. Sixteen of these species have been listed as causing human disease. Aspergillosis is now the 2nd most common fungal infection requiring hospitalization in the United States .
The most common species causing infection. It can be found in decomposing organic material, such as self-heating compost piles, since it readily grows at temperatures up to 55 C. People who handle contaminated material often develop hypersensitivity to the spores of Aspergillus and may suffer severe allergic reactions upon exposure.
Aspergillus flavus is the 2nd most encountered fungi, in cases of Aspergillus infection. It is also known to produce the mycotoxin aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to man. In the 1960s, 100,000 turkey's in Great Britain died from ingesting contaminated feed. Most countries have established levels for aflatoxin in food. However, the risks associated with airborne exposure are not adequately studied and no exposure standards exist.
Aspergillus Niger is the 3rd most common Aspergillus fungi associated with disease, and the most common of any Aspergillus species in nature due to its ability to grow on a wide variety of environments. This species may cause a fungal ball, which is a condition where the fungus actively proliferates in the human lung, forming a ball. It does so without invading the lung tissue.
Stachybotrys Chartarum (atra)
This group of moulds can thrive on water damaged, cellulose-rich material in buildings such as plasterboard, paper, ceiling tiles, insulation backing, wallpaper, etc. In the majority of cases where Stachybotrys is found indoors, water damage has gone unnoticed or ignored since it requires extended periods of time with increased levels of moisture for growth to occur.
Stachybotrys is usually black and slimy in appearance. Flooding and wet areas that are quickly dealt with tend to support the growth of more xerophilic fungi such as
Pencillium and Aspergillus
Stachybotrys is another fungi that has the ability to produce mycotoxins, ones that are extremely toxic, suspected carcinogens, and immunosuppressive. Exposure to these mycotoxins can result through inhalation, ingestion, and skin exposure. Symptoms of exposure include dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, nose bleeds, cold and flu-like symptoms, headache, general malaise, and fever.