The Dangers Mould Can Pose to Your Health

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What is mould?

Mould is a type of fungi that grows in damp conditions. Mould requires organic material (plant or animal matter) to grow, and can be found on materials such as food, wood, carpet, cloth and insulation.

Mould reproduces and spreads by releasing airborne spores which land on other surfaces and grow. It is often “fuzzy” in appearance, and is commonly black, green or white. Some types of mould, however, can be grey, orange or brown, and may be harder to recognise.

Mould in buildings

The build-up of mould in buildings can be very damaging to the structural integrity of the building and can develop in any area where there is cellulose organic material, such as inside wall cavities, floors and ceilings, as well as areas where there tends to be a higher level of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.

Mould within buildings can also be very dangerous to the health of the people who live or work within the property. Contact with mould may cause nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and wheezing, especially in those who suffer from asthma, weakened immune systems, lung disease and allergic conditions. The World Health Organisation have released a report on dampness and mould, and the effects it can have on your health.

What to do about mould

There are some easy steps that may be taken to combat the growth of mould within buildings, such as cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating any affected areas. For more information on dealing with mould, see Queensland Health’s article about dealing with mould after a storm.

If you are concerned about the mould levels in your house or office, we suggest that you get in contact with the Department of Health, however Inspect My Home can carry out building inspections (with a special purpose report) to determine if and where any water is penetrating the property, with lack of ventilation and moisture being the major contributors and causes of mould.