Mold spores are tiny, airborne particles that can cause allergic reactions. When these Spores come into contact with the skin and respiratory tracts of people, they cause symptoms such as rhinitis (a blocked nose), itchy eyes, eczema (an overreaction of the skin to irritants), and asthma.
Damp and musty conditions like piles of decomposing leaves, grass cuttings, compost heaps, and garden sheds are prime environments for mold growth. Indoor molds can be found on food that is going off, such as the black and white fur that is found on bread, fruit, cheese, and vegetables. Mold can be found on many surfaces, indoors and out, in areas with high concentrations of moisture. It is especially hazardous to have mold growth near water sources such as water tables or steam vents; inside bathrooms where condensation gathers on windows and walls; and around plants that are located in moist environments.
Aspergillus Fumigatus is predominantly found in soil, leaf litter, decaying vegetation, bird droppings, and tobacco. Compared to other molds, the amount of spores present in the air is relatively low. This mold has been linked with asthma as well as bronchitis and various other respiratory illnesses such as farmer’s lung.
Symptoms of Molds:
If you have symptoms that persist, see an allergist or a pulmonologist.
How To Avoid Molds
Mold is present in nearly every environment, however, its appearance can vary depending on various factors. The most common way to encounter mold is through direct contact with it- for example if you have damp walls. Taking the following steps will help limit your exposure:
Avoiding Indoor Molds
- Mold thrives in environments with a high level of moisture, so one way to prevent its growth is by ensuring proper ventilation.
- Avoid damp basements, compost piles, fallen leaves, cut grass, and wooded areas – or wear a face mask if these places or things are unavoidable.
- Cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and utility room thoroughly will help to prevent mold from growing. After cleaning is complete, it is important to allow these areas to re-enter natural ventilation patterns.
- It is important to pay attention to walls behind kitchen units and cupboards, as they can often lack proper ventilation. This leads to the growth of mold in these areas.
- Do not let food decay. Clean and thoroughly dry problem areas such as refrigerator seals.
- Clean mold from window frames and dry condensation by wiping down the surface with a cloth or paper towel.
- Try not to dry damp clothing indoors.
- Get rid of old foam pillows and mattresses.
- Remove piles of old newspapers.
- Keep houseplants to a minimum and change the soil regularly
- Do not use humidifiers.
- If using a dehumidifier, the ideal indoor humidity is 50-55%. Empty and clean the reservoir regularly.
- Avoid going near hay or grain storage.
- Do not go into damp and musty buildings.
- Avoid cutting grass, raking leaves, and burning compost heaps.
- Avoid country areas during harvesting, particularly when sunny and windy.
- Allergy bedding covers protect you from mold spores within the mattress, pillows, and duvets.
- Facemasks, like those worn by cyclists, trap spores.