Mould refers to hundreds of species that fall under the fungi group. While its smell and look are undesirable, the health consequences are even more undesirable and in some cases, very serious. For mould to grow it requires exposure to moisture, which means many homes are the perfect growing environment for it to flourish. Mould plays a significant role in many health conditions, however it is rarely considered when identifying contributing factors. Therefore understanding the impact of mould is key in preventative health.
Health effects of mould
- Respiratory problems such as asthma or shortness of breath
- Allergic responses
- Infections including sinuses, nails and eyes
- Gastrointestinal upset including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome including headache, sleep disturbances, brain fog, pain
- Increased chemical sensitivity
- Excessive urination or thirst
- Dry cough
- Nose and throat irritation
- Loss of memory
Identifying indoor mould
Mould is everywhere, hence controlling the moisture in the environment is key to preventing growth. Addressing any roof/window leaks, ensuring adequate drainage and good ventilation is essential. Drying damp carpets and furniture as soon as possible will also help prevent build ups.
Identifying indoor mould can be tricky thing as in some cases it cannot be seen or smelt. A building biologist may need to be brought in to help identify hidden mould and moisture. If you suspect you may be suffering from a mould-related illness then you may want to consider pathology tests with a trained health practitioner. Nicole Bijlsma has a list of health practitioners familiar with nutrition and environmental medicine here. That same link also includes several other resources to help build a healthy home.
Want to learn more about a healthy home?
The impact of the environment on our health is something I explore in my book A Life Less Stressed, click here to order your copy.