Do you have mould (mildew) in your house? If you are not feeling sick already, do not panic! The mould (mildew) can be cleaned up and further growth controlled. If you are already feeling sick, you may consider leaving the building temporarily while the mould problem is being investigated or the mould is being cleaned up.
Who should particularly be concerned about mould (mildew) exposure?
- Infants and the elderly people
- People with a history of asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems.
- People with weak immune systems due to other health conditions such those with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy, and people who have received an organ transplant.
What are the health effects associated with mould (mildew) exposure?
The health effects associated with mould exposure are varied and some are controversial. These include:
- Allergenic Reactions
- Non-inflammatory, unspecific symptoms, e.g., eye and skin irritation, fatigue, headache, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, wheezing, stuffy nose, nausea and vomiting.
- Asthma and Bronchitis
- Mycotoxin Poisoning
The most recognized route for mycotoxin poisoning is through ingestion. Aflatoxins produced by various species of Aspergillus and Penicillium have a long record of poisoning humans and animals and in many cases causing death.
- Fungal infection
People with weakened immune systems may develop invasive aspergillosis from infections by species of Aspergillus such as Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger.
What should you do when you notice mould (mildew)?
Do not disturb it. Educate yourself on how to handle mould by reading some of the informational bulletins posted on the internet by reputable organisations. If you cannot handle the problem, seek professional advice.
- The University of Connecticut and USEPA has a document entitled “Guidance for Clinicians on the Recognition and Management of Health Effects Related to Mold Exposure and Moisture Indoors”. To obtain a copy click here http://www.oehc.uchc.edu/clinser/MOLD%20GUIDE.pdf.
- Health Canada has a revised version of “Fungal Contamination in Public Buildings: Health Effects and Investigation Methods”. This document is a revision of an earlier version published by Health Canada and the Federal-Provincial Advisory Committee on Environmental and Occupational Health (CEOH)
- Canadian Construction Association (CCA) recently released its newest mould guide
– CCA 82 – Mould Guidelines for the Canadian Construction Industry. A copy can be obtained from their web site at CCA 82 free for download or by purchasing hardcopies from your local construction associations.
- The New York City Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Mold in Indoor
Environments may be available online.
Do you have a mould problem? Call (905)290-9101 or visit our website at http://www.moldbacteria.com for more information.