Other than being unsightly and destructive, mould is also a potential killer. Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy died earlier this year, and unlike so many celebrities, it was not drink or drugs that took her life – but mould.
The UK is especially prone to moulds, with its lovely damp and cold weather. Stachybotrys chartarum is one mould that is considered to be particularly toxic, especially its spores, which are poisonous when they’re inhaled. The can grow in wallpaper, flooring, behind walls and tiles and on window frames.
Any poorly-ventilated house, be it a mansion in LA or a bedsit in Glasgow, can be susceptible – especially if moisture is leaking.
But how does it affect us?
If you’re a lucky, normal person, the immune system detects the spores, and the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll have a coughing or sneezing fit – ever done this when you’ve been in someone’s house for the first time? It’s not rude – they’re being rude by trying to poison you with spores…
People most at risk to household moulds are those who are in poor health, are children or the elderly. The spores harm you by weakening your immune system and making you liable to get sicker, more regularly, which is the theory behind Brittany Murphy’s death.
The mould can cause allergic reactions, asthma most noticeably, as the immune system reacts to the spores. It grows aggressively in the body and stops vital organs working.
Murphy’s death by mould theory is offered more credence when you consider that Simon Monjack, the husband of Murphy, died five months after his wife from respiratory problems.
How can you protect yourself? This stuff is invisible…
• Open windows every day
• Use extractor fans when cooking
• Repair all cracks and chips in windows
• Ventilate your bathroom
• Keep an eye out for Wasp nests, they are prime locations for mould.
If you can smell anything damp, or have condensation on your windows, act immediately, as when you see the mould, it may be too late.
Have you ever been ill as a result of mould? Why not comment and let us know your thoughts.