Allergies to mould have developed over the last thirty years: a change from baths to more frequent showers, steam cooking, lack of ventilation... have increased the rate of humidity in badly ventilated places.
Moulds are microscopic funguses which develop in obscure and badly ventilated damp places: bathrooms, kitchens, basements of houses and on window frames in blocks of flats, cellars, aquariums and in the soil of house plants.
- They appear as brown or black spots.
- They reproduce by releasing spores in the atmosphere and disperse in the air of the house. The inhalation of the spores causes allergic symptoms.
- They can also be found on some foods, like bread, cheese, fruit and vegetables.
- Wet and damp environments close to woods, lakes or rivers create ideal conditions for their development.
- Moulds are found in the atmosphere throughout the year particularly when the weather is hot and wet, any time from May to October.
- Symptoms are the same for hay fever: rhinitis (runny nose), conjunctivitis and asthma.
The most common moulds
- Alternaria: it thrives on decomposing plants, fruits and vegetables.
- Aspergillus: is found in the ground, in compost, cereals, bread, fruit and grain warehouses.
- Cladosporium is found on lawns, plants, the ground, fruit and textiles.
How to avoid being in contact with moulds
- Ventilate and clean dark rooms like the attic, kitchen, bathroom and basement.
- Install a dehumidifier in the house and air filters in order to maintain a rate of humidity of 50%.
- Disinfect contaminated surfaces with bleach.
- Clean dustbins with bleach, once a week, toilets, refrigerator and washing machine joints and window frames.
- Always wipe away any condensation from windows, and sills especially in the autumn and winter.
- Check humidity levels: High levels of moisture increases mould production. The degree of humidity should not exceed about 40 to 45%.
- Regularly change air-conditioning filters and fan heating filters.
- Regularly turn over the earth of house plants.
- Find and treat quickly any causes of damp or ingress of water in the home.
- Throw away food like bread, fruit, vegetables and cheese at the first signs of mould.
If you are allergic to moulds, avoid:
- House plants.
- Walls covered with wallpaper.
- Storing old newspapers, old clothing.
Alergia al moho