Mould spores as mini assassins sounds ultra-dramatic. How deadly can a microscopic organism really be, and why is mould potentially a mini killer waiting to take you out?
Let me enlighten you with your daily dose of educational information.
What Are Mould Spores
Mould is a microbial organism from the fungi family. Fungi also include mushrooms and yeast. You often see it at work diligently decomposing food and organic materials. It is often seen as a greyish blue or white powdery substance on overly ripe fruit in the fruit bowl.
However, mould spores can take many forms, and the one most likely to be a silent assassin lurking in your home is often seen as black spots climbing up walls and breeding extensively in homes and bathrooms across the globe. However, mould can range in colour from black, blue, green, orange, brown, and yellows. It can also change colours depending on the age and stage in its life cycle.
Mould is known to cause diseases in animals and humans. Some people are highly reactive to the smallest traces of this pathogen and can suffer from allergic sensitivity and anaphylaxis that requires immediate First Aid. Others suffer unknowingly from the effects of ingested or inhaled toxic compounds known as mycotoxins that are invisible, produced, and spread by the mould without you knowing you have been infected with the pathogens.
Why Is Mould Potentially Deadly
Mould in your lungs can cause an allergic reaction called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). Symptoms are similar to asthma symptoms and include coughing and wheezing.
People who are fit and healthy with no medical conditions will experience the presence of mould pathogens quickly and in most cases, simply removing the mould is enough to see them back to fighting fit.
Black mould associated with damp buildings and high humidity can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheezing, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.
Mould spores have an enviable level of intelligence and the knack for hiding behind things we don’t often move in our homes, so its presence can go unnoticed for months as it grows larger, eating away at its host and filling our lungs with microscopic spores.
People suffering from medical conditions are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects due to having compromised immune systems that are not strong enough to fight off the mould pathogens growing numbers.
Infants, the elderly, and chemotherapy patients with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable, as are people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is an umbrella term used to describe a group of lung conditions; emphysema is one of them, but asthma is also exacerbated by the presence of mould spores in the lungs. Learn how to treat asthma attacks and have an asthma plan on hand.
Before going on a mould hunting spree, you must take some basic PPE precautions and safety measures. Gloves, eye protection and respirator masks are necessary when dealing with mould. Large areas of mould require complete removal and disposal of the item hosting it in most cases. Thanks to the recent flooding and constant high humidity in many regions of Australia, mould is flourishing in ever greater numbers.
What Does Mould Eat
Unlike plants, mould spores and other fungi have no chlorophyll and can’t make their own food. They consume the host upon which they land. It is present virtually everywhere on planet Earth. It exists equally well indoors and outdoors in wet or moist areas that lack adequate ventilation, including walls/wallpaper, book pages, ceilings, bathroom tiles, grout, carpets, bed linens, insulation material, gyprock, and wood. If moisture and humidity accumulate above 60 per cent, mould growth will often occur and flourish on any porous indoor surface.
Let me be clear: mould has its value, and we as humans use it in various ways, including adding it to foods like cheese to create medications like penicillin and antibiotics. Mother Nature uses it to break down and decompose dead wood and fallen trees, consume dead animals and ensures the cycle of life can carry on in harmony and with balance.
Without fungi, we as humans would cease to exist rather quickly, which is a scary thought for some. Our place on the planet is never guaranteed, and a medical emergency could present anywhere, to anyone and anytime. Have you ever taken a First Aid course or gained certification in CPR? Could you use new skills to help you quickly recognise and treat yourself and your loved ones if needed? Now might be a good time to book yourself onto a First Aid Course and prepare for the unexpected in advance.
How To Kill The Silent Killer
If mould is so toxic and dangerous, how do I get it out of my house? Is a great question, and anyone who has mould demands the answer. Let me share with you some of the most effective home products you can use to kill mould dead in its tracks, and they mostly start with B.
- Borax is a natural compound and toxic when swallowed, so don’t drink it. Borax doesn’t exude toxic fumes, doesn’t cause skin irritations, and isn’t harmful to the environment. Borax is a natural fungicide and herbicide and can kill most types of household mould spores, making it the number one on the list for chemical-free people.
- Bleach is my number one for pretty much everything. Depending on the bleach concentration, it can do everything from purifying dirty water fit to consume, removing stains, and killing bacteria like nothing else on Earth! It does have a toxic and caustic nature and can cause burns to the skin and lungs with the fumes. While it is better than borax, it is not for everyone. As a rule of thumb, the ratio of bleach to water would be no more than one (1) cup of bleach to four and a half (4.5) litres of water or one gallon if you grew up with the imperial system.
- Baking Soda To use baking soda for mould cleaning, you can prepare a solution of one (1) tablespoon of baking soda and four (4) glasses of water and spray the affected area, then scrub the area clean and wipe down.
Don’t let mould ruin your day, house, or health.
First Aid Course Experts
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