Using a mould air purifier, especially if fitted with a leakage-free HEPA filter, is often the only way to continuously remove mould spores from the air. But it is also important to tackle the main cause of mould, which is damp conditions and, if mould has built up, to remove it - either with a bleach-based cleaner, a non-toxic anti-allergen spray such the AllerMold Mould Spray, or if it is really bad, with professional help.
Mould is the name given to small, multi-celled fungi. Mushrooms are also fungi, as are yeasts, which are single-celled fungi. Moulds include the black mould Stachybotrys chartarum which is often mistaken for ordinary household dirt and the dark-coloured Alternaria mould which often lurks in bathrooms and can trigger severe asthma attacks. A recent paper in the Thorax journal reveals that the presence of mould and dampness in the home can lead to a deterioration in lung function. Researchers in Uppsala, Sweden, carried out lung function tests on participants in the European Respiratory Health Survey once between 1990 and 1995 and again nine years later. Dampness (water damage, damp spots) and indoor mould were also assessed and a dampness and mould score assigned to each participant’s home. Dampness and mould were common, affecting around half of all the dwellings. Their presence was associated with a decline in lung function, particularly among women.
The problem with moulds is that they produce spores which are like the seeds of a plant in that they are the means by which the mould reproduces. Mould spores (sometimes also called fungal spores) are very easily carried around your house or office by air currents. The spores have a diameter between one and 100 micrometres (microns - a millionth of a metre). Like other particles, such as the PM10s found in traffic pollution, mould spores can cause a range of respiratory problems if they are inhaled. They are best dealt with by being trapped in a HEPA filter such as the hospital grade filter found in the IQAir HealthPro 250 and HealthPro 150 which removes particles down to 0.003 microns with more than 99% efficiency. We recommend the IQAir air purifiers because they move the right amount of air for an average to a large room (40-440 m3 per hour depending on its speed setting), and each purifier comes with a guarantee that the unit is completely leakage free.
But with moulds, as with any other allergen, it is also important to look at allergen avoidance. Be aware of where, and how, mould patches can develop and be vigilant on preventing this happening. Moulds love damp so you are likely to find them flourishing in the following locations:
Tackling mould involves getting rid of the damp and then getting rid of the mould itself: