We’ve long known that mould spores become airborne within a home. That’s how a small mould infestation in the basement — near the HVAC system — can result in mould spores being detected throughout all floors of the building. And, it doesn’t take that long.
Recently, however, researchers in France have discovered that it’s not just the spores, but the actual mould toxins, that become airborne indoors too. If it can be verified, it would explain a lot about so-called “sick building” syndrome, and the way that mould related illnesses and conditions spread. Their paper was published in the academic journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Each person responds to mould exposure differently. Those who already have asthma or respiratory allergies are particularly prone to feel the effects, which can include:
- Itchy eyes;
- Inflammation of the respiratory tract, including nose, throat, and lungs;
- Persistent sinus irritation;
- Obstructed airways;
- Asthma attacks.
It’s unclear how exactly the mould causes symptoms, but it is thought that the immune system becomes sensitive to specific compounds within the spores. The onset and severity of symptoms depends on how long you are exposed
Mould is actually just a name for a particular species of fungus. When the fungi shed the particles that become airborne, mycotoxins, the poisonous element, hitch a ride, taking the threat wherever those spores go.
Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical byproducts of certain fungi. They’re usually associated with crop infestations, and hence with food poisoning — not risk from inhalation. Enough exposure can prove deadly.
There have been many studies on the effects of eating mycotoxins, but not so much is known about what happens when you breathe them into your lungs. Based on existing research, it is not believed that airborne mycotoxins would be able to reach the kinds of concentrations that would cause health issues. However, the researchers pointed out that the risk may still be higher for people who spend a lot of time indoors, such as the elderly, or disabled people.
The researchers noted that mycotoxins should be considered when looking at air quality issues, but did not offer specific guidelines.
We Can Help
Up to 40 percent of all the buildings in North America and Europe contain mould in one form or another, according to experts. Does your home? You can trust the experienced mould removal experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of it for you. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.
Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.