Background information related to mould
- Moulds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present.
- Moulds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mould spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.
- All moulds share the characteristic of being able to grow without sunlight; mould needs only a viable seed (spore), a nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature to proliferate.
Health effects of mould exposure
- There are many types of mould. Most typical indoor air exposures to mould do not present a risk of adverse health effects.
- The health effects of mould exposure include runny nose, eye irritation, cough/congestion, sneezing, skin rash, aggravation of asthma.
- Moulds may cause localized skin or mucosal infections but, in general, do not cause systemic infections in humans, except for persons with impaired immunity.
- Hand-to-mouth contact during eating, drinking, smoking, wiping the face or licking splashes from the skin.
- By skin contact through cuts, scratches, or penetrating wounds. Certain organisms can also enter the body through the surfaces of the eyes, nose and mouth.
- To the respiratory tract through breathing in mould spores.
Possible controls following water inundation into a building
- Remove water from areas as soon as practical following inundation. Water pumps and wet vacuums are used for this task.
- Installation of exhaust fans to circulate air and promote drying of internal surfaces. Humidity within the air should be below 60%.
- Where practical timber and organic products, that can hold moisture and promote mould growth, are to be removed.
- Regular inspection of internal surfaces to identify the presence and growth of mould.
- Monitoring of the occupants health for the occurrence of symptoms related to the exposure to mould.