Mould is a severe contributor to indoor air pollution. It can grow inside walls, behind cabinets and under sinks for a long time before you even know it’s there. There are hundreds of species of moulds, some of which are toxic or allergy-producing. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) advises that no one should tolerate living with a source of mould in their home. Mould produces spores, which float in the air and settle in the dust in your home. Mould spores are often toxic and may cause a range of health problems including respiratory illness. Mould grows in humidity levels above 70%. Buy a hygrometer at your local hardware store, and use it to measure humidity levels. Humidity should be between 30 and 55 degrees, closer to 30 in the winter. Remember that a reading in the middle of the room may be lower than one taken near a window or behind furniture. If there is a mould problem, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: Fatigue, shortness of breath, sneezing, tachycardia, palpitations, rashes, itchy eyes, headaches, migraines, histamine type reactions, gut issues (diarrhea, constipation, heart burn, abdominal pain), weight gain/loss, brain fog, poor concentration, word-finding issues and cognition issues, ice-pick stabbing pain in head and other body parts or immune dysfunction (constant infections, chronic illness). In case of mould, follow the tips below.
Never use chlorine bleach to clean mould. Wear a mask and clean small mouldy surfaces with soap, water and a brush. Dry the area with old rags. All materials used to clean the mould need to be disposed off. Spray with hydrogen peroxide after clean up or to prevent mould in susceptible areas. Vinegar can also be used for this purpose.
Tips for Mould:
Use toxin free anti-mould paints that prevent mould.
Control humidity, repair leaks, and address water infiltration immediately.
If you suspect mould in your home, get professional help to investigate, complete testing, and resolve the issue in a safe and timely manner.
Avoid the following chemicals in regular products
Chlorine: irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Fungicides: toxic to humans
Formaldehyde: carcinogen, irritant to eyes and respiratory tract, respiratory sensitizer
Kerosene: irritating to skin and upper respiratory tract, neurotoxic, toxic to the lungs
Pentachlorophenol: carcinogen, irritant to skin and eyes (strong) and respiratory tract, neuromuscular toxicant, neurotoxic and nephrotoxic
Phenol: irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory and digestive tract
Aerosol products create nanoparticles, which are potentially toxic if inhaled.