By Chelsea Grove / Nathan Rahui
Aug 05, 2019

How a Mouldy Flat Affects your Health

With winter weather in full swing and Hamilton greeting us with its usual rainy gloom, it’s time to discuss the multicellular filaments hiding in your flat. That’s right, I’m talking about mould.

Firstly, what is mould? Mould is a naturally occurring fungus that thrives in damp, poorly ventilated areas, and spreads by means of spores. These little spots of bother can be grey, yellow, green and white. They can be found behind curtains, in bathrooms, around your windowsill - basically anywhere that suits their basic needs for moisture and a dark area to brood in.

Mould, as fuzzy as it is, is definitely not our friend. For those who are sensitive to mould, it can pose some pretty annoying symptoms due to spore inhalation, as well as close contact. Symptoms include sneezing, allergies, red eyes, and an unruly skin rash. For people with asthma, it may trigger an asthma attack. For those with sensitive sinus, it can cause sinusitis (otherwise known as inflammation of the nasal sinus) due to incidental mould inhalation.

Let’s talk about black mould. What makes this mould so scary? Black mould is usually black or dark green with a very distinctive “mildew-y” smell. This type of mould loves warm and damp conditions such as bathrooms. The mould itself is not toxic, but it releases toxic spores called mycotoxins. If these are inhaled for a long period of time, it results in black mould poisoning. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, a stuffy nose, and an itchy throat.

Don’t fret, this problem can easily be solved! Open up your windows and doors to allow for proper ventilation throughout the day. Wash your curtains regularly. If you spot any mould appearing, invest in some mould cleaner.

Better living everyone x

Is it Time to Turn the Heater on?

  • Do you have warm clothes?
  • Did nana not knit you any slippers?
  • Are all the curtains closed in the house?
  • Has your landlord still not put insulation in your house?
  • Do you have an extra blanket on your bed?
  • Are you ready for your flatmates to complain about the extra power usage?
  • Have you tried opening the oven?
  • Are you sick for the second time this winter?
  • Is soup not doing the trick anymore?
  • Do you not have anyone to spoon at night?
  • Have you tried drinking to get an alcohol blanket?
  • Are all of your windows still open?

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Waikato University
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