As one of the most susceptible household areas for mould growth, we know what a pain it can be to discover mould in your bathroom. Whether you’ve spotted mould growth around your shower tiles, shower curtain, flooring, drains, walls or ceiling, it’s vital to understand not only the causes of the growth, but the dangers of the mould itself. Though it’s easy to put off fixing the issue until next week, next month or even next year, the health risks posed by mould should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Who’s at Risk
While mould exposure can negatively affect anyone who inhales or comes into contact with it, it is especially dangerous for babies and small children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and your household pets.
Those with HIV, cancer, liver disease, chronic lung disease or going through chemotherapy should be especially cautious about breathing in mould spores, as well as anyone with asthma or respiratory illnesses.
Causes of Mould Growth
With poor ventilation, humidity and dampness, bathrooms are one of the most high-risk areas for mould development in homes and businesses. Another major cause is hidden leaks, which often lead to growth of mould within walls.
While many of the most common types of mould found in bathrooms are toxic, even the non-toxic types have the ability to make you sick. Some of the most common varieties found in bathrooms include:
Increased Health Issues & Risks
A 2004 study from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found sufficient evidence of a “link to indoor exposure to mould with upper respiratory tract symptoms,” development of a “cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy individuals,” increased “asthma symptoms in people with asthma,” and a higher case of “hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to an immune-mediated condition.”
Breathing in or touching mould spores can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, red eyes, a runny nose and even a skin rash in extreme cases, and people with existing serious allergies often have more severe reactions to mould, such as shortness of breath.
In children, mould can lead to further health issues like respiratory problems, coughing, irritation in the throat, asthma, sneezing, and further lung and skin infections.
Increased Mental Health Problems
It has also been found that living in a home with mould may negatively affect not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. In fact, those living in a home with mould are at a 34 to 44% higher risk of developing depression than those living in a mould-free home.
One worrisome risk most homeowners don’t consider is the danger of mould to their pets, which, even after minor exposure to mould spore mycotoxins, can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, lethargic behaviour, vomiting, respiratory distress, bleeding from mucous membranes and in the worst cases, even death.
Because there are a number of mould types commonly found in bathrooms, it is wise to let one of our highly qualified plumbers come to assess the damage and devise a solution to the problem.