Mould blan­kets Sydney homes - and tips to erad­i­cate it

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

You may have no­ticed a thin veil of mould ap­pear­ing on un­ex­pected sur­faces around the home lately - the re­sult of the con­stant rain and hu­mid­ity cre­at­ing a per­fect storm for air­borne spores to grow and set­tle.

From leather belts and shoes, to win­dow frames and even so­fas and CD cases have all been re­ported sites for mould to grow lately. It’s harm­ful to your and your pet’s health - so what can you do about it?

Clin­i­cal As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Sh­eryl van Nunen, a Sydney im­mu­nol­o­gist and spokesper­son for the Na­tional Asthma Coun­cil, who has many pa­tients with al­ler­gies and asthma, has some great ad­vice about mould and mildew in the home.

“One in ten adults have asthma and one in four pre-school­ers, and this may be ex­ac­er­bated by mould,” she said. “The mould causes in­flam­ma­tion in the res­pi­ra­tory tract and this can trig­ger rhini­tis and asthma.” Here are her tips for erad­i­ca­tion and longterm pre­ven­tion. In the gar­den: re­move over­hang­ing trees and branches and clear gut­ters to re­duce the chances of wa­ter col­lect­ing in your roof. Put in­door plants out­side dur­ing damp weather as they’re sources of mould. Ven­ti­la­tion: con­stantly open doors and win­dows, even in win­ter, to get air cir­cu­lat­ing and sun­shine com­ing into your home. Mould hates sun­shine! Use a de­hu­mid­i­fier to dry out the home par­tic­u­larly in cul­prit rooms like kitchens, laun­dries and bath­rooms. Also in­vest in a HEPA fil­ter on your vac­uum cleaner - it has an elec­tro­static par­ti­cle fil­ter so dust and pol­lu­tants get stuck in the vac­uum rather than be­ing blown out the back again into the air. De-clut­ter: throw out any­thing not reg­u­larly used, like old mag­a­zines or for­got­ten toys, as they’re dust-gath­er­ers. When clean­ing away the mould: use one part white fer­mented vine­gar to four parts warm wa­ter to wipe down all sur­faces with mould,

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