To download the Mould Factsheet, click here.

How Mould Can Impact Your Health

Mould can grow at any time. It’s very common in damp places like showers, sinks and near leaky pipes. But flooding, major rain events or cyclones can cause large scale damage. Water damage to buildings can lead to extra mould growth. Mould can also grow in poorly ventilated and maintained homes.  

Moulds produce millions of air-borne spores that can be inhaled. Breathing in mould can irritate your airways or trigger an allergic response. Both types of reactions can lead to asthma flare-ups and a range of other health problems. If you are sensitive to mould, you might get a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, trouble breathing or skin irritation. Rarely, mould spores can cause damage to your lungs or airways and lead to serious side effects. 

TIPS FOR REMOVING MOULD 

  • If possible, ask someone who doesn’t have asthma to clean mould. 
  • Wear waterproof footwear, rubber gloves, a shower cap, safety goggles and a disposable N95/P2 face mask. Surgical and fabric masks do not protect against spores and bacteria. 
  • Clean hard surfaces with soapy water and household detergent or white vinegar (mixed 80% vinegar to 20% water). This includes glassware, plastics and tiles. 
  • More porous materials may be able to be cleaned in the same way, but some may need replacing. This could include ceiling tiles, plasterboard and carpet.  
  • Use a microfiber cloth and be sure to scrub well. DO NOT use a dry brush as this could release spores into the air. 
  • Wash fabric items (such as stuffed toys, clothes and linen) in a hot washing machine cycle.  
  • Be cautious about using bleach, as it may not prevent mould re-growth. Bleach can form dangerous fumes when mixed with other cleaning products.

What Does Mould Mean To People With Asthma?

Mould is bad for people with asthma. You can reduce your vulnerability to mould by:

1. Maintain Your Asthma Treatment In Line With Your Written Asthma Action Plan

If you are prescribed a preventer, take it regularly. This will help you keep your asthma under control and reduce your lungs’ sensitivity to mould. 

If you have lost your asthma medicine in an extreme weather event you can access emergency supplies. You will need to go to a chemist and speak with a pharmacist. 

Make sure you have a copy of your written Asthma Action Plan with you and know the four-steps to Asthma First Aid.  

2. Reduce or Manage Your Exposure to Mould

Assume all damp items have mould growing on them within one to two days of exposure. Try to clean up and dry out your home within this time.   

Air out rooms by opening all doors and windows and removing all wet materials.  

Assist the airing out process by using fans or air-conditioners on dry mode if available. 

Want More Information?

If you have any questions about asthma and mould, call us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462). 

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Last updated August 2022