There is an extensive literature reviewing and highlighting different health impacts of living with mould either knowingly or unknowingly.

The dominant mould related illness are respiratory symptoms and asthma (Rosenblum Lichtenstein et al., 2015 and Diette et al., 2008). The authors report that “chronic mold exposures induced changes in inflammatory and immune system responses to specific mold and mycotoxin challenges” with both mould hyphae (the cell mass) or the spores inducing an immune response. The best known indoor mould is called “black mould’ and this fungus, Stachybotrys chartarum causes symptoms such as runny nose, cough, headache and asthma. Indeed, this fungus is further linked to lung inflammation, pulmonary hemorrhage and wide-spread inflammatory response mainly due to mycotoxins. Hooper et al. (2009) discuss the fact that persons who are exposed to environmental moulds tend to show elevated levels of mycotoxins (trichothecenes, aflatoxins and ochratoxins) in bodily fluids.

Mould indoors is only part of the problem since over time, and due to air currents, cells breakdown and shear off, becoming airborne. This elevated particulate matter, is referred to as the PM2.5 and PM10 fraction. Mould affected homes show very sensitive correlations between elevated levels of particulate matter (air pollution) and visible and invisible mould (Jones, 2016). I addition, a recent WHO report (Annette Prüss-Üstün et al., 2016) covering the burden of disease from environmental risks lists those illnesses that result from issues highlighted by this tenancy. The summary table below from the WHO report details in broad form diseases and injuries as well as the main environmental intervention variables that should be addressed to reduce risk.

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