What is Aspergillus?
Aspergillus is a fungi with many different species including Aspergillus niger, the black mould found in damp places like the corner of a bath. It rarely causes infections, but exposure to its spores and the chemicals it releases can trigger breathing problems in susceptible people.
It spreads by:
Growing in damp places and on organic waste like decomposing food or plants, in bins and compost heaps for example.
Releasing spores into the air, which can be inhaled into the lungs.
Hands transporting fungi to damp surfaces, where new colonies can grow.
The symptoms are:
Aggravation of breathing problems like asthma.
If you get infected, fungi can grow inside the lungs or sinuses, causing chronic coughs and fatigue, blocked nose and headaches.
In rare cases, the infection can travel through the bloodstream and invade the heart and brain of particularly vulnerable people, which can be fatal.
How to avoid Aspergillus:
Remove any mould you can see with a bleach-based cleaner like Domestos Bleach Spray or Domestos Extended Germ-Kill. If large growths return, try and sort out the dampness that's causing them.
Don't store food waste indoors for long periods. Wrap it up before putting it in the bin and try to avoid disturbing it in a way that could release spores into the air.
Keep waste bins clean.
People with a respiratory illness or with weakened immunity should avoid handling soil, compost and other decomposing plant matter.
How to stop mould from coming back
Keep the bathroom well ventilated with a fan or by opening the window, and hang wet towels after to use, so moisture escapes as quickly as possible.