Respiratory Problems


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.

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