It is essential to have your home tested for mould and mycotoxins after water damage because moulds have the potential to cause health problems. Moulds produce allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins) that, when inhaled or touched, can induce allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. If mould is a problem in your residence, you should remove it as soon as possible and address the water issue. Inspecting buildings for evidence of water damage and visible fungi as part of routine building maintenance is also recommended. In some instances, mycotoxin testing and mould toxicity testing may be beneficial.
Recent Research Highlights the Mould Problem and Importance of Testing
Despite being one of the most prevalent problems in residential properties in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere like Australia and New Zealand), there are no widely acknowledged methods for measuring mould. A recent paper from the literature focuses on this problem of measurement and reports on the results of a rigorous testing methodology conducted to quantify air and surface mould concentrations and particle counts in 71 rooms from 64 properties in North London, some of which had visible mould and others that did not.
The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of passive and active air sampling strategies (sampling from still and actively mixed air, respectively) to explain visible mould and to determine how home/room characteristics correlate with the obtained readings.
Using an Andersen sampler (both passively and actively) and a chemical procedure based on the quantification of the N- acetylhexosaminidase (NAHA) activity (actively), surface mould levels were measured. The mould levels were then correlated with the physical characteristics of the tested homes/rooms, which were gathered using survey sheets developed for this study. No independent variable was found to regulate all or the majority of the response variables, but a complex analysis suggested that the type of dwelling—house or apartment—could influence the levels of mould in the air and on surfaces. In addition, it has been demonstrated that a robust testing protocol should incorporate air and surface-based methods, and that an active air sampling strategy results in a more accurate assessment of airborne mould levels.
How Was The Study Done
Indoor mould growth is a significant problem with serious consequences for health and welfare.
The issue can be particularly severe in places where housing pressure is on the rise.
Numerous intricate environmental and biological factors contribute to the development of mould. The goal of the research is to gain knowledge about the minimum testing procedures for a complete evaluation of indoor mould levels.
To obtain a more thorough understanding of the distribution of mould within the examined rooms, surface sampling was carried out. Sterile cotton swabs were used to cleanly swab each region. Desks, tables, kitchen counters, and surfaces where all horizontal surfaces appeared to be extremely dusty/dirty were the most frequently observed clean surfaces.
Floors, shelves, and skirting boards were the most frequently observed dirty areas. The North London housing estate's non-water damaged homes were tested for m Ould using surface testing and air testing. These homes were constructed by and are managed by the same organization. 20% of the examined rooms contained visible mould. The most frequent moisture-related issue is condensation.
Overall, mouldy rooms contain more particles than non-mouldy rooms. Even in the tidiest rooms with no visible mould, surface samples taken from skirting boards revealed very high concentrations of mould in and hence were considered to be significant and often overlooked reservoirs in homes.
Windowsills and the tops of doors are two additional surfaces that occasionally had disproportionately high mould concentrations.
There is a correlation between visible mould (and other moisture-induced problems such as condensation) and measured air mould concentrations, relying solely on visual inspection is not always correct, and thus one should not rely solely on visual inspection to determine air mould concentrations, where accurate testing methods on surfaces and in the air are available. A number of accurate testing methods are available that can help to determine air mould concentrations on surfaces and in the air. These methods include surface testing, air sampling, and particle counting. Surface testing can help to determine the presence of mould on a surface by measuring the amount of moisture present. Air sampling can help to determine the concentration of mould in the air by measuring the amount of air that is present. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry can help to determine the presence of mould in a sample by measuring the amount of gas that is present.
Yasemin Didem Aktas, Ioanna Ioannou, Hector Altamirano, Morten Reeslev, Dina D'Ayala, Neil May, Melisa Canales, Surface and passive/active air mould sampling: A testing exercise in a North London housing estate, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 643, 2018, Pages 1631-1643, ISSN 0048-9697,