The presence of mould and bacteria in indoor spaces has become a major concern in Canada, as it carries serious risks for the health of the occupants of a place. The inhalation of the particles and mould spores retained in the ducts of household appliances causes many respiratory illnesses. Here are 6 respiratory diseases that can be caused by contaminated ducts.
Contaminated ducts and respiratory illnesses
The ducts of your household appliances, such as those of poorly maintained washers and dryers, can quickly get clogged with mould and dust that then spread through the air, especially due to the venting of hot and contaminated air inside a home. Mould related to moisture in the ducts of household appliances proliferates and colonizes the unit and quickly finds itself in the ambient air.
Many of these mould spores produce mycotoxins, which are metabolites or by-products of mould. These particles are recognized as being highly toxic to both humans and animals. Indeed, over time, these toxins will weaken the immune system and lead to sudden allergies as well as trouble breathing.
The most common symptoms of diseases related to the contamination of the ducts of household equipment are the following:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
- Strong, dry cough
- Nasal congestion,
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble concentrating
When it comes to breathing problems in particular, the mould spores, dust, and germs that contaminate ducts may also increase allergy symptoms such as wheezing, trouble breathing, and shortness of breath. Children, the elderly, people with immunosuppression, and people who recently had surgery are usually the most likely to experience health problems caused by mould spores. If the mould problem isn’t treated at its source, over time, the contaminated ducts can lead to certain serious conditions such as:
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Allergic alveolitis
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
Getting rid of the mould in your ducts
If you have one or more symptoms of a respiratory illness, in addition to consulting a doctor as soon as possible, you absolutely must try to determine the cause of your health problems so as not to make the situation worse. The cause of the presence of mould can be found in the ducts of your appliances and may be due in particular to the presence of moisture. Once the presence of mould in your ducts has been noted, it’s recommended to do a big cleaning according to the recommendations of professionals and to replace – if possible – any items that are overly contaminated with infected material or likely to reproduce the same problem. Avoid producing any dust during the cleaning, and clean your filters and ducts using good disinfectant products that are safe for your health.
The recommended cleaning method varies according to the extent of the contamination and the severity of the damage caused to the ducts by the mould. Before starting any cleaning of a contaminated duct, it’s necessary to take a few precautions; in particular, make sure that you can ensure your respiratory protection. To tackle mould problems without risking infecting yourself again, it may be necessary to rely on a company that specializes in cleaning these types of elements, that is familiar with the problems related to humidity and mould, and that has items to protect themselves as well as the appropriate equipment for long-term decontamination.