Breathe Easier at Home Part 2
In the previous article on how to make your home environment easier to breath in, we covered a few common pollutants that put your home’s air quality at risk. Now let’s move on to two more factors that are just as toxic to our health.
MOULD & MILDEWS
What: Aside from giving your home an unsightly appearance, they reproduce by sending tiny spores into the air—setting you up for a possible allergy reaction when you breathe them in, or when it propagates in moist areas. Many types of mould exist in the world, but there are only a few that can be harmful to your health. Even so, mould spores can be hazardous especially when they are present in abnormal quantities. Certain varieties also produce mycotoxins, which are harmful to your health. Some experts even claim that prolonged exposure can cause death! Whether this is true or not, mould and mildew are definitely not good for your health.
Where: These fungi grow anywhere that is moist and dark e.g. bathrooms, basements, and kitchens.
Solution: There are a few ways to cut down your exposure to mould and mildew, but the key is ensure adequate ventilation throughout the house. Another way is to pre-treat mould-prone areas such as bathroom ceilings with an anti-mould paint such as the Nippon Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White paint. Ms Carrie Chen, Marketing Manager from Nippon Paint Singapore, had this to say, “Applying the Nippon Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White is a fuss-free way of keeping mould at bay. It’s formulated with anti-mould properties with a broad spectrum of protection against most species of mould. Applying the anti-mould paint on surfaces help mitigate future mould or mildew growth…and provide additional benefits such as excellent coverage of minor flaws like cracks.” “However,” she cautioned, “while anti-mould paint is useful in mitigating the growth of the mould, it is not able to eliminate totally or block the moisture in the room if it is a case of water leakage or a badly ventilated environment.” To reduce the odds of mould and mildew taking up residence at home, you can also consider the following tips:
- Keep moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements well-ventilated.
- Use a dehumidifier where possible or install vent fans in the bathrooms; clean them on a daily basis to keep them running smoothly. Do check with HDB or your building management before installing one.
- Put a small dish of activated charcoal in affected areas to absorb excess moisture.
- Make sure your clothes are thoroughly dry before putting them away.
- Get rid of things that are already mouldy e.g. books and furniture.
- Check your refrigerator for any signs of mould or mildew, and throw out any spoiled food.
- Avoid putting plants in your bedroom; you may want to replace them with artificial ones instead.
You might think that these ‘hacks’ are common sense, but you will be surprised just how insidiously common indoor pollutants can be. There is no need to religiously scrub every inch of your home, but you do need to ensure that things are put away and properly cleaned so that movement is not obstructed or pose a danger to your family members. Doing so will not only prevent indoor pollutants from taking up residence in your home, it will help keep your loved ones healthier too!