Allergies

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Cladosporium

What is Cladosporium?

Cladosporium is one of the most common groups of fungi found in homes. It appears as a dark-green, brown or black layer on surfaces and can trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to it, especially those who regularly suffer from hay fever and asthma.

It spreads by:

  • Growing on damp surfaces, like food waste and decaying plants outside, and on wood and fabrics indoors.

  • Releasing airborne spores that let out musty-smelling chemicals which trigger allergic reactions.

The symptoms are:

  • Asthma attacks, including wheezing and breathing difficulties.

  • Hay fever attack with itchy, watering eyes, sneezing and a blocked nose.

  • Raised temperature, chills, headache, cough and chest tightness, which will get better in around 12 hours. With regular suffering, some people develop chronic fatigue and lose weight.

Ways to help avoid Cladosporium:

Disinfect surfaces where you can see the dark, visible layer of fungus with a bleach-based cleaning product, such as Domestos Multipurpose Thick Bleach

Try to reduce the number of damp areas in your home – dry off the bathroom floor after you've showered and let your shower drain properly. Dry off kitchen sinks and draining boards after use.

Don't store food waste indoors for long periods of time. Wrap up any food before throwing it away, and avoid disturbing it in a way that could release harmful spores into the air.

Keep waste bins clean by washing regularly with bleach diluted in water.

People with asthma or reduced immunity should try to avoid places with visible mould, or coming into contact with rotting waste.

How to remove mould from towels

Pop them in the washing machine, add one or two cups of white vinegar and turn to the hottest setting. Then wash them again with detergent and hang them out to dry.

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