Mould and Sleep Loss

Health Risks of Mould in the Home: Sleep Loss

sleep loss

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Do you suffer from sleep loss?

Did you know that one way to identify a mould problem in your home is watching your water bill? Leaks and damp surfaces are primed for mould growth, especially in areas that are prone to collection surfaces and warmth—think your bathrooms, kitchen and basement.

In addition to leaky pipes, many people don’t realize that mould can form in other disguised areas of your home such as on your mattress. Whether you sleep in a damp room, spill a glass of water that is absorbed into your mattress, or sweat a lot at night, your mattress may be primed for mould growth. Mattresses can include soft, porous materials such as cotton covers or foam comfort layers, any of which can absorb moisture both inside and outside of your mattress.

So, while you may know to check your pipes or understand that your basement, kitchen, and bathrooms are often culprits of leaks and potential areas of mould growth, keep in mind that places such as your bedroom may hide a serious mould problem.

Here are five ways indoor mould causes sleep loss

Sleep Loss

Mould impacts the air quality in your house by releasing glucans which can cause an inflammatory response to your respiratory system. In turn, it affects your ability to breathe effectively by prompting your body to go into a fix-it mode such as an increase in mucus production which builds up and makes it difficult to breathe.

Sleep Apnea

It is estimated that nearly 22-million people are affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous and potentially deadly problem wherein a person momentarily stops breathing. The result is gasping or snoring as the person’s brain tries to readjust breathing. Sleep apnea is caused by the blockage or narrowing of the airways that is often the result of congestion associated with mould.

Continue reading “Mould and Sleep Loss”

Air Pollution in Your Home

Pollution Indoors

air pollution
Adequate ventilation and good air distribution are important.

In our cities, the air we breathe is not clean. Coal plants and factories belch out harmful CO2, trucks and cars spew filthy exhaust fumes. Many families in our cities rely on coal and wood fires for heating and cooking. On the outskirts of the city, cows and other farm animals add methane to the mix. Sometimes just looking out your window at all the pollution may be enough to make you stay indoors.

Staying indoors

The degradation of indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor pollution. Pollutants can build up more in the much smaller closed up area of your home. They may not be ventilated to the outside.

You may think indoor air pollution does not apply to you. In addition, you don’t live near a highway, farm or industrial plant.  You don’t smoke and you don’t use a wood-burning stove. However, the air you breathe may still be polluted.

Some very surprising sources cause indoor air pollution:

  • Your house itself.
  • The land on which your house is constructed.

Furthermore, we spend a large portion of our time indoors. Indoor pollution can then becomes a serious concern.

Side effects of air pollution

Some side effects of indoor pollution is maybe a little worse than the common cold. However, pollution can lead to coma, lung cancer and death if you are exposed over a long period. Continue reading “Air Pollution in Your Home”

A Smelly Shower

Smells in your shower

shower

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Often what happens in a shower, while the tiler is tiling the floor, is that excess tile adhesive and grout is washed down the shower drain. As a result, some of this grout may be lodged somewhere in the drainage system causing a blockage.

The following may have happened:

  • Either the trap or drainage pipes were damaged during an attempt to unblock the drain.
  • Grout is lodged in the trap and drain pipes.
  • The stub stack vent valve may be below the level of the highest plumbing fixtures on the drainage system in the bathroom.  As a result, the lowest fixture, such as the shower P-trap water seal may be syphoned out of the shower trap.

Of course, a combination of all three may occur as well. Unless the shower trap or drain pipes are damaged, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself.

Mould in the P-trap

If your shower drain smells musty, you most likely have active mould growing underneath the drain cover. But, if your drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage, you’re either smelling bacteria from a clogged or dirty drain or sewer gases that have escaped from your drainage pipes.

As part of their metabolic process, active mould spores release a gas that has a distinct musty smell. In addition, the gas can be dangerous. If inhaled, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Continue reading “A Smelly Shower”

Air quality

pollution

Pollution Indoors

 

pollution
Adequate ventilation in your house is the biggest single defence against indoor air pollution!

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Pollution

In our cities, the air we breathe is not clean. Coal plants and factories belch out harmful CO2, trucks and cars spew filthy exhaust fumes. Many families in our cities rely on coal and wood fires for heating and cooking. On the outskirts, cows and other farm animals add methane to the mix. Sometimes just looking out your window at all the pollution may be enough to make you stay indoors.

Staying indoors

The degradation of indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air pollution. Pollutants can build up more in the closed much smaller area of your home than open areas because they may not be released to the outside.

You may think indoor air pollution does not apply to you. Furthermore, you do not live near a highway, farm or industrial plant.  You do not smoke and you do not use a wood-burning stove. However, the air you breathe may still be polluted.

Some very surprising sources cause indoor air pollution:

  • Your house itself.
  • The land on which your house is constructed.

In addition, most people spend a large portion of our time indoors. Indoor pollution can then becomes a serious concern.

Side effects of pollution

Some side effects of indoor air pollution may be a little worse than the common cold. But, long-term exposure can lead to coma, lung cancer and death.

The likelihood is that you encounter at least one harmful chemical in your home every day. Even if this is not the case you may not yet be safe, e.g. using spray paint indoors can release high levels of air pollutants in a very short time.

For instance, chemicals leaching out of your carpet will, over time, severely affect the air quality.

Listed below are some most common causes of indoor air pollution:

Cigarette smoke

Cigarette smoke carries many toxins. It remains within contained spaces and can cause many medical problems for humans and pets. If you or someone in your family smokes do it outside the home.

Biological contaminants

Biological contaminants include bacteria, mould, mildew, viruses, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches and pollen. Many of these are carried into the house or grow in damp, warm environments. When you don’t open windows and doors after using showers and baths mould will form on walls and ceilings. Furthermore, prevent condensation of windows and walls in your bedroom by keeping a window open while you sleep.

Combustion

Unvented gas heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces and gas stoves emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and small particles. Therefore, be careful when using solid fuels like wood and coal for heating and cooking. Make sure the room or house is well ventilated.

Household products

Paint, varnishes, hobby products, air fresheners and cleaning products release organic chemicals. Therefore, be careful with their use and storage.

Pesticides

Furthermore, up to 80% of exposure to pesticides happens indoors. Many homes have pesticides in indoor air at measurable levels. In addition, the potential harm from pollutants is dependent on individual sensitivity. The elderly, the young and those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible.

Therefore, ventilation plays the important role in how these pollutants harm you. If fresh air frequently circulates throughout the area, pesticides won’t accumulate and reach dangerous levels. Open windows and doors when the weather is nice, and especially after a lightning storm when the air is cleaner.

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