Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Like everyone else, we use cookies. You can learn more about their use by reading our privacy policy.

Mold allergies: how much mold exposure is harmful?

In a previous article, we explored the various types of indoor air pollution that can affect our health. One of the most significant pollutants is microorganisms, specifically molds.

A national campaign in France called "Housing," conducted by the Observatoire de la Qualité de l'Air Intérieur (OQAI) between October 2003 and December 2005, assessed nearly 600 residential dwellings. The results revealed that approximately 40% of the housing stock was contaminated by mold, which equates to over 9 million dwellings throughout France. Furthermore, more than 610,000 of these dwellings had visible mold contamination exceeding 1m². These findings underscore the prevalence of mold contamination in residential settings and highlight the importance of addressing this issue to promote healthy indoor air quality.

Source: Ademe

What is mold?

Mold is a living organism, specifically a microscopic fungus that often grows when moisture is present and causes a chemical reaction where it grows.

And mold is often noticeable by its black or green patches as well as a musty smell. mold emits spores in large quantities. The spores are the pollen of the mold, i.e. particles that spread through the air and allow the mold to grow. in the air and allow the mold to grow. Spores are small, in the micrometre range, and move easily through the air.

Spores spread through the air

To get into your home, spores use humans, including deposition on clothing, and all other available "vehicles" such as drafts and animals. Once in your home, molds use these spores again to proliferate throughout your home. The spores grow quickly, especially in moist environments, and are very resilient. These spores are a real air pollutant, which is why it's generally considered These spores are a real air pollutant, which is why it's generally considered that molds are one of the main sources of indoor air pollution.

The causes of indoor mold allergies

Mold needs moisture to grow. Certain situations are favorable to them:

  • Flooding
  • Leaks from the roof, basement, or pipes
  • Waterproofing problems that prevent the evacuation of accumulated moisture
  • Inadequate ventilation that hinders the escape of moisture and leads to condensation

These molds are most often found on walls, drywall, furniture, and wallpaper, where they can degrade these materials over time. It's important to address mold growth promptly to prevent further damage to the home and to avoid the negative health effects associated with mold allergies.

The effects of mold on health and allergies

  • Concerning the allergic risk, the health effects associated with fungal exposure by inhalation relate to asthma and allergic rhinitis. The symptoms observed when an allergic reaction is triggered result The symptoms observed when an allergic reaction is triggered are the result of a specific immune response with the production of antibodies. The threshold of allergic reactivity varies from one individual to another and the severity of the allergic reaction isn't proportional to the dose of exposure.
  • The toxic or inflammatory risk is related to exposure to mold components (fungal spores, β-glucans, and other components of the mycelium cell wall) and/or their metabolic products (mycotoxins, VOCs). The effects observed are of variable severity, either acute or chronic. It isn't always easy to distinguish allergic effects from inflammatory effects called "non-allergic" corresponding to identical symptoms but involving a specific immune response in the case of an allergic reaction, and non-specific in the case of an inflammatory reaction.
  • The infectious risk associated with inhalation exposure to molds in indoor environments, i.e. the multiplication of the fungus in the host organism associated with the appearance of symptoms, mainly concerns the development of opportunistic fungal infections. The development of these pathologies depends mainly on the immune status of the host: state of immunodepression related to pathology or the taking of drug treatments.

mold allergies

Mold can therefore have adverse effects on your health. To diagnose you, your doctor may ask you to identify the variety(s) of mold present in your home. There are very many varieties of molds. Here are the most common in mainland France:

  • Alternaria is very common (especially in summer); it gives colonies ranging from grey to black, rather fluffy. It parasitizes decaying plants.
  • Aspergillus is found everywhere. Depending on the species (there are nearly 300), the colonies range from white to grey through shades of yellow, green, and blue. It is found in soil, compost, and organic debris.
  • Cladosporium is the most abundant of the molds. Its colonies, more or less brownish, range from dark olive green to black and readily grow in the soil, on food, window frames, textiles, painted surfaces, and even on dying plants.

Precautions to take when mold appears in your home

If you have identified mold in your home, the first thing you need to know is what is causing it: damp? Water leakage? Try to treat the source of the problem.

When it comes to removing mould, if the affected area is small, you can remove it by scrubbing, using an all-purpose cleaner, diluted soap or detergent. Dry well after cleaning. Keep hard-to-clean objects away from the area. If the mold covers a large area, more than 1m² for example, you may need to call in a specialist building moisture treatment company.

How to clean up mold?

When cleaning up your mold, be careful not to add pollutants to pollutants!

  • Avoid bleach, as it is toxic to you and bad for your furniture.
  • Do not use fungicides unless advised by a specialist.
  • Avoid encouraging the spread of spores in the air. For example, do not break the mold support, especially if the contamination is severe.

It's important to pay attention to mold and not leave it lying around. Take care of it!

Preventing mold in your home

Some tips to make sure you never run into a nasty surprise:

  • Fix leaks as soon as you can.
  • Use a hood in the kitchen.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 50% in summer and between 30 and 35% in winter.
  • Try to keep your home clean and dry, check the humidity fairly regularly. Think of airing your home, or even equip yourself with a dehumidifier.

Spores can withstand extreme conditions, be vigilant!

How to prevent mold and polluted air in general?

Mold, humidity, and pollution... all contribute to unhealthy air. Why should you breathe polluted and dangerous air when you are at home? TEQOYA has answered this question by creating a range of air purifiers based on negative ions that will purify up to 99% of polluting particles. They consume virtually nothing and make no noise. These ionizers will help you feel better in your home, without the clutter. Your TEQOYA purifier will help you fight the spread of mold, by limiting the airborne movement of spores. Preventing yourself from polluted air means taking care of your health.

More information on the best purifier comparator.

Click here to see our products


Information on air quality and news from TEQOYA

How does an air ionizer work?

November 27th 2021

Natural environments are rich in negative ions. This is precisely the principle on which the air ionizer is based on. However, do you know how this technology manages to capture the pollution particles contained in the indoor air to purify your home?


Are air purifiers effective against viruses, especially the coronavirus COVID-19

October 20th 2020
#Virus and microorganismes   #L'essentiel  

In December 2019, a respiratory virus of the Coronavirus family appeared in the Wuhan region of China and has now spread to all continents.


What is eco-responsibility?

October 27th 2021

Purifying indoor air while protecting your health and the planet is possible! Say goodbye to filters and make way for negative ions: choose an eco-responsible air purifier that will easily reduce energy and resource consumption.


Read all our articles