As the winter sets in, more people start drying their clothes indoors. However, as the Asthma Society of Ireland has warned that many asthmatics could be damaging their health by doing so.
“Research has shown drying wet clothes indoors can raise moisture levels by up to 30%. Moist environments encourage the growth of mould which can release ‘seeds’ called spores”, explains Averil Power, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland. “These often invisible spores can trigger breathing problems in people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.”
The Asthma Society of Ireland has teamed up with Dyson Ireland to alert at risk asthmatics to the importance of managing their indoor air quality.
People whose asthma is more likely to be triggered by fungal and mould spores include: Babies and children; Elderly people; People with existing skin problems such as eczema; People with a weakened immune system; People with severe asthma.
“Where possible dry your washing outside, or in a tumble dryer in a well-ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living areas,” Power recommends.
The Asthma Society has also issued the following tips to help protect against mould in their homes.
- Try not to dry clothes indoors, store clothes in damp cupboards or pack clothes too tightly in wardrobe
- Ensure your house is well-ventilated by opening windows regularly
- Use extractor fans or open windows to increase ventilation from showers, appliances and cooking
- Wash mould off hard surfaces using a water, vinegar and soap mix
- Consider using a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air
- Consider using a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture
- Keep air conditioner and heating filters clean and dry
- Fix leaks and moisture problems and keep things dry and clean in places where mould tends to grow such as showers and under sinks.
For more information, check out www.asthma.ie for ‘Asthma Friendly Homes guidelines’, sponsored by Dyson.
The Asthma Society of Ireland also offers a free Asthma Adviceline where you can speak on the phone with an asthma nurse specialist about making your home asthma friendly or any other issues.
Freephone 1800 44 54 64 to book an appointment.