Blog post by Deirdre Lodge
NO-ONE should be expected to live with damp and mould, there are thousands of different moulds that are quite harmless to the human body but there are also moulds in the home that can cause life changing affects both Neurologically and physically to the body and in some cases death.
I wanted to share my experience and knowledge of living with damp and mould with you all in the hope that I am able to educate and bring about awareness that damp and mould in your home will harm you. There are those that are especially vulnerable to damp and mould which include the very young, the elderly, those with lung conditions, Asthma, COPD, TB, Cystic Fibrosis, those on long term medication and those that have no immune response, these are but a few, even the healthy will, over a long period become sick.
Mould in your home should not be there, if it needs to be removed this should be done by professionals wearing a HEPA filtered face mask, there is a new British standard to safe guarding the public against mould BS 1600:19 and a BS Pas 64 which came out this year, landlords and local authorities should be abiding by these rules.
It is often a false economy that Landlords and Local Authorities are using fungiside paint to treat the damp and mould in your home, this has been proved to be of little use and eventually will reappear, in turn throwing the Tax payers money down the drain, also leaving the tenant with a false sense of security, I would like to mention that Mycotoxin spores will contaminate your home, carpets, books, beds and bedding, pillows and duvet anything that cannot be washed at 60 degrees, it is advised by experts that most possessions unless washable will have to be discarded (Hazard) if this is not the case you are contaminating the home and yourself again.
Mould is a global burden and there have been advances against Aspergillus (mould) over the years, the World Health Organization this year saw 375 leading clinicians and Scientists from 39 countries meet to discuss the affects of mould.
Global action fund for fungal infections GAFFI was launched in London and New York on the 6th November 2013 which was brought to the attention of our Government. GAFFI is about raising awareness and funding for the need to diagnose and treat fungal (mould) infections. Aspergillus mould, which sadly has invaded my lungs is prominent, as a result TB and the severe Asthma suffer will also contribute to the 1,350.000 deaths every year around the world. Aids, cancer and heart disease are all illnesses that are highlighted for public awareness but Aspergillus (mould) has no such standing, and yet 150 people die every hour from mould infections and many more like myself are left severely disabled and fighting for life, at present there is no cure.
It is imperative that those that are living with mould should respect the dangers the Mycotoxin spores can have on your health, Mycotoxins are invisible, spores can be released from simply walking on contaminated floors even a draught will send thousands of spores into the air to simply find its host and lodge into the sinuses or lungs. Through my own experience I have had to endure the lack of knowledge from GPs, Hospitals and even Radiologists who would prefer to say you have a chest infection or Asthma, with mould infections especially Aspergillus it is important to get a diagnosis early and to start Anti fungal medication, fact is without a diagnosis your life expectancy is 5 yrs, this is the case for me.
There are thousands who like me were not aware that living with mould could harm us, on my positive diagnosis I still could not find any information regarding Mould Aspergillus in any Hospitals or GP surgeries, I did take it upon myself to get this awareness out in my local area but found very few were willing to listen. I met many times with my MP Jackie Doyle Price who has supported me throughout my campaign even to the extent of getting a letter from the Secretary of State to define what category Damp and Mould levels had on health, it has been categorized as a hazard on the same par as Asbestos.
For those of you who are living with damp and mould be aware that those susceptible will gradually suffer symptoms of short term memory loss, hair loss, vision impairment, bleeding gums, impaired mobility skills ( tremors both arms and legs), Depression, constant flu like symptoms, chronic fatigue, Fybro Myalgia has also been linked to the mould sufferer, irritation of the eyes and throat, coughing and wheezing, I experienced these in the early stages of my mould symptoms. Those that I have listed as vulnerable will more likely become increasingly breathless, and suffer constant lung infections whilst the mould spores take hold, need I say more.
Sadly this is my last chance to get the awareness out, it is a very lonely illness and I hope anyone who is living with mould will take heed. GPs and the NHS are ignoring all the evidence, demand that you are taken seriously because it is you who will suffer.
Lastly I would like to say, keep well, be vigilant and if you know of anybody living with mould please help them to fight their corner.
Mrs Deirdre Lodge / awareness campaigner