You might think that wallpaper is a thing of the past, but there is a lot more wallpaper around than you might guess. It is still found in many older houses and establishments. If you have ever worked in a building where many people seem to get sick at once, the cause could be the toxic mold from old wallpaper. After some research, it is believed that about 40% of buildings in America and 25% of houses can carry fungi created by wallpaper that can be very harmful to you and your family’s health.
One such study found that mold growth on wallpaper just needs to be inhaled and it can cause some pretty serious health reactions. Much of this fungus can be found indoors and is caused by mold growth due to moisture. In another study that was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, three different types of fungus that were found living inside the buildings. Occupants can start to feel sick after spending a lot of time in buildings, but might not be able to find the root cause. The studies suggest that the cause may be the growth of mold that is found thriving underneath wallpaper.
Dr. Jean-Denis Bailly, who is a professor of food cleanliness at the National Veterinary School of Toulouse in France, found in the study that these toxins can be found in the air attached to dust particles, which can be breathed in, causing someone to have respiratory illnesses. It is also believed that the problem worsens in energy-efficient homes because there is less ventilation since the home is sealed up to save energy.
The three types of fungus, Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum can cause health problems such as breathing, coughing, and can be harmful to both people and pets. Children and elderly, especially if they already suffer from asthma or allergies, are especially susceptible to becoming sick from breathing in these toxins found on wallpaper.
So, what is the solution?
Unfortunately, those who suffer from mold-induced illnesses may take some time to improve. It is important to discuss treatment options with your primary care physician. If you find that your home has mold, you can either clean it yourself or call in a professional. If you opt to clean it yourself, it is suggested that you not use bleach, since this can make the problem worse. Instead, use vinegar to wipe the area. You can then wipe the area with baking soda to make sure it is clean.
Other options may include using an Ozone Generator, but you must be cautious if you go this route. It may require you and your family to leave the house for about 20 minutes as it is not safe to stay in the same room while the generator is doing its job.
The first step to fixing a problem is to figure out what it is and how to solve it. If you have found mold in your home or your office, you are on the right track by identifying the problem.
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