Toxic Mould

Yesterday I stumbled upon some shocking news.

Actress Brittany Murphy, who died in December 2009 at the age of 29  (supposedly from a drug related or eating disorder) actually passed away from pneumonia – brought on by toxic mould found in her LA mansion. Britney’s husband Simon Monjack passed away five months later reportedly also from the same thing. Apparently they had a persistent water leak in their home, which lead to the formation of toxic mould.

So yesterday, I was turning my bedroom upside-down because we too, have a serious mould problem in our apartment.  This is what persistent rain and leaks can do to homes in Cape Town. South Africans are not well educated on the health hazards of mould – yet many live with it for years without doing anything about it. These mould spores can be released into the air that we inhale.  Young children and people with immune deficiencies become seriously ill.  Over time, a perfectly healthy person will develop upper respiratory conditions such as sinusitis and bronchitis.  Other symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and coughing.

When these mould spores attach themselves to our lungs, the result can be fatal. The best thing to do is to make sure waterproofing is carried out on the outside of the building where the leak is, and then to wait for the wall to dry out – and then tackle waterproofing the inside of the house.  When you see black mould, wear a mask and gloves – and scrub with Sterri-Nappy or Bleach diluted in water.  And most importantly, use an Ozone machine to neutralize the spores if you are ripping up mouldy carpets or wallpaper, as the spores are released into the air the minute you start moving things around.

Actress Brittany Murphy