WHAT IS MOULD? DEFINITION Mould fungi are everywhere. They form an important ecological component in our natural environment, because they break down organic substances and thus make them accessible to plants as a source of nutrients. They usually reproduce asexually through spores that are released into the air. In the growth phase, the spores germinate and form cell threads, so-called hyphae. Their entirety is called mycelium. The mould fungus spores, which become visible due to their colouring and their occurrence in large numbers e.g. as mould stains, then quickly colonise new breeding grounds again and multiply explosively under suitable conditions. “The use of mineral and capillary-active products results in fast-drying surfaces which remove the mould‘s basis of existence. It is as simple as that!” Mould fungi occur in different forms. The presence of moisture and organic material determines the intensity of infestation.
k e i m my c a l ® - s y s t e m – effective prevention, sust a i n a b l e remedia t i o n 5 HEALTH RISKS Microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria are a natural part of our environment and are normally tolerated by humans without noticeable reactions. The size of the spores is usually between 3 and 20 µm. They are therefore so small that they can be inhaled by humans or transported over long distances with the air. Spores, mycotoxins (the metabolic products of moulds) and other mould constituents can be harmful to the human body. If the mould concentration exceeds a certain level, serious health problems for the human being can occur. An increased presence of mould fungus indoors can cause a number of serious diseases. Respiratory diseases, asthma, allergies, susceptibility to infections, but also fatigue, headaches, skin and eye irritations are only some of the health problems that can be caused by mould. Health burdens should not be underestimated. EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT To evaluate the health risks resulting from microbial infestation, various factors have to be considered. It is not enough to include just the size of the infested area or the type and use of the contaminated rooms to assess the risk. Rather, the type of mould, the complete building situation and the constitution of the persons affected are also decisive in order to make statements about the actual health risk.