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Understanding the Link Between Mold and Asthma

One in every nine Australians has asthma – that’s around 2.7 million people experiencing breathing difficulties, who are at risk of having an attack that could have devastating consequences. 

Many people don’t understand the link between air quality in the home; and mold, in particular, and how an air purifier can help reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack, saving Australian families from thousands of dollars in medical expenses and potentially devastating consequences. 

The estimated cost per asthma sufferer in Australia in 2015 was $11,740, according to Asthma Australia – this includes disability, health care costs, loss of productivity, loss in wages, income support for careers of people with asthma, and premature death, the cost of which is course, immeasurable. 

There were 38,792 hospitalizations due to asthma in 2017-18, and 44% of those hospitalized were children aged under 14. There were 441 asthma-related deaths in 2016. 

Air pollution is a major contributor to asthma-related hospitalizations and mortalities, according to Debra Kay, Chief Executive Officer of Asthma Australia.

Mold, pollen and smoke contribute to adverse air quality in the home and increase the likelihood of asthma. 

What we have found in our sixteen years of supplying air purifiers to households all over Australia is that most people don’t understand that damp conditions and mold in the home can contribute airborne mold, which can trigger asthma symptoms, as mold produces millions of airborne spores that are easily inhaled.

Between one quarter to one-third of the respiratory health outcomes observed in New Zealand can be explained by indoor dampness, attributable to cold, draughty and poorly established buildings, it would be reasonable to assume that this statistic would be similar in Australia too. 

According to Nicole Bijlsma, building biologist and founder of the Australian College of Environmental Studies, water-damaged buildings contain a ‘chemical stew’ of airborne bioaerosols and byproducts, which attract house dust mites and pests like cockroaches, rodents and termites, all of which may contribute to adverse health effects.  

Mold doesn’t need to be seen to be present, and it is as much a problem in new buildings as it is in older homes, as they are built with energy efficiency in mind, with lack of adequate ventilation that can lead to mold growth. 

Prevention of moisture in the home and eliminating the source is key – adequate ventilation, ensuring any water damage is cleaned up within 24-48 hours, and allowing for lots of natural sunlight. 

If mold or any other factors impacting air quality in your home are triggering asthma symptoms for someone in your household, our air purifiers can make a significant difference to their quality of life, with most of our customers noticing an improvement in their symptoms and quality of life overnight. All of our air purifiers have a medical-grade HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of airborne particles, including mold spores, and dust, from the air – dust is food for mold, so it’s very important to extract this from the air too. 

If you’d like to hear about the difference other asthma sufferers have noticed with an air purifier, check out the Wilson Family Case Study and Hutchison Family Testimonial.

  1. Asthma Australia –
  2. Senate Inquiry: The impacts of health on Air Quality in Australia – submission by Asthma Australia, 8 March 2013
  4.  p65, Healthy Home, Healthy Family by Nicole Bijlsma – Founder of the Australian College of Environmental Studies