Can drying your laundry indoors make you sick from mould?
We are regularly called on by real estate agents and landlords to inspect properties with mould. In many cases, lifestyle factors such as drying wet clothing indoors turns out to be the source of the problem.
Drying wet clothing indoors can lead to high humidity and mould growth. In this example, we took swabs to measure the amount of DNA on surfaces to index microbial growth. Normal background levels generally show levels <100. In this example, the window sill next to the clothes horse showed over 30 times higher readings. Viable mould sampling showed what grew. Here is the result:
Research conducted by The Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit together with the Centre for Research on Indoor Climate and Health has recently examined the health and economic problems caused by our laundry drying habits. They found that using clothes horses or drying wet clothhing indoors releases large amounts of water into the indoor environment. This impacts on indoor air quality by raising the relative humidity. In turn, this added moisture presents ideal conditions for mould to grow! You can follow-up on the specifics of their research here.
The main findings include that indoor drying of wet clothing leads to:
- high mould spore counts
- increased risk of asthma and respiratory adverse health effects
- increased risk of dust mites
The take home message is that as much as 30% of indoor moisture can be attributed to clothes drying indoors. Try and dry wet clothing outdoors, on balconies or use the clothes dryer – just make sure that vents to the outside, and not straight into the roof-void, or you could contaminate that space as well.
Link to this blog post: https://www.biologicalhealthservices.com.au/?p=1828