Why drying your wet laundry inside could be damaging your health

There are solutions though

Rachel Hosie
Monday 12 June 2017 14:35 BST

When you live in a city, space is at a premium. Those of us who don’t have gardens, patios or even balconettes are forced to grow flowers in window boxes, decamp to the park to sunbathe and turn our lounges into laundry rooms.

And even if you have outdoor space, in the UK it’s rare to have warm and dry enough weather for your clothes to dry out on the line.

But it turns out drying your clothes inside could pose more of a health risk than we may have thought.

The Asthma Society of Ireland have issued a warning about doing so:

“Moist environments encourage the growth of mould which can release ‘seeds’ called spores", Pheena Kenny, from the society, told RTÉ.

“The spores can cause allergic reactions in some people. Mould and fungal spores are often invisible to the naked eye.

“Normally, when people breathe in these spores, their immune system helps get rid of them by coughing or sneezing. If you aren’t sensitive to mould, you may never even experience a reaction.

“But for some people with asthma who are sensitive to mould spores, it can act as a trigger, causing asthma symptoms to get worse.”

Kenny explains that Aspergillus fumigatus spore can cause lung infections.

It’s not just asthma sufferers who are at risk though - the elderly, babies and children, eczema sufferers and those with weak immune systems should also heed the advice.

The worst months of the year are January and February, followed by August and September, according to Kenny.

So what can you do?

“Where possible dry washing outside, or in a tumble dryer in a well-ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living areas” Kenny says.

“Mould and mildew can grow in damp and humid places, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements.”

His other tips include:

  • Washing mould off hard surfaces using a mix of water, vinegar and soap
  • Not storing clothes in damp cupboards or packing them too tightly in wardrobes
  • Opening windows as often as you can to keep your home well-ventilated - especially after showers, cleaning, cooking and using the dishwasher.

It could make a huge difference to your health.

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