Consequences of working in mouldy room seriously underestimated

Employees in the construction industry, demolition work, carpentry and furniture industries who call in sick with complaints such as common colds, muscle pain or flu. It seems innocent enough, but could also be a precursor for a serious danger: mycotoxins.

Moulds produce toxic substances

In a damp environment, building materials such as wood, plasterboard and insulation are a source of mould. However, moulds remain active even on new materials that have been stored in a damp environment. These moulds produce toxic substances, otherwise known as mycotoxins. These are continuously being emitted, but are released in dangerous concentrations when building materials are being processed, removed or demolished.

Incapacity for work as the result

When inhaling, seemingly innocent health complaints can occur; but in the case of longer-term exposure, the consequences are more serious and sometimes also permanent. Even more research needs to be conducted, but allergy, asthma, reduced lung, kidney and liver function to even brain disorders and psychological problems are associated with the inhalation of mycotoxins. Disorders that once again result in long-term absenteeism and in some cases even incapacity for work.

Always use respiratory protection

When handling building materials that have been affected by moisture, it is best to wear respiratory protection in the form of an easy-to-clean silicone half-face mask at all times. A full-face mask is even better. When carrying out intense demolition work, it is best to use a fresh air fan unit with a replaceable Tyvek® fresh air cap. For filter cartridges, it’s best to use ABE1 gas/vapour filters combined with a P3 filter cartridge. An FFP3 disposable mask doesn’t offer adequate protection.

Want to know more or need advice?

If you want to know more about working in mouldy rooms or are seeking advice, give our specialists a call on +31 (0)88 130 6030, or use the contact form below.

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