After encountering a life-threatening experience, Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello, human rights, civil rights and democracy activist; and founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy(KIND), has drawn public attention to the danger that mould poses to human health.
Abiola-Costello, the daughter of the late Nigerian hero and heroine of Democracy, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola and Kudirat Abiola, stated in a post on Facebook: “I was given a hotel room that had water damage and likely mould while attending a conference and although I was able to change the room after 48 hours, the damage to my lungs had already been done.
“Four weeks later, I’m still coughing but at least I no longer have a fever. And I’m still here. And so thankful for my husband, kids and sisters who took such good care of me.
“So apologies for the late New Year greetings. I have been trying to recover. My body may have been embattled but the experience helped clear my mind.
“Going into 2020, I feel that it is time for the orchestra to play. No more lone ranger moves. Now is the time we move like a force of nature that we become when we link our energies and strike for the prize.
“Here’s to us and all we’ll do together this year.”
Exposures to damp and mouldy environments have been linked to several health challenges and millions of deaths every year, yet many people know little or nothing about this silent killer.
Research has also shown that if one is exposed for too long to black mould, the spores can shut down the organs, incapacitate the immune system, and damage the brain, thus resulting in death.
To know why mould is so troubling and what should be done if you find it in your house or anywhere, here are five facts that you should know about mould:
Mould grows quickly: It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mould to grow and spread in wet, warm conditions.
Mould is undetectable: Excessive moisture behind walls, under floors or in cabinets or closets are perfect breeding grounds for mould. This is a mould that you often can’t see or smell but it can make you and your family very sick.
Mould issues are expensive: Mould damage can cost as much as $10,000, and most insurance carriers will not cover the cost of mould removal.
Know the symptoms of mould exposure: They include severe body aches, joint pain, nausea and chronic, sometimes serious respiratory issues. These symptoms can develop quickly or over time.
Know the people at risk: The very young, the very old and people with compromised immune systems are most likely to be affected by mould. Mould can even be deadly among these groups of people.
So, how do you know if mould is present in your home? Experts say that you can often see or smell it. “Mould usually has a green or black colour and it smells musty or earthy, sort of like the forest floor deep in the woods.”
Experts recommend an antimicrobial – for example, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or baking soda mixed with water – to kill mould or stop it from growing. “Spray one of these onto the mould area and remove with a scrub brush or disposable rag while wearing protective coverings such as face masks, gloves and shoe covers.”