Father suffers lung disease after drying clothes inside the house.

Craig Mather, 43, from Bolton endured serious lung issues because of mould spores that appeared from drying clothes on the radiator in his living room. “I began to recuperate just when I was diagnosed to have constant pulmonary aspergillosis and was recommended the particular drugs to fight fungal infections,” said the father of three children.

Specialists warn that drying inside can be the reason for genuine wellbeing risks. The clothing, set on a radiator, can bring the humidity level up in the home for up to 30 percent and make perfect conditions for the development of mould spores.

“One bunch of washed clothing contains just about two litres of water that is discharged into the room. Most of us are immune to contamination that develop in these wet conditions, or have a body that can battle the disease.

Nonetheless, patients with asthma may experience issues with coughing and breathing difficulties, and in individuals with weakened immune system, for example, tumour patients treated with chemotherapy and patients with AIDS and immune system ailments, parasites can bring about pulmonary aspergillosis.

It is a condition that can bring about serious and deadly lung damage, “said Professor David Denning who advises the clothing to be dried outside, in a tumble dryer or in a well-ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living room.

We were chatting in the MOMs office about those people who live in a unit where strata doesn’t allow you to dry laundry on the balcony. It would be difficult at times to get your washing dry. I think the key is to make sure it is always well-ventilated if you are drying laundry inside.

What is aspergillosis?

Aspergillosis is a disease caused by Aspergillus, a common mold (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus. There are different types of aspergillosis. Some types are mild, but some of them are very serious.

Other factors to be aware of in Winter

Statistics reveal that almost half of all home fires are started in the kitchen and 43% of all fire fatalities occur in winter. The key to reducing the risk of fire occurring in your home and to surviving a house fire is being prepared. Everyone in your household should understand what risks there are in your home and what to do to minimise them.

Is your home winter fire safe?

  • Never ever leave cooking unattended. “Keep Looking When Cooking”
  • be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Most importantly, have an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms installed throughout your home and make sure that you test them regularly.
    •Make sure you and all your family know two safe ways out of every room in your home.
    •Have a written home escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.
    •If you have a fireplace in your home make sure the chimney is clean, and its properly ventilated
    •If you have a fireplace always place a screen in front of it when in use.
    •Check electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before placing on the bed.
    •Take care to keep curtains, tablecloths and bedding away from portable heaters.
    •Keep wet clothing at least 1 metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave unattended.
    •If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter each and every time you use it.
    •Only use one appliance per power point and switch off when not in use.
    •Always extinguish candles or any other open flames before going to bed.
    •Always handle candles or any other open flame with care.
    •Store matches or lighters in a secure place not accessible to young children.
    •Avoid the use of outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home. The use of this type of equipment indoors could lead to the build up of carbon Monoxide which could be fatal.

Also remember wheat bags can help pain, but they also have the potential to cause burns and fire if improperly used. Fire & Rescue NSW Firefighters have responded to numerous residential fires that have occurred due to wheat bags overheating in the microwave oven or wheat bags being used to warm bedding materials.

Share your comments below.

Image via Shutterstock

  • wow…this is really interesting. Living in QLD im lucky that most of the time im able to line dry my washing and on the odd day that I cant it goes into the dryer.


  • Wow…so many things we all take for granted! Thanks..


  • EEek. That is really important to know – thanks!


  • My goodness that’s scary


  • I tend to use my dryer in winter.


  • I dry all my clothes inside over winter. However, they hang on a clothes airer in an empty room that has a heating vent. How else are you supposed to get anything dry during winter? I’m not someone who uses my dryer to dry clothes, rather just to end-dry towels, sheets, etc. The things too hard to dry totally during the cold months.


  • I have just bought a clothes dryer and put it on our back verandah. I also have a clothes airer which I use for delicates when they can’t be hung outside on the clothes line. It isn’t used very often but handy to have just in case. I do prefer to dry clothes on the line if possible though


  • I just don’t have the space for a clothes dryer and no place to dry them outside in winter. At least though, they are on a clothes horse to dry in a room where we don’t really go in.


  • Luckily we have a drying area strung underneath the roof of our verandah – perfect for drying clothes.


  • If you are using chemically enhanced detergent then no wonder you will get sick breathing in the fumes when the detergent which stays in the clothes heats up. Try changing to a more natural brand, drying outside until not dripping and nearly dry, then hang in a room you are not sitting or sleeping in. Also try hanging it up high on rope, I find it drys quicker as heat rises. Do not put directly or near heating.


  • Wow. I dry things inside all the time. I may need to rethink that.


  • I always use my clothes line first and then fully dry the lightly damp clothing on a rack under a hot air vent but this is in a very large airy room away from bedrooms.


  • “Is your home winter fire safe” Honestly, most of these statements are common sense but how often do we hear of house fires caused by doing silly things.


  • In continuous wet weather I put my washing in my clothes dryer which is in my enclosed carport. If I am doubtful it is 100% dry I hang it on a clothes airer to finish off. I put them on alternate rungs so they have air around them. I have found some fabrics shrink in the dryer so I avoid washing them in wet weather if I can.


  • I use my drier a great deal more in winter. Timely reminders for winter fire safety too.


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