Drying clothes indoors could pose a health
hazard to those predisposed to asthma, hay fever and other allergies.
According to a recent study it was found that
drying clothes indoors could produce moisture contributing to the growth of
harmful moulds and dust mites inside homes.
The study, involving 100 homes,
was conducted by the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit in
Glasgow, UK. Lead researcher Rosalie Menon and her team found that about 87
percent of the homes aired their laundry indoors - in their bedrooms and even
in their living rooms - during winter, resulting in moisture levels high
enough to promote the growth of dust mites and mould spores. And these
allergens are capable of causing lung infections in those with a weak immune
It may not be possible to
completely eliminate dust mites as it has a ubiquitous presence. They are
capable of acting like allergens and cause allergic reactions including
itching, cold and sneezing. They could also cause throat, ear and sinus
infections. Generally, moulds do not affect people, but they are capable of
causing infections in those who are asthmatic or immune-compromised.
The research, sponsored by the Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council, was the first of its kind that made an effort to
find out the effects of drying laundry indoors.
In winter many households are left with little
choice but to dry their laundry inside their homes as their houses lack
specific spaces for drying clothes. The researchers are committed to
incorporating independently heated and ventilated drying areas into new
housings - much like the airing cupboards of older times.