With the cold and possibly still winter weather about to set in – making it difficult to dry clothes outdoors - doctors at the National Aspillergiosis Centre (NAC) in Manchester warn that mould spores can thrive in the higher moisture levels created when washing is dried on clothes horses or over radiators.
Yet tumble dryers help filter out the causes of this mould, helping to avoid the possible risk of lung infections which, in turn, can leave people susceptible to contracting other diseases, its experts say.
People with severe asthma are at the greatest risk, the NAC says, as they could contract a lung infection from mould spores living in laundry that isn’t properly dried, which could prove fatal.
It cites the case of Craig Mather, a dad-of-three in his 40s from Bolton, who said that leaving wet washing drying on a radiator in his bedroom overnight had been found to be the cause of serious night sweats – but only after he had seen a consultant and been prescribed special drugs.
Prof David Denning of the National Aspergillosis Centre said that with as many as five out of six of us taking to drying clothes indoors in winter, asthma sufferers were particularly at risk of suffering damage to their respiratory systems.
“My advice would be when in doubt dry wet washing outside, in a tumble dryer or in a well ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living areas be safe rather than sorry," he added.