Drying laundry inside could affect health

Nov. 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

GLASGOW, Scotland, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Scottish researchers say drying laundry indoors, rather than hanging wet clothes outside, may pose health risks.

People prone to asthma, hay fever and other allergies would be particularly vulnerable to indoor drying that includes hanging clothes near radiators, the researchers said.

A study by the Mackintosh School of Architecture found that many homes had too much moisture indoors and up to a third of it was attributed to drying laundry, the BBC reported.

A study of 100 households in Glasgow found 87 percent dried laundry indoors in cooler weather.

Researcher Rosalie Menon said people were not aware how much moisture this added to the air.

"Going into people's homes, we found they were drying washing in their living rooms, in their bedrooms," Menon said. "Some were literally decorating the house with it, but from just one load of washing 2 liters of water will be emitted."

In 25 percent of the homes studied, mold spores known to cause lung infections in people with weakened immune systems were found.

The researchers said they want to see dedicated drying areas incorporated into new housing.

"These spaces should be independently heated and ventilated. It's very much going back to the airing cupboards we saw in more historical types of housing," Menon said.

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