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Unless you live somewhere that’s sunny all day all year round, the chances are you’ve been forced to dry wet clothes indoors at times. Having sodden socks and dripping dresses slung over doors and radiators isn’t ideal, but sometimes needs must.

It’s now been suggested that this practice actually poses serious health risks, especially for people who have weak immune systems caused by breathing problems like asthma.

Apparently, drying wet washing inside can cause moisture levels to increase by as much as 30 per cent. In turn this creates an ideal breeding ground for mould, with aspergillus fumigatus spores worrying scientists particularly, because they can cause lung infections.

“One load of wet washing contains almost two litres of water, which is released into the room. Most of us are either immune to the fungus which grows in these humid conditions, or have a sufficiently healthy system to fight the infection,” Professor David Denning of the National Aspergillosis Centre in Manchester said.

“But in asthma sufferers it can produce coughing and wheeziness, and in people with weak or damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, Aids patients and people who have an auto immune disease, the fungus can cause pulmonary aspergillosis – a condition which can cause irreparable, and sometime fatal, damage to the lungs and sinuses.”

By far the safest way to deal with wet clothes is to hang them outside to dry, even if that is going to take longer than usual because of the weather. It’s also worth considering a tumble dryer if you can, or visiting a launderette to use one should it be easier.

Sometimes none of these options will cut the mustard though. If that’s the case, find a well-ventilated area of your home to hang you wash up and make sure it’s away from the busiest areas of the house or flat, namely bedrooms and living rooms.

Using an airer is also better than hanging things on radiators, plus try putting loads on an intense spinning cycle before taking them out of the washing machine to ensure they are already as dry as possible.

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