By Simon Bowerman | 06 March 2016 11:10am GMTTiny mold spores that are able to survive on the hard-to-digest ingredients found in food are beginning to take over homes across South Korea.
In recent months, thousands of homes have been contaminated with mold, some of them with dangerous levels of mould and bacteria.
The mold spores are now growing at alarming rates, causing widespread damage to the buildings and even leading to serious health issues, experts have warned.
Many residents have complained of headaches and asthma, and many others have developed skin rashes, according to a report by the health ministry.
The authorities have been scrambling to control the problem, which has led to calls for more measures to be taken to control mold.
The number of people with skin rash and skin infections has jumped by about 25 per cent, and officials have started using a bleach solution that will kill any mold spores in the water.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has issued warnings to residents to wash their hands and face, and to avoid wearing clothing that can harbour mold.
A number of hospitals have begun cleaning rooms and bathrooms with bleach, and the authorities have begun distributing a plastic bag filled with water to wash the water off surfaces.
The Ministry said it had launched a nationwide health alert system, and is working with local health authorities to provide free health checks.
South Korean health authorities have also urged people to wear masks to reduce exposure to airborne airborne mold.