IMR Press / FBE / Volume 3 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/E284

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Mold exposure and respiratory health in damp indoor environments
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1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Morgantown, West Virginia

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Atin Adhikari

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2011, 3(2), 757–771; https://doi.org/10.2741/E284
Published: 1 January 2011
Abstract

Almost all modern buildings experience at least minor, and sometimes serious, water damage during their life span. Excess moisture in buildings becomes a critical factor for mold (fungal) proliferation in nutrient-rich environments. As a result, building occupants may be exposed to increased levels of microbial agents such as fungal spores, cell fragments, cell wall components, or toxins. Such exposures may result in various diseases and symptoms, both respiratory and non-respiratory. Respiratory health complaints are common in damp buildings and have been more thoroughly studied than non-respiratory complaints. Respiratory diseases and symptoms which may be produced by exposure to indoor fungi include asthma development, exacerbation of asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, cough, wheeze, dyspnea (shortness of breath), nasal and throat symptoms, and respiratory infections. In addition to these illnesses, rhinosinusitis and sarcoidosis in water-damaged building occupants are also drawing more scientific attention. In this article, we explore the evidence for adverse effects of fungal exposure on respiratory health in damp indoor environments and potential disease mechanisms related to the exposure.

Keywords
Mold
Fungi
Dampness
Building-Related Illness
Asthma
Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
Sarcoidosis
Rhinitis
Rhinosinusitis
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