Assessment of mold in the indoor environment
- Robert G Hamilton, PhD, DABMLI, FAAAAI
Robert G Hamilton, PhD, DABMLI, FAAAAI
- Professor of Medicine and Pathology
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Mold is ubiquitous outdoors and it is readily introduced or physically transported into the home, work, and school indoor environments.
This topic will focus strictly on the detection of mold in indoor environments. The proven and unproven health effects of indoor molds are discussed separately. (See "The role of fungi (molds) in human disease".)
A more general discussion of assessment of allergens in the indoor environment is found elsewhere. (See "Allergen sampling in the environment".)
The generic term "mold" encompasses many types of fungi, a diverse class of eukaryotic microorganisms that live on organic nutrients. The Kingdom Fungi is comprised of plants without leaves, flowers, or roots that reproduce from spores, and includes yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms (table 1).
Molds lack chlorophyll and vascular tissue. They range in form from a single cell to a body mass of branched filamentous hyphae that spread into and feed off of dead organic matter or living organisms.
- Wood RA, Eggleston PA, Lind P, et al. Antigenic analysis of household dust samples. Am Rev Respir Dis 1988; 137:358.
- Ergin C, Kaleli I, Mete E, Simşek C. [Evaluation of airborne molds in Laodikeia's recreation work environment during an excavation period]. Mikrobiyol Bul 2009; 43:277.
- Burge HA, Solomon WR. Sampling and analysis of biological aerosols. Atmospheric Environment 1987; 21:451.
- Hamilton RG. Assessment of indoor allergen exposure. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2005; 5:394.
- Vesper S, McKinstry C, Ashley P, et al. Quantitative PCR analysis of molds in the dust from homes of asthmatic children in North Carolina. J Environ Monit 2007; 9:826.
- Vesper SJ, McKinstry C, Haugland RA, et al. Relative moldiness index as predictor of childhood respiratory illness. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2007; 17:88.
- Hamilton RG, Chapman MD, Platts-Mills TAE, Adkinson NF. House dust aeroallergen measurements in clinical practice: A guide to allergen free home and work environments. Immunol Allergy Pract 1992; 14:96.
- US-EPA. A brief guide to mold, moisture and your home, EPA 402-K-02-003, July 2002.
- PROPERTIES OF MOLDS
- DETECTION OF INDOOR MOLD GROWTH
- Visual signs
- INDICATIONS FOR ASSESSMENT
- ASSESSMENT FOR MOLD
- Sampling methods
- - Bulk reservoir dust collection
- - Surface wipe sampling
- - Sampling of air
- Analysis methods
- - Direct microscopy
- - Culture
- - Nucleic acid analysis
- - Immunologic assays
- PREVENTION AND REMEDIATION
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS