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Assessment of mold in the indoor environment

Robert G Hamilton, PhD, DABMLI, FAAAAI
Section Editor
Bruce S Bochner, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna M Feldweg, MD


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.


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Literature review current through: Jul 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 13, 2014.
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