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Issue 6, 2008
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Characteristics of dwellings contaminated by moulds

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Dwellings showing a presence of moulds are considered to be unhealthy both by the inhabitants and by sanitary authorities. Although the thresholds of pathogenicity have not yet been established, the toxic, allergic and infectious risk of indoor moulds is better understood today. A study on indoor fungi contamination for 128 dwellings was done between October and May in France. It concerned 69 dwellings, the occupants of which either complained to the sanitary authorities about problems of moulds and humidity or consulted a doctor who related their symptoms to housing conditions. Fifty-nine other dwellings, the occupants of which were healthy, constituted the control group. We present the statistical analysis of questionnaires, which aimed to clarify characteristics of dwellings associated with high concentrations of airborne moulds. Air samples were taken with an impactor in 500 rooms. On visiting dwellings, investigators obtained answers to 25 questions concerning characteristics of inhabitants and living space, as well as the presence of mould indicators. Indoor and outdoor temperature and indoor relative humidity of air measurements were taken. The total concentration of fungi in the air was significantly higher in ground floor apartments versus those on other floors (p = 0.047), in small and highly occupied dwellings (p = 0.03 and 0.003), in dwellings with electric heating (p = 0.04), without a ventilation system (p = 0.003), with water damage (p = 0.003), and finally, in those where the investigator noted an odour of moisture or visible moulds (p < 0.001). The efficacy of the latter criteria in the evaluation of insalubrity is discussed.

Graphical abstract: Characteristics of dwellings contaminated by moulds

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2007, accepted on 02 Apr 2008 and first published on 29 Apr 2008

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B718909E
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2008,10, 724-729
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    Characteristics of dwellings contaminated by moulds

    S. Roussel, G. Reboux, A. Bellanger, S. Sornin, F. Grenouillet, J. Dalphin, R. Piarroux and L. Millon, J. Environ. Monit., 2008, 10, 724
    DOI: 10.1039/B718909E

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