Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems (EPA).
Glucans and Mold
University of Cincinnati and Ohio LINK study on the associations between indoor exposure to fungi and (1-3)-Beta-D-glucan. (SMH)
(1-3)-β-D-glucans in indoor environments – laboratory analysis and wheeze in infants
PhD, University of Cincinnati, Medicine : Environmental Health, 2006.Abstract
Indoor exposure to fungi has been associated with respiratory symptoms, often attributed to their major cell wall component, (1-3)-β-D-glucan. Currently there are two methods available for the analysis of (1-3)-β-D-glucan: the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay (LAL) and the inhibition Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA). (1-3)-β-D-glucan is a fungal cell wall component, suspected to cause respiratory and general symptoms in adults. However, very little is known on the possible health effects of (1-3)-β-D-glucan during infancy.
The first aim of this research was to compare the specificity of the LAL vs. EIA methods in detecting eight alpha and beta-glucan standards, and their sensitivity for the analysis of (1-3)-β-D-glucan content of common indoor fungal species and indoor dust samples. It was also examined which indoor mold species predict (1-3)-β-D-glucan concentration in field dust samples, and thus whether (1-3)-β-D-glucan can be used as a surrogate for mold exposure. The second aim was to asses the association between (1-3)-β-D-glucan exposure and the prevalence of allergen sensitization and wheezing during the first year of life in a birth cohort of 574 infants born to atopic parents.
Common indoor fungal species were cultured from pure ATCC strains on agar media, and analyzed for (1-3)-β-D-glucan content by both the LAL and EIA. (1-3)-β-D-glucan exposure was also measured in settled dust collected from infants’ primary activity rooms using LAL. The primary outcomes at approximately age one included parental reports of recurrent wheezing and allergen sensitization evaluated by skin prick testing to a panel of 15 aeroallergens.
This study revealed that most prevalent species in indoor environments, such as Cladosporium and Aspergillus species were the main (1-3)-β-D-glucan contributors followed by Epicoccum nigrum, Wallemia sebi and Penicillium brevicompactum. In contrast, Alternaria alternata did not contribute much to the (1-3)-β-D-glucan load. Exposure to high (1-3)-β-D-glucan concentration was associated with reduced likelihood of both recurrent wheezing and recurrent wheezing combined with allergen sensitization. Similar trends were found between (1-3)-β-D-glucan concentrations and allergen sensitization.
Dr. Tiina Reponen Pages
272p.Document number: ucin1163791748