healthy house institute

4 Free HHI Books:

Creating a Healthy Household, The Healthy House Answer Book, Healthy Home Building, The Healthy House 4th Edition
Your email will only be used as described in our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

 

Search

Proud Supporter of:

OnlineCourses.com

 

OpenCourseWare

Article

Is Mold the Cause of Our Asthma?

Q: My husband has lived in our rental house for three years, and I moved in a year ago after we married. He has experienced increasingly worse asthma-like symptoms, and I have developed respiratory problems since moving to South Texas. Neither of us ever had asthma before. Our rental house had a huge water leak by the chimney, and we had it tested for mold. Results came back as Aspergillus/Penicillium-like spores, 68,000 counts per square centimeter, and Chaetomium 196,000 counts per square centimeter. My husband complains of chest pain and pressure. We have seen pulmonologists and cardiologists, and they say everything is normal.

 

article continues below ↓


We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

Also, we're both having severe back muscle spasms and soreness. Mine was so bad I had thought I had a kidney stone and went into the emergency room. I am also experiencing slight mental confusion and memory loss. Can any of the symptoms be caused by mold poisoning? We are beginning to think we're crazy. — Amy, Texas

A: Exposure to airborne mold appears to be a common cause of asthma. The increase in the severity of asthmatic symptoms with time could indicate that the causal agent for your husband's asthma is associated with your house. Supporting evidence is your development of respiratory problems as well.

You describe a large water leak by the chimney as well as surface sampling results that are quite high. Such a water leak would be a major risk factor for mold infestation of building materials as confirmed by surface testing.

Both Aspergillus and Penicillium are commonly found growing in and on water-damaged building materials. Exposure to airborne Penicillium spores has been shown to be epidemiologically associated with the development of asthma in children, and it or Aspergillus may be the primary cause of asthma in this case.

Chaetomium is a species that readily grows on paper and paper products (such as the face paper on gypsum board). It produces large spores that are less likely to enter the respiratory tract to cause asthma compared to Aspergillus or Penicillium.

In this case no air sampling results are available. Such testing can indicate the magnitude of exposure and health risk. However, indoor air quality scientists have concluded that the presence of visible mold is a more reliable indicator of mold associated respiratory disease and airborne concentrations. This is primarily because airborne mold concentrations vary so widely over the course of time. Such ups and downs reduce the reliability of statistical analyses that support epidemiological investigations.

Muscle spasms and soreness have not been associated with mold exposures; nor has confusion and memory loss. If such relationships did exist they would be secondary to other symptoms produced as a result of exposure to mold.

No you're not crazy. Such building-related health problems are very common; you're not suffering alone. I recommend you request that your landlord remediate the water damage and mold problem. If not, you should seek alternative housing at your earliest convenience.

 

HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting allen@healthyhouseinstitute.com with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on HealthyHouseInstitute.com as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.

 

While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

Is Mold the Cause of Our Asthma?:  Created on February 24th, 2007.  Last Modified on January 8th, 2010

 

We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

About Thad Godish, Ph.D.

Thad Godish, Ph.D., C.I.H., is professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at Ball State University. He directs the university's indoor air quality/indoor environment research, teaching and public service activities.

His research studies have included: formaldehyde contamination of residences and associated health problems; mold contamination of buildings/sampling methods; building radon; indoor air quality problems in school buildings; emissions from combustion appliances/combusted materials; sick building syndrome; and lead-based paint contamination in residences.

He has served as an indoor air quality and industrial hygiene consultant, conducting air quality investigations in hundreds of buildings including residences, private and municipal offices, schools, hospitals and industrial facilities. He has been an expert witness in numerous personal injury legal claims associated with building environments. He is a certified industrial hygienist.

 

 

Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Education Partners

 

 

Popular Topics: Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers | Allergies & Asthma | Energy Efficiency & Energy Savings | Healthy Homes | Green Building
Green Cleaning | Green Homes | Green Living | Green Remodeling | Indoor Air Quality | Water Filters | Water Quality

© 2006-2017 The Healthy House Institute, LLC.

 

About The Healthy House Institute | Contact HHI | HHI News & Media | Linking Resources | Advertising Info | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer

 

HHI Info