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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 194; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020194

Prevalence of Residential Dampness and Mold Exposure in a University Student Population

1
Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5N4, Canada
2
Eastern Township's Public Health Department, 300, King Est street, Sherbrooke, QC J1G 1B1, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gary Adamkiewicz and M. Patricia Fabian
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 17 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Abstract

The impact of residential dampness or mold on respiratory health is well established but few studies have focused on university students. This study aims to: (a) describe the prevalence of exposure to residential dampness or mold in university students according to socio-geographic factors and (b) identify associated housing characteristics. A web survey was conducted in 2014 among the 26,676 students registered at the Université de Sherbrooke (QC, Canada). Residential dampness and mold being closely intertwined, they were considered as a single exposure and assessed using a validated questionnaire. Exposure was compared according to socio-geographic and housing characteristics using chi-square tests and logistic regressions. Among the 2097 participants included in the study (response rate: 8.1%), over 80% were tenants. Residential exposure to dampness or mold was frequent (36.0%, 95% CI: 33.9–38.1). Marked differences for this exposure were noted according to home ownership (39.7% vs. 25.5% among tenants and owners respectively; OR = 1.92%, 95% CI: 1.54–2.38). Campus affiliation, household composition and the number of residents per building were associated with exposure to dampness or mold (p < 0.01), while sex and age were not. Exposure was also associated with older buildings, and buildings in need of renovations and lacking proper ventilation (p < 0.001). This study highlights the potential risk of university students suffering from mold-related health effects given their frequent exposure to this agent. Further research is needed to fully evaluate the mold-related health impact in this at risk group. View Full-Text
Keywords: dampness; mold; housing; student population dampness; mold; housing; student population
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lanthier-Veilleux, M.; Généreux, M.; Baron, G. Prevalence of Residential Dampness and Mold Exposure in a University Student Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 194.

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