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Open AccessArticle

Relationships between Exposure to Bioaerosols, Moldy Surface and Symptoms in French Mold-Damaged Homes

University of Caen Normandy, ABTE EA4651–ToxEMAC, Centre F. Baclesse, 14000 Caen, France
University of Rouen, CETAPS EA3832, 76000 Rouen, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 223;
Received: 6 February 2020 / Revised: 17 February 2020 / Accepted: 21 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Monitoring of Bioaerosols)
Air quality in homes is a major concern in Europe, where people spend most of their time indoors. According to the World Health Organization, numerous houses are subject to dampness that can lead to mold growth, with associated health and economic consequences. Our goal was to characterize the human exposure to bioaerosols in French mold-damaged houses but also to study the effects of these bioaerosols as suffered by the inhabitants of these houses. A global approach including both field study and laboratory experimentation was used to investigate 48 mold-damaged homes. Among a wide fungal diversity, 101 viable species, Aspergillus versicolor, Penicillium chrysogenum and P. crustosum were observed as recurrent species and could be used as microbial indicators of indoor air quality. Statistical analyses highlighted a relationship between the concentrations of these recurrent molds and the levels of surface contamination by molds in homes. Fever, cough, dyspnea, flu-like symptoms were observed with several fungal strains (A. versicolor, P. chrysogenum and P. crustosum) or in relation to moldy odor. Relationships between particles of 2 to 15 µm diameter and headaches and dizziness were also observed. In our study, we identified a cutaneous effect (itching) in relationship to the airborne concentration of A. versicolor. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioaerosols; homes; human health; indoor air quality; molds bioaerosols; homes; human health; indoor air quality; molds
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Delanoë, A.; Heutte, N.; Gente, S.; Séguin, V.; Garon, D. Relationships between Exposure to Bioaerosols, Moldy Surface and Symptoms in French Mold-Damaged Homes. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 223.

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