Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Household Fungus Contributes To "Sick Building Syndrome"

Date:
February 8, 1999
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
Have you found yourself suffering shortness of breath, headaches or are you just not feeling quite right, but you can't attribute it to any specific cause? Perhaps you've found it hard to concentrate and you feel fatigued easily, but haven't been able to figure out why. If you live or work in a house or building that has been flooded, or has sustained water damage, these symptoms may be a sign that you are affected by "sick building syndrome." Your environment may be toxic to your health, yet you probably have never even heard of one of the culprits, the fungus Stachybotrys chartarum.

ST. PAUL, MN (February 3, 1999) -- Have you found yourself suffering shortness of breath, headaches or are you just not feeling quite right, but you can't attribute it to any specific cause? Perhaps you've found it hard to concentrate and you feel fatigued easily, but haven't been able to figure out why. If you live or work in a house or building that has been flooded, or has sustained water damage, these symptoms may be a sign that you are affected by "sick building syndrome." Your environment may be toxic to your health, yet you probably have never even heard of one of the culprits, the fungus Stachybotrys chartarum.

Related Articles


"It's become notorious as a toxic fungus that can cause health problems in humans and animals," says Berlin Nelson, a professor at North Dakota State University and a member of the American Phytopathological Society. "Over the past 20 years in North America, evidence has accumulated implicating this fungus as a serious problem in water damaged homes and buildings." Since plant pathologists and mycologists have a wealth of expertise with fungi and molds they are able to help educate the public about home and building molds and specifically, the possible dangers of S. chartarum.

"The fungus is commonly found in homes or buildings which have sustained flooding, or water damage from broken pipes, roof leaks, sewage backups, condensation, etcetera," says Nelson. Spores of the fungus are in soil and are introduced along with flood waters or dust and dirt entering a building. The fungus is most common on the paper covering of sheetrock but can also be found on wallpaper, ceiling tiles, paper products, carpets with natural fibers, paper covering on insulated pipes, insulation material, on wood, and on general organic debris.

"Because leaks can occur behind walls and in covered ceiling areas, the fungus may grow profusely, but not be readily visible," says Nelson. When seen, the fungus generally has a black appearance and will be slightly shiny if wet; a powdery appearance if dry.

If you suspect that the fungus, Stachybotrys chartarum could be in your home, follow these steps:

* Begin with a thorough visual inspection of water damaged areas. If contaminated areas are found do not attempt to solve the problem without following recommended safety procedures for working with toxic molds.

* Get advice and help. "Disinfecting the surface of contaminated materials, a common reaction to molds, may kill the fungus on the surface, but fungal growth within the substrate will often survive and grow again," says Nelson. Mycotoxins may accumulate in contaminated material so removal of contaminated material is usually the best option.

* Correct the moisture problem to prevent further mold development.

For more information on this mold, visit the APS February web feature story with photographs and links to additional sites at http://www.scisoc.org.

###

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "Household Fungus Contributes To "Sick Building Syndrome"." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208071455.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (1999, February 8). Household Fungus Contributes To "Sick Building Syndrome". ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208071455.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "Household Fungus Contributes To "Sick Building Syndrome"." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208071455.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins