Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mould Toxins More Prevalent And Hazardous Than Thought

Date:
December 15, 2008
Source:
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)
Summary:
Mould toxins in buildings damaged by moisture are considerably more prevalent than was previously thought, according to new international research. Researchers have analyzed dust and materials samples from buildings damaged by mould. Virtually all of the samples contained toxins from mould.

An old wall at the Tuileries Garden, Paris. Mould toxins in buildings damaged by moisture are considerably more prevalent than was previously thought.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dan Moore

Mould toxins in buildings damaged by moisture are considerably more prevalent than was previously thought, according to new international research. Erica Bloom from the Division of Medical Microbiology at Lund University in Sweden has contributed to research in this field by analyzing dust and materials samples from buildings damaged by mould. Virtually all of the samples contained toxins from mould.

“Previously it was claimed that the occurrence of mould does not necessarily mean that there are toxins present. But they are! On the contrary, we can assume that wherever there is visible mould, there are also mould toxins,” says Erica Bloom.

And toxins produced by mould are more potent than was previously thought. It has now been shown, for instance, that mould toxins (mycotoxins) not only directly kill cells but can also affect immune cells in a way that increases the risk of allergies. Even incredibly tiny amounts of these toxins can do this, as little as a few picograms (a picogram is one millionth of a millionth of a gram).

New research also shows that mould releases extremely small particles that remain suspended in the air, and can get into our lungs much more easily than the spores that have previously been focused on. This can increase exposure to mould and mycotoxins hundreds of times over compared with previous calculations. And mycotoxins have further been shown in laboratory studies to have a synergistic effect: the effect of two toxins is not merely 1 + 1 but much greater.

Using methods from analytical chemistry, Erica Bloom analyzed dust sample and samples from construction materials such as molding, drywall, and wallpaper from buildings damaged by mould. She acquired nearly all of the samples from professional damage assessors.

“We looked at 6-7 different mycotoxins and found them in a majority of the samples. And since there are at least 400 sorts of mycotoxins, what we have seen is probably just the tip of the iceberg,” she says.

Mould in buildings is a phenomenon that has been known since the times of the Old Testament. In Leviticus mention is made of spots that constitute “a fretting leprosy in the house,” and should be scraped off and thrown away “in some unclean place.”

“Actually, we haven’t made all that much progress today,” maintains Erica Bloom. “We know that people are sickened by buildings damaged by moisture, but whether this is primarily caused by mycotoxins, bacteria, or gases given off by the moist building materials, this we don’t know exactly. We should therefore observe the principle of caution and renovate the building as soon as a moisture problem or mould is found.”

After she defends her thesis on December 6, Erica Bloom will start working with indoor-environment issues at the IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Her thesis director, Lennart Larsson, is continuing his research with the Lund team, for example participating in a major EU project on indoor environments in schools and their possible connections to asthma and allergies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Mould Toxins More Prevalent And Hazardous Than Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209085622.htm>.
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). (2008, December 15). Mould Toxins More Prevalent And Hazardous Than Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209085622.htm
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Mould Toxins More Prevalent And Hazardous Than Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209085622.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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