|Allergy Asthma Proc. 2007 May-Jun;28(3):262-70.|
Excess dampness and mold growth in homes: an evidence-based review of the aeroirritant effect and its potential causes.
Hope AP, Simon RA.
Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92037, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Exposure to fungi produces respiratory disease in humans through both allergic and nonallergic mechanisms. Occupants of homes with excess dampness and mold growth often present to allergists with complaints of aeroirritant symptoms. This review describes the major epidemiological and biological studies evaluating the association of indoor dampness and mold growth with upper respiratory tract symptoms. The preponderance of epidemiological data supports a link between exposure to dampness and excess mold growth and the development of aeroirritant symptoms. In addition, biological and clinical studies evaluating potential causal substances for the aeroirritant effect, notably volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are examined in detail. These studies support the role of VOCs in contributing to the aeroirritant symptoms of occupants of damp and mold-contaminated homes.