Fed studies: Mold 'significantly'
By Michael McCagg, Cleaning
and Maintenance Management Online, Dec. 10, 2002
WASHINGTON — Federal researchers
taking part in a massive study examining the impact of mold
contamination on worker health have a hypotheses to begin with — mold
exposure significantly impacts worker health.
The National Institute of
Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] launched in 2002 a five-year
study into the effects of indoor mold contamination. Jean Cox-Ganser,
a NIOSH indoor air quality (IAQ) researcher, told CM e-News Daily/CMM
Online this week that the study's principal aim is to identify risk
factors for work-related asthma and to quantify exposure-response
relationships between work related asthma and exposure to mold and
The researcher said two prior
federal studies found that "microbial contamination was significantly
associated with work-related respiratory effects." "Significant
relationships were found between endotoxin and ultra-fine particles in
air and work-related respiratory symptoms and between indicators of
mold in chair and floor dust with work-related respiratory symptoms,"
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency [EPA], [the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration ---OSHA],
the American Lung Association and other groups have listed mold as a
detriment to indoor air quality and building occupant health.
The NIOSH study, Cox-Ganser said,
should eventually allow federal authorities to identify risk factors
for work-related asthma in buildings. Further, she said, the study
will hopefully lead to more information being readily available on how
to maintain a healthy indoor environment.
Approximately 15 researchers are
contributing to the study, she said, which is examining workers in
Already, investigations have
occurred in hospital and college facilities with more than 3,000
workers and a study is ongoing in an office building with more than