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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2008 May;58(5):684-92.

Seasonal and diurnal variability in airborne mold from an indoor residential environment in northern New York.

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  • 1Environmental Science and Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA.


It is well known that characterization of airborne bioaerosols in indoor environments is a challenge because of inherent irregularity in concentrations, which are influenced by many environmental factors. The primary aim of this study was to quantify the day-to-day variability of airborne fungal levels in a single residential environment over multiple seasons. Indoor air quality practitioners must recognize the inherent variability in airborne bio-aerosol measurements during data analysis of mold investigations. Changes in airborne fungi due to varying season and day is important to recognize when considering health impacts of these contaminants and when establishing effective controls. Using an Andersen N6 impactor, indoor and outdoor bioaerosol samples were collected on malt extract agar plates for 18 weekdays and 19 weekdays in winter and summer, respectively. Interday and intraday variability for the bioaerosols were determined for each sampler. Average fungal concentrations were 26 times higher during the summer months. Day-to-day fungal samples showed a relatively high inconsistency suggesting airborne fungal levels are very episodic and are influenced by several environmental factors. Summer bio-aerosol variability ranged from 7 to 36% and winter variability from 24 to 212%; these should be incorporated into results of indoor mold investigations. The second objective was to observe the relationship between biological and nonbiological particulate matter (PM). No correlation was observed between biological and nonbiological PM. Six side-by-side particulate samplers collected coarse PM (PM10) and fine PM (PM2.5) levels in both seasons. PM2.5 particulate concentrations were found to be statistically higher during summer months. Interday variability observed during this study suggests that indoor air quality practitioners must adjust their exposure assessment strategies to reflect the temporal variability in bioaerosol concentrations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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