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Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Sep;109(9):979-81.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis from ordinary residential exposures.

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Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


A previously healthy woman developed hypersensitivity pneumonitis of such severity that she required chronic systemic corticosteroid therapy for symptom control. Detailed investigation of her workplace and home environments revealed fungi in her typical suburban home, to which she had specific serum precipitating antibodies. Efforts to remove mold from the home were unsuccessful in relieving symptoms, and moving to another residence was the only intervention that allowed her to be withdrawn from corticosteroid therapy. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is commonly associated with occupational or avocational exposures, such as moldy hay in farmers or bird antigen in bird breeders. We propose that hypersensitivity pneumonitis may occur in North America, as it does in Japan, from domestic exposures alone.

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