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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Sep;91(3):222-32.

Toxic mold: phantom risk vs science.

Author information

1
University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA. jachapmn@swbellnet

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the available literature on the subject of fungi (molds) and their potential impact on health and to segregate information that has scientific validity from information that is yet unproved and controversial.

DATA SOURCES:

This review represents a synthesis of the available literature in this area with the authors' collective experience with many patients presenting with complaints of mold-related illness.

STUDY SELECTION:

Pertinent scientific investigation on toxic mold issues and previously published reviews on this and related subjects that met the educational objectives were critically reviewed.

RESULTS:

Indoor mold growth is variable, and its discovery in a building does not necessarily mean occupants have been exposed. Human response to fungal antigens may induce IgE or IgG antibodies that connote prior exposure but not necessarily a symptomatic state. Mold-related disease has been discussed in the framework of noncontroversial and controversial disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

When mold-related symptoms occur, they are likely the result of transient irritation, allergy, or infection. Building-related illness due to mycotoxicosis has never been proved in the medical literature. Prompt remediation of water-damaged material and infrastructure repair should be the primary response to fungal contamination in buildings.

Comment in

PMID:
14533653
DOI:
10.1016/S1081-1206(10)63522-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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