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Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):442-6.

Health symptoms caused by molds in a courthouse.

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Faculty of Environmental Design, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


A majority of occupants of a newly renovated historic courthouse in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, reported multiple (3 or more) health-related symptoms, and several reported more than 10 persistent symptoms. Most required at least 1 day outside of the building to recover from their symptoms. Molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum and Emericella nidulans, were identified in the building, along with fungal organisms of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Streptomyces, Cladosporium, Chaetomium, Rhizopus/Mucor, Alternaria, Ulocladium, and Basidiomycetes. Renovations to this historic had building failed to provide adequate thermal and vapor barriers, thus allowing moist indoor air to migrate into the building enclosure, causing condensation to develop. Mold grew on the condensation and was dispersed throughout the courthouse, including on furniture and files. The courthouse was closed and a new facility was modified with low-offgassing materials, better ventilation and air filtration, and strict building maintenance to accommodate those occupants of the older building who had developed multiple chemical sensitivities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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