In industrialized countries the population spends 90% of its time in enclosed spaces. Since 1973, energy consumption for heating decreased on average by 36% per dwelling. Low-quality insulation, a fall in temperature and inadequate ventilation translated into high humidity in dwellings, which led to proliferation of moulds.
The allergenic, toxic and infectious effects of moulds on human health are documented. However, the potential dose/effect relationship between measured concentrations of indoor moulds and respiratory disorders often remains difficult to assess accurately. In several cases, fungi were demonstrated only as a promoter of health disorders. In a few cases (hypersensitivity pneumonitis, invasive fungal infections), the pathogenesis is without doubt due to environmental fungal exposure in a limited number of patients. On the other hand, the role of fungi was suspected but not proven for some well-defined pathologies, and some ill-defined health disorders, affecting large numbers of patients, such as the Sick Building Syndrome, rhinitis, sinusitis and conjunctivitis, as well as asthma and exacerbations of bronchitis. Eighteen fungal species, suspected of playing a role in public health, have been listed by the French Superior Council of Public Health. For each species, the proliferation conditions, type of substrates contaminated and heath effects reported in the literature are described.
The lack of standardization of measurements of concentrations of fungal species, the interactions with chemical compounds (formaldehydes), organic compounds (mycotoxins, endotoxins) and between species, makes the analysis of indoor fungal contamination complicated. The time has come to establish clearly a relationship between exposure to fungi and health disorders, rather than continuing to investigate factors related to the level of indoor fungal contamination.
"One of the most important applications of materials with photocatalytical properties concerns the destruction of fungi and bacteria. Indoor fungi and bacteria proliferation has been one of the main causes responsible for construction materials degradation and also for health problems (Zyska et al., 2001; Bolashikov et al., 2009) because fungi are responsible for mycotoxins growth (Reboux et al., 2010). Saito et al., (1992) studied the addition of TiO 2 powder with an average size 21 nm (30% rutile and 70% anatase) to a bacterial colony. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology is one of the most active research areas that encompass a number of disciplines, including civil engineering and construction materials. It seems to hold the key that allows construction and building materials to replicate the features of natural systems improved until perfection for millions of years. Traditionally, nanotechnology has been concerned with developments in most of the fields like microbiology, medicine, electronic, chemical, and materials sciences. However, the potential for application of many of the developments in the nanotechnology field in the area of construction engineering has been growing. The objective of this study is to review the role of nanotechnology in civil engineering applications. It also discusses the application of instruments to reach material properties of nano-scale. Furthermore, it has been observed that better understanding and engineering of complex structures made by cement, steel or composite materials at nano-level will definitely result in a new generation of construction materials with higher performance in strength, durability, and other properties.
Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 01/2014; 19:4673-4682.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) is one of several human mycotoxins acquired through residues in foods of plant origin (cereals) and through foods of animal origin (kidneys, liver, milk, eggs). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of deoxynivalenol-contaminated mouldy grain on the health status of rats and their ability to resist oxidative stress. The rats were fed a diet supplemented with DON along with organic and inorganic Zn(II), and vitamins for 28 days. The study focuses particularly on protective mechanisms and levels of reduced glutathione and metallothioneins (MT) against the adverse effects of xenobiotics. The highest concentrations of MT were detected in the tissues of kidneys ((6.70 ± 0.05) μg g−1) and liver ((6.00 ± 0.05) μg g−1), both of which are involved in detoxifying cationic xenobiotics. Lower concentrations were also detected in heart, brain, testes, and muscle tissues (approximately 3.0 μg g−1). Antioxidant capacity, glutathione-S-transferase, and liver enzymes activity were also studied. In conclusion, MT may play an important role in the detoxification of mycotoxins. Even though its role is not fully understood, MT are crucial for the redistribution of ions important for transcription factors and interaction with reactive oxygen species that form mycotoxins.
Chemical Papers- Slovak Academy of Sciences 12/2012; 66(12). DOI:10.2478/s11696-012-0229-0 · 1.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology seems to hold the key that allows construction and building materials to replicate the features of natural systems improved until perfection during millions of years. This paper reviews current knowledge about nanotechnology and nanomaterials used by the construction industry. It covers the nanoscale analysis of Portland cement hydration products, the use of nanoparticles to increase the strength and durability of cimentitious composites, the photocatalytic capacity of nanomaterials and also nanotoxicity risks.
Construction and Building Materials 02/2011; 25(2):582-590. DOI:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2010.07.009 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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