Effects of moisture damage and renovation on microbial conditions and pupils' health in two schools--a longitudinal analysis of five years.
ABSTRACT Airborne microbes and pupils' symptoms were monitored in a moisture-damaged (index) school and a reference school for five consecutive years. These surveys were carried out in two separate years before the renovation of the index school, during the renovation, and one and two years after the renovation. Microbial concentrations were higher in the index school than those in the reference school before and during renovation, but afterwards, the levels decreased to the level of the reference school. The effect of remediation was seen as an altered mycobiota in the index school. Year-to-year variation of microbial concentrations, probably due to climatic factors, caused a peak in both schools but their difference remained. Several symptoms were more prevalent in the moisture-damaged school than in the reference school, but the differences disappeared during the renovations. These results emphasize the importance of using a reference building in assessing the microbial conditions of a moisture damaged building. Furthermore, microbial concentrations reflected well the technical condition of the construction, but the reported symptoms of the occupants did not strictly follow the timely fluctuation in microbial conditions.
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ABSTRACT: Three comparatively rapid methods for the extraction of DNA from fungal conidia and yeast cells in environmental (air, water and dust) samples were evaluated for use in real-time PCR (TaqMan) analyses. A simple bead milling method was developed to provide sensitive, accurate and precise quantification of target organisms in air and water (tap and surface) samples. However, quantitative analysis of dust samples required further purification of the extracted DNA by a streamlined silica adsorption procedure.Journal of Microbiological Methods 09/2002; 50(3):319-23. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The scientific literature on health effects from dampness in buildings, including mite exposure over the period 1998-2000 has been reviewed by an European group (EUROEXPO) of eight scientists in experience from medicine, epidemiology, toxicology and engineering. Forty studies deemed relevant have been the foundation for the conclusions. Dampness in buildings is a risk factor for health effects among atopics and non-atopics both in domestic and in public environments. However, the literature is not conclusive in respect of causative agents, e.g. mites, microbiological agents and organic chemicals from degraded building materials. There is a strong need for more multidisciplinary studies including expertise from all relevant areas. A general conclusion from the work was that there is a strong need for multidisciplinary reviews in scientific journals of articles dealing with associations between indoor environmental factors and health effects. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: There is good evidence for a true association between dampness in buildings and health. As the causative factors behind this association are not known, the main focus in practical investigations should be on finding out and remediate the reasons for the humidity problem.Indoor Air 09/2004; 14(4):243-57. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The follow-up study of the health of teachers (n = 56) of three mould damage schools were done with self-administered symptom questionnaire before and 1 year after the remediation of school buildings. Technical and microbiological investigations were done parallel at the same time. In the beginning of the study symptoms of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis and fatigue were high compared to normal population and 1 year after the intervention a decrease in fatigue (OR = 0.4) and headache (OR = 0.2) was observed. An association between female gender and sinusitis was found before the remediation (OR = 8.1). Age over 40 years was a risk factor for voice problems and more than 10 working years at the same school were associated with increased risk for conjunctivitis (OR = 8.5) and headache (OR = 5.4). Other exposure situations such as mould problems at home and mould exposure during leisure time also have an effect on teachers' health. Significant reduction was found in symptoms of fatigue and headache after the cessation of exposure, while respiratory symptoms need much longer time to relieve after the remediation. Age, female gender, atopy, long-term exposure time and other exposure situations might be the risk factors for prolonged symptoms among mould exposed teachers.International Journal of Environmental Health Research 01/2005; 14(6):415-27. · 1.20 Impact Factor