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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181255e98
Original Articles

Development of an Environmental Relative Moldiness Index for US Homes

Vesper, Stephen PhD; McKinstry, Craig MS; Haugland, Richard PhD; Wymer, Larry MS; Bradham, Karen PhD; Ashley, Peter DrPH; Cox, David PhD; Dewalt, Gary PhD; Friedman, Warren PhD

Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to establish a national relative moldiness index for homes in the United States.

Methods: As part of the Housing and Urban Development's American Healthy Homes Survey, dust samples were collected by vacuuming 2 m2 in the bedrooms plus 2 m2 in the living rooms from a nationally representative 1096 homes in the United States using the Mitest sampler. Five milligrams of sieved (300 μm pore, nylon mesh) dust was analyzed by mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction for the 36 indicator species in 1096 samples.

Results: On the basis of this standardized national sampling and analysis, an “Environmental Relative Moldiness Index” was created with values ranging from about −10 to 20 or above (lowest to highest).

Conclusions: The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index scale may be useful for home mold-burden estimates in epidemiological studies.

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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