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Mold Counts Drop After Professional Remediation

Study of 17 homes shows that indoor spore counts decrease to 18 percent of outdoor counts

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- In homes contaminated with mold, professional remediation measures can significantly reduce indoor spore counts and may help patients with allergies and asthma, researchers report in the March issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Jay Portnoy, M.D., of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and colleagues studied 17 homes, collecting 92 airborne spore samples before remediation and 99 samples after remediation.

Before remediation, the researchers found that mean counts were 131,687 (median, 9,461), and that 88 percent of homes contained Aspergillus and Penicillium spores (which were counted together) and that 53 percent of homes contained Stachybotrys spores. After remediation, they found that mean counts were 1,291 (median 409) and that indoor spore counts were 18 percent of outdoor counts.

The researchers cited several problems that need to be solved: establishing quality standards for indoor allergen control products so consumers can gauge what is effective; assessing the causal relationship between indoor fungal aeroallergens and symptoms; and documenting the effects of remediation on quality of life. "If this is accomplished, these measures can be incorporated into routine teaching practices in allergy clinics, allowing families to maintain good indoor air quality and improve asthma and allergy symptoms," the authors write.

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