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Keywords:

  • mold-mycotoxin;
  • environment;
  • toxicology;
  • indoor pollution

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the level of macrocyclic trichothecenes (MCT), one of the most potent mycotoxins, on wall surfaces, ßoor dust and air samples from moldy dwellings. The study was based on an index group comprising 15 ßooded dwellings contaminated by Stachybotrys chartarum or Chaetomium and a control group comprising nine dwellings without molds on visual inspection and mold sampling. Three samples were collected from each dwelling: a sample from the moldy wall, using a swab, a ßoor dust sample on a 0.5 m2 surface with a cloth and an air sample using a pump comprising a 1 µm Teßon filter. The MCT level was measured using a monoclonal, antibody-based ELISA test. Compared with measurements performed in index dwellings, higher MCT values were measured on ßoor dust samples from moldy dwellings (P = 0.02). Samples from wall surfaces demonstrated nearly significant differences (P = 0.06). No significant differences were observed for air samples (P = 0.15), but some samples showed increased MCT levels. Significant correlations were observed between the levels measured on wall surfaces, ßoor dust and air samples (P = 0.02 to 0.05). In contrast, no correlation was observed between moldy surface and MCT levels. In conclusion, this paper reports for the first time direct evidence for the presence of MCT in moldy dwellings. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.