May 27, 2004

Indoor Mold, Dampness Are Linked to Respiratory Problems

You may have heard about the new CDC and NAO report linking indoor mold and dampness with respiratory problems. The people that have had recent rain, flooding and tornado damage to their home should be especially cautious about drying out interior structures for several weeks to months BEFORE any materials are replaced covering existing damp wood and other materials. Research has indicated (Red River Flooding, etc.) that without thorough cleaning and drying, cavities and other areas can product mold causing even more damage and repair, and sometimes loss of the house itself.

"Scientific evidence links mold and other factors related to damp conditions in homes and other buildings to asthma symptoms in some asthmatics as well as to coughing, wheezing and other upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people, says a new Institute of Medicine report. The available evidence does not support an association between either interior dampness or mold and the wide range of other health complaints that have been ascribed to them, but the possibility of a link cannot be ruled out."

The study was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Institute of Medicine is a private, nonprofit institution that provides health policy advice under a congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences.

More information (news release, audio of the news conference, and links to the report) is available at their web site.

Source: Shirley Niemeyer, PhD Extension Specialist/Research Housing and Environment, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension

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