F FORECLOSED H OMES - H EALTH R ISK F ROM MOLD EXPOSURE Methods Mold was assessed by a DNA-based analysis for the 36 molds that make up the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). Additionally, an Environmental Survey Report was performed on each home in the study. Results Study reports that (78%) of the foreclosures contained danger- ous levels of Aspergillus fumigatus, a very infectious mold that is capable of causing human disease. (80%) of the homes con- tained very high levels of Stachybotrys chartarum “aka” Black Mold. (69%) of the homes sampled contained Aspergillus ochraceus, (51%) Aspergillus unguis, and (42%) Penicillium variable, mold(s) that have been specifically linked to the de- velopment of early childhood asthma. (See Tables: 2 and 3) Conclusions Specific mold exposure increases health risk. Therefore, it is prudent for homebuyers, realtors, and property managers to properly sample, inspect for, and correct any water and mold problems in the home before purchasing or leasing if they wish to protect future inhabitants’ respiratory health. Clinical studies prove that DNA-based technology can be suc- cessfully used to identify homes that have suffered water dam- age but do not display easily identifiable signs of mold. 2 Background: Mold exposures in foreclosed or vacant homes increase health risk, but previous studies lave lacked a standardized approach to quantifying exposures. Learning Objectives: To understand the risk from mold exposure, the real estate community needs a reliable process for determining the extent of the mold problem in a foreclosed or vacant home based on standardized sampling and analytical methods. Traditional Air Sampling Disadvantages: 1. Air sample results are too difficult to interpret. 2. Outside (control sample) may be limited or useless in colder climates. 3. Insufficient sampling may generate misleading results (not enough samples taken). 4. Inconsistency in sampling protocols (No standardization!) 5. Cross-contamination of samples. 6. Commercial lab air spore traps are frequently inconclusive and inherently error-prone.
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During the enlargement of an existing hospital, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to monitor Aspergillus spp. populations within the construction site. The rapid availability of results meant that the construction schedule was largely uninterrupted, while assuring that the new construction was free from contamination by the targeted Aspergillus spp.