Based on results of residential air tests, homeowners may be advised that a significant mold problem exists in their home, and that extensive cleanup or remediation is required. Those living in such homes may attribute perceived or actual health conditions to reported levels of, or exposure to, molds. Consensus numerical guidelines or agency standards for evaluation of mold exposure do not exist. Toxicological evidence does not support a contention that healthy individuals are at significant health risk from common mold levels. Putative sensitive populations are not well-documented, and the literature is controversial or inconsistent. Factors influencing likelihood that indoor mold exposure contributes to adverse health effects include indoor vs. outdoor mold levels, concentration/types of mold species indoors vs. outdoors, number of samples collected indoors vs. outdoors, and number of sample events. For situations in which prevalence and speciation of indoor mold is indistinguishable from or less than outdoors, adverse health effects cannot be solely or predominantly a result of indoor exposures. Mold concentration data are reviewed from several residences where mold test results were presented as indicating a "mold problem". We conclude, despite the fact that extensive and expensive remediation efforts and protracted litigation occurred, these data do not support allegations of adverse health effects from potential exposure to indoor mold in the observed homes.
Teaf, Christopher M. and Tuovila, Bruce J.
"Interpretation of Biological Data on Indoor Air Quality: Presence Doesn't Equate to Significance,"
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy:
Vol. 17, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/soilsproceedings/vol17/iss1/7