Damp Indoor Spaces and Health

Damp Indoor Spaces and Health

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National Academies Press

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Damp Indoor Spaces and Health

Almost all homes, apartments, and commercial buildings will experience leaks, flooding, or other forms of excessive indoor dampness at some point. Not only is excessive dampness a health problem by itself, it also contributes to several other potentially problematic types of situations. Molds and other microbial agents favor damp indoor environments, and excess moisture may initiate the release of chemical emissions from damaged building materials and furnishings. This new book from the Institute of Medicine examines the health impact of exposures resulting from damp indoor environments and offers recommendations for public health interventions.

Damp Indoor Spaces and Health covers a broad range of topics. The book not only examines the relationship between damp or moldy indoor environments and adverse health outcomes but also discusses how and where buildings get wet, how dampness influences microbial growth and chemical emissions, ways to prevent and remediate dampness, and elements of a public health response to the issues. A comprehensive literature review finds sufficient evidence of an association between damp indoor environments and some upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, wheezing, and asthma symptoms in sensitized persons. This important book will be of interest to a wide-ranging audience of science, health, engineering, and building professionals, government officials, and members of the public.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780309091930
Publisher: National Academies Press
Publication date: 08/31/2004
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary1
Framework and Organization2
The Committee's Evaluation4
1Background and Methodologic Considerations17
Intent and Goals of the Study17
Research Approach19
Evaluating the Epidemiologic Evidence21
Summarizing Conclusions Regarding Epidemiologic Evidence26
2Damp Buildings29
Moisture Definitions30
Moisture Dynamics in Buildings-How Buildings Get Wet32
Prevalence, Severity, Location, and Duration of Building Dampness44
Risk Factors for Moisture Problems51
From Moisture to Microbial Growth54
Microorganisms Occurring in Indoor Spaces and on Building Materials56
Dampness-Related Problems Not Associated with Biologic Sources73
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs76
3Exposure Assessment90
Sampling Strategies94
Assessing Microorganisms101
Assessing Microbial Constituents103
Assessing Bioallergens104
Indirect Exposure-Assessment Methods104
Concentrations in the Environment110
Evaluation of Exposure Data114
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs115
4Toxic Effects of Fungi and Bacteria125
Considerations in Evaluating the Evidence126
Bioavailability and Route of Exposure126
Toxic Effects of Indoor Molds and Bacteria133
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs170
5Human Health Effects Associated With Damp Indoor Environments183
Evaluating Health Effects186
Respiratory Symptoms189
Respiratory Tract Disorders208
Other Health Complaints and Disorders243
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs253
6Prevention and Remediation of Damp Indoor Environments270
Published Guidance for Mold Remediation271
Tasks Involved in Remediation284
Effects of Air and Surface Cleaning and Ventilation301
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs304
7The Public Health Response311
Public Health and Housing312
Barriers to the Adoption of Dampness Prevention and Reduction Measures313
Public Health Approaches to Damp Indoor Environments314
Findings, Recommendations, and Research Needs327
AWorkshop Presentations and Speakers333
BCommittee, Consultant, and Staff Biographies336

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