Determination of fungal spore release from wet building materials

J. Kildesø, H. Wurtz, Kristian Fog Nielsen, P. Kruse, K. Wilkins, Ulf Thrane, S. Gravesen, P.A. Nielsen, T. Schneider

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The release and transport of fungal spores from water-damaged building materials is a key factor for understanding the exposure to particles of fungal origin as a possible cause of adverse health effects associated to growth of fungi indoors. In this study, the release of spores from nine species of typical indoor fungi has been measured under controlled conditions. The fungi were cultivated for a period of 4-6 weeks on sterilized wet wallpapered gypsum boards at a relative humidity (RH) of approximately 97%. A specially designed small chamber (P-FLEC) was placed on the gypsum board. The release of fungal spores was induced by well-defined jets of air impacting from rotating nozzles. The spores and other particles released from the surface were transported by the air flowing from the chamber through a top outlet to a particle counter and sizer. For two of the fungi (Penicillium chrysogenum and Trichoderma harzianum ), the number of spores produced on the gypsum board and subsequently released was quantified. Also the relationship between air velocities from 0.3 to 3 m/s over the surface and spore release has been measured. The method was found to give very reproducible results for each fungal isolate, whereas the spore release is very different for different fungi under identical conditions. Also, the relationship between air velocity and spore release depends on the fungus. For some fungi a significant number of particles smaller than the spore size were released. The method applied in the study may also be useful for field studies and for generation of spores for exposure studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalIndoor Air
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)148-155
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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