Detection of airborne trichothecene mycotoxins from Stachybotrys chartarum and their relationship to sick building syndrome

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Title: Detection of airborne trichothecene mycotoxins from Stachybotrys chartarum and their relationship to sick building syndrome
Author: Brasel, Trevor Lance
Abstract: The growth and propagation of fungi in water -damaged builduigs has long been recognized as a potential health risk to occupants of such environments . Reported symptoms from inhabitants of these "sick" buildings range from allergic rhinitis , headaches and watering of the eyes to more severe symptoms that warrant considerable concern such as hemorrhaging , nausea /vomiting /diarrhea , dizziness , and loss of mental capacity . Of the fungi capable of contaminating indoor environments , Stachybotrys chartarum is thought to pose the most significant human health risk . S . chartarum is a known producer of many compounds that have the potential to adversely effect occupant health , the most noteworthy being the highly toxic macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins . Currently , the relationship between the presence of trichothecene -producing strains of S . chartarum in water -damaged buildings and adverse human health effects is unclear . This is primarily due to the lack of data showing the co -presence of this organism and its mycotoxins (in an airborne state ) in such environments . In this study , we present evidence that S . chartarum trichothecene mycotoxins become airborne and exist in buildings contaminated with this organism Under controlled situations , we were repeatedly able to separate and collect airborne particulates originating from Stachybotrys growth . Our results demonstrated that airborne trichothecene mycotoxins were present on large , poorly respirable particles such as intact conidia , as well as highly respirable particulate matter such as fungal fragments . Furthermore , we were able to collect airborne trichothecene mycotoxins in natural indoor environments contaminated with S . chartarum , one in which separation and collection of particles was done as in our controlled setups . Concentrations ranged from less than 10 to greater than 1000 pg /m3 of sampled air . In addition , we present data demonstrating that these compounds can be detected in sera from individuals with known mold (specifically S . chartarum ) exposure . Overall concentrations were low with the exception of two samples that demonstrated uniquely high values (43 and 84 ng /ml ) indicating a definitive exposure . When looked at in total , our data show that airbome trichothecene mycotoxins can be isolated in Stachybotrys chartarum -contaminated buildings and , based on their detection in human serum samples , may represent a significant occupant health risk .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14230
Date: 2004-12

Citation

Detection of airborne trichothecene mycotoxins from Stachybotrys chartarum and their relationship to sick building syndrome. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14230 .

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