(1) Asthma is estimated to affect 300 million people worldwide and may cause up to 250,000 deaths per year. Many studies and meta-analyses have linked exposure to indoor visible mold or water damage and asthma/wheezing incidence in both children and adults.
Estimates as to the number of homes with mold and moisture damage vary greatly-but are as high as 47% in some studies. Water damaged indoor environments contain a wide range of agents that can cause respiratory problems including molds and their allergens and toxins, bacteria and bacterial endotoxins, viruses, and dust mites and their droppings.
A 2012 meta-analysis of 16 studies reported that indoor visible mold, mold odor, and moisture were significantly associated with greater risk of asthma. Residential Moisture (EE=effect estimate 1.33, 95% CI= confidence interval 1.12-1.56 ), visible mold (EE 1.29, 95% CI 1.04-1.60) and mold odor (EE 1.73, 95% CI 1.19-2.50) were all associated with statistically elevated asthma risk. A recent New Zealand study measured the relationships between housing conditions and presence of new onset wheezing in young children- including 150 wheezing children (median age 32 months) and 300 control children (median age 33 months).
The Fungus Link Volume 1
This is where it all began, and it’s your starting point to understanding the Fungus Link philosophy to health, and what to do to feel your best! This is the first installment of Doug Kaufmann’s Best selling series The Fungus Link.
New onset Wheezing was associated with many medical factors including: Presence of atopy in the child (Odds Ratio= OR 3.25 (95% CI= Confidence interval of 2.03 to 5.22) and family history of atopy (OR 6.97, 95% CI of 2.03-5.22).
New onset wheezing was associated with the following housing factors (partial listing- conditions were assayed by researcher, inspector and parents):
- Visible mold in bedroom-parent identified 1.80 OR odds ratio risk (95% CI 1.44-2.25)
- Visible mold in house- parent identified 4.89 OR risk (95% CI 2.15- 11.09)
- Mold odor in house- parent identified 2.25 OR Risk (95% CI 1.47-3.46)
- Condensation in house- parent identified 6.65 OR Risk (95% CI 2.01- 22.04)
- Leaks and water damage- inspector identified 3.56 OR Risk (95% CI 1.46-8.67)
The presence of visible mold and mold odor were associated with a significantly increased risk of wheezing in a dose dependent manner, ie. the risk of asthma became significantly greater within the presence of larger degrees of water damage and mold growth. A child living in a bedroom with the highest degree of mold growth and mold odor had a 14.1 times greater risk of developing wheeze than a child living in a bedroom without visible mold/ mold odor. Controlling mold and moisture in buildings is the best way to control mold growth.
References / Sources:
2. Caroline Shorter et al,. Indoor visible mold and mold odor are associated with new—onset childhood wheeze in a dose-dependent manner. Indoor Air. 2018 Jan;28(1):6-15. doi: 10.1111/ina.12413. Epub 2017 Sep 11