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Program in Brief

What is the public health problem?

Mold can cause fungal allergy and respiratory infections or worsen certain illnesses such as asthma. Molds are microorganisms that are found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. The potential health effects of exposure to indoor mold are of increasing concern. Nevertheless, no conclusive evidence exists that inhalation of indoor mold is associated with a multitude of other health problems, such as pulmonary hemorrhage, memory loss, and lack of energy.

What has CDC accomplished?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Web site about mold (http://www.cdc.gov/mold/) provides information about mold and health and links to mold-related resources. In cooperation with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, CDC created an inventory of state-level indoor-air-quality programs, which is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/indoor_air.htm.

CDC assists states in responding to mold-related issues, by offering technical assistance with assessments, cleanups, and preventing mold growth and exposures.

CDC engaged the Institute of Medicine to conduct a study on the relation between damp or moldy indoor environments and the manifestation of adverse health effects, and to provide recommendations for future research. The report is available at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309091934/html/.

CDC is working with other federal agencies to conduct program, outreach, and educational activities to promote healthy indoor environments. CDC worked with other federal agencies to plan and conduct a Surgeon General's Workshop on Healthy Indoor Environments to improve the understanding of the public health consequences of indoor environmental factors and to provide guidance to the Surgeon General and the public health community in promoting public health in those settings.

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For more information about the program, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/

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