Fungal and endotoxin measurements in dust associated with respiratory symptoms in a water-damaged office building.
Park-J-H; Cox-Ganser-J; Rao-C; Kreiss-K
Indoor Air 2006 Jun; 16(3):192-203
We investigated the associations of fungal and endotoxin levels in office dust with respiratory health in 888 (67% participation) occupants of a water-damaged building. We analyzed floor and chair dusts from 338 workstations for culturable fungi and endotoxin. Based on averages, we ranked each floor of the building as low, medium, or high for occupants' exposure to each of these agents. Multivariate logistic regression models for building-related symptoms included this ranking of fungi and endotoxin, age, gender, race, smoking status, and duration of occupancy. Using floor dust measures, we found significantly increased odds for lower respiratory symptoms [wheeze, chest tightness, attacks of shortness of breath, and attacks of cough: odds ratios (OR) = 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-2.77) to 2.4 (95% CI: 1.29-4.59)], throat irritation [OR = 1.7, (95% CI: 1.06-2.82)], and rash/itchy skin [OR = 3.0, (95% CI: 1.47-6.19)] in the highest fungal exposure group compared to the lowest, with generally linear exposure-response relationships. Nonlinear relationships were observed for many of these symptoms and endotoxin in floor dust. Interaction models showed that endotoxin modified effects of fungi on respiratory symptoms. Our findings of exposure interactions and exposure-response relationships of fungal and endotoxin with increased risk of building-related symptoms contribute to an understanding of the role of microbial agents in building-related asthma and respiratory and systemic symptoms.
Endotoxins; Indoor-air-pollution; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Fungal-infections; Molds; Dose-response; Exposure-assessment; Microorganisms; Statistical-analysis; Floors; Smoking; Aerosols; Office-workers; Indoor-environmental-quality
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Mail Stop 2800, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease