Poor Indoor Air Quality, Mold Exposure, and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections—Are We Placing Our Children at Risk?


Understanding how respiratory health risks are associated with poor housing is essential to designing effective strategies to improve children’s quality of life. The objective of the study described in this article was to determine the relationship between respiratory health and housing conditions. A survey was completed by 3,424 parents of children in third and fourth grade in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. An engineering audit and air samples were also taken in the homes of a subset of 715 homes. Results showed that a child’s respiratory health is significantly associated with self-reported visible mold in the home and that a significant association existed between occupant-reported visible mold and tested airborne mold. Findings highlight the need for clearer standards of acceptable CFU/m3 limits for mold genera that are applicable to homes. In the absence of such guidelines, problems associated with indoor mold will continue to impact the health of residents, despite growing evidence of the adverse effects from mold exposure.

Speaker / Author: 
Dimos Polyzois, PhD
Eleoussa Polyzoi, PhD
John A. Wells, PhD
Theo Koulis, PhD
Month Year: 
March 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
March 2016
EH Topics: