Please enter verification code
Exposure to Mould and Moisture Damage Is a Potential Risk Factor for the Development of Respiratory Diseases Opinion
International Journal of Immunology
Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 38-41
Received: Jul. 17, 2020; Accepted: Aug. 3, 2020; Published: Aug. 10, 2020
Views 321      Downloads 162
Jouni Lohi, Department of Pathology, Lappland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi, Finland
Tiina Tuomela, Pikkujätti, Medical Center for Children and Youth, Vantaa, Finland
Tamara Tuuminen, Kruununhaka Medical Center, Helsinki, Finland
Article Tools
Follow on us
Adverse health effects due to indoor air moisture damage has been extensively studied already for thirty years. Expose to dampness microbiota (DM) in buildings is a risk factor for newly onset asthma and other respiratory problems. This exposure increases the rate of upper and lower respiratory tract infections because the function of the cilia cells and the integrity of mucosal layer becomes compromised. The breach of the first defense barrier of innate immunity leads to susceptibility to inhaled impurities and pathogens. Dampness and mould-associated asthma may present with several clinical peculiarities. This asthma may be resistant to treatment, the symptoms may exacerbate during periods with increased outdoor air humidity and rainfalls and this asthma may be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has been generally recognized that persons sensitized to DM should avoid new and repeated exposure to moldy environment. This recommendation is important especially during the current SARS-CoV2 pandemic.
Mold Damage, Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms, COVID19, SARS-CoV2
To cite this article
Jouni Lohi, Tiina Tuomela, Tamara Tuuminen, Exposure to Mould and Moisture Damage Is a Potential Risk Factor for the Development of Respiratory Diseases Opinion, International Journal of Immunology. Vol. 8, No. 3, 2020, pp. 38-41. doi: 10.11648/j.iji.20200803.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Tuuminen T, Lohi J. Immunological and toxicological effects of bad indoor air to cause Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome. Aims of Allergology. 2018, 2 (4): 190-204 doi: 10.3934/Allergy.2018.4.190
Valtonen V. Clinical Diagnosis of the Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Review of the Literature and Suggested Diagnostic Criteria. Front Immunol. 2017 Aug 10; 8: 951. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00951. eCollection 2017.
Hyvönen S, Syrjälä H. Asthma Case Cluster during Renovation of a Water-Damaged and Toxic Building. Microorganisms 2019, 7: 642;
Jaakkola MS, Lajunen TK, Jaakkola JJK. Indoor mold odor in the workplace increases the risk of Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome: a population-based incident case-control study. Clin Transl Allergy. 2020 Jan 15; 10: 3. doi: 10.1186/s13601-019-0307-2. eCollection 2020.
Hurraβ J, Heinzow B, Aurbach U, ym. Medical diagnostics for indoor mold exposure. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2017; 220: 305-328.
Tuuminen T, Lohi J. Revising the criteria for occupational mould-related disease: arguments, misconceptions, and facts. EMJ Allergy Immunol. 2018; 3 (1): 128-35.
Wolff H, Mussalo-Rauhamaa H, Raitio H ym. Patients referred to an indoor air health clinic: exposure to water-damaged buildings causes an increase of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage and a decrease of CD19 leucocytes in peripheral blood. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2009; 69 (5): 537-44. doi: 10.1080/00365510902770061.
Holme JA, Øya E, Afanou AKJ, Øvrevik J, Wijnand E. Characterization and pro-inflammatory potential of indoor mold particles. Indoor Air. 2020 Feb 20. doi: 10.1111/ina.12656.
Fisk WJ, Eliseeva EA, Mendell MJ. Association of residential dampness and mold with respiratory tract infections and bronchitis: a meta-analysis. Environ Health. 2010; 9: 72. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-9-72.
Mendell MJ, Mirer AG, Cheung K, Tong M, Douwes J. Respiratory and allergic health effects of dampness, mold, and dampness-related agents: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Environ Health Perspect 2011; 119: 748-56.
Quansah R, Jaakkola MS, Hugg TT, Heikkinen S, Jaakkola JK. Residential dampness and molds and the risk of developing asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2012; 7 (11): e47526. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047526.
Jaakkola MS, Quansah R, Hugg TT, Heikkinen S, Jaakkola JK. Association of indoor dampness and molds with rhinitis risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013; 132: 1099-110.
Miller JD, McMullin DR. Fungal secondary metabolites as harmful indoor air contaminants: 10 years on. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014; 98: 9953-66.
Cox-Ganser JM. Indoor dampness and mould health effects-ongoing questions on microbial exposures and allergic versus nonallergic mechanisms. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015; 45: 1478-82.
Mudarri DH. Valuing the Economic Costs of Allergic Rhinitis, Acute Bronchitis, and Asthma from Exposure to Indoor Dampness and Mold in the US. J Environ Public Health. 2016; 2016: 2386596. doi: 10.1155/2016/2386596.
Mendell MJ, Kumagai K. Observation-based metrics for residential dampness and mold with dose-response relationships to health: A review. Indoor Air. 2017; 27: 506-17.
Mendell MJ, Macher JM, Kumagai K. Measured moisture in buildings and adverse health effects: A review. Indoor Air. 2018; 28: 488-99.
Fisk WJ, Chan WR, Johnson AL. Does dampness and mold in schools affect health? Results of a meta-analysis. Indoor Air. 2019; 29: 895-902.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186