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Mould fungi during renovation of the school

Dear expert team,
our daughter with CF visits the 7th class of a secondary school, that will be renovated from June 2011 on.
The school is about 30 years old, the building should be kept, but indoors all rooms should be renovated one after the other. The lessons go on, the building site should be devided from the other rooms with wood panels. We are now concerned, that due to the removal of the old carpets and other materials mould fungi could be in the air, especially ABPA.
Is there a method to screen the air for such fungi?
Many thanks
Dear questioner,
in general your worries are justified, as due to construction measures and an increased occurence of dust an increased burden of the room-air with mould fungi resp. fungal spores can result. Also dust of carpets can be of importance. The most important measure in case of renovational works is an effective dust protection (partition walls, covering, cleanness).
The question, if there are appilcable tests to measure the burden with mould fungi, can be answered with yes.
Via cultural techniques mould fungi could be measured in the air quantitatively and qualitatively. Via a so-called air-germ-collector a defined air volume (e.g. 1 m3) can be conducted on a medium of agar, in order to measure the burden with germs in CFU (= colony forming units). Further more, the different species of mould fungi can be differentiated by this (Aspergiluus species, Penicillium species, etc.).
In case the burden of the indoor air is clearly above the burden of the outdoor air, an indoor source can usually be assumed. Measurments should proceed in a standardized way via an accredited laboratory with respective expertise.
The central question, if a special health risk can be drawn from a measuring result, is often difficult to answer, especially as in Germany no accepted limits for an acceptable burden with a certain mould fungus species exist. Relevant in order to estimate the health risk is besides the number and species of germs above all the time of exposition.
In case of immunological healthy people, the inhalation of parts of fungi can cause most likely an allergic reaction. Especially in people with CF one has to think of an allergic bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) by Aspergillus fumigatus.
Yours sincerely,
M. Hogart