Abstract Resuspension of microbes in floor dust and subsequent inhalation by human occupants is an important source of human microbial exposure. Microbes in carpet dust grow at elevated levels of relative humidity, but rates of this growth are not well established, especially under changing conditions. The goal of this study was to model fungal growth in carpet dust based on indoor diurnal variations in relative humidity utilizing the time‐of‐wetness framework. A chamber study was conducted on carpet and dust collected from 19 homes in Ohio, USA and exposed to varying moisture conditions of 50%, 85%, and 100% relative humidity. Fungal growth followed the two activation regime model, while bacterial growth could not be evaluated using the framework. Collection site was a stronger driver of species composition ( = 0.001, 2 = 0.461) than moisture conditions ( = 0.001, 2 = 0.021). Maximum moisture condition was associated with species composition within some individual sites ( = 0.001‐0.02, 2 = 0.1‐0.33). Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Wallemia were common fungal genera found among samples at elevated moisture conditions. These findings can inform future studies of associations between dampness/mold in homes and health outcomes and allow for prediction of microbial growth in the indoor environment.

 

Read more…

Download