Mycotoxin Production by Stachybotrys chartarum on Water-Damaged Building Materials

Frederick Skrobot III, Susan V. Diehl, Hamid Borazjani

Abstract


The major question after a flooding event is whether to remove or remediate the building materials so that potentially harmful mold growth and their by-products cannot cause serious health problems for susceptible individuals. The purpose of this study was to determine the growth of Stachybotrys chartarum and corresponding production of macrocyclic trichothecenes on different components of a residential wall up to 65 days after a simulated flood event. Small-scale residential walls constructed of fiberglass batt insulation, oriented strandboard, gypsum wallboard, and lumber were destructively sampled at four time points. All four building materials contained notable levels of macrocyclic trichothecenes on all collection days. The highest concentrations of macrocyclic trichothecenes were on the paper siding of the gypsum wallboard, followed by the paper siding of the batt insulation and wood lumber. There was a significant increase in trichothecene concentration over time, particularly on the gypsum. The DNA concentrations of the mold were significantly higher on the batt insulation than on the wood products, and the mold concentrations also increased over time on the batt insulation and gypsum, but not on the wood products. It was concluded that if a flooding event should occur, the insulation and gypsum should be removed from the home and the remaining materials should be remediated.

Keywords


Flooding; Stachybotrys chartarum; Mycotoxin; Residential wall materials

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126