Abingdon, MD, September 4th, 2012 -- Many people recognize that a type of fungus, known as Penicillium, can produce the antibiotic known as penicillin. This wonder drug has been responsible for saving countless lives beginning in the 20th century through today.
Far fewer people recognize that Penicillium is also one of the most common fungal contaminants found in buildings that have suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels. This same fungus, that can produce a life saving antibiotic, is also responsible for causing indoor allergies and acting as a potential asthma trigger. There is also a pathogenic species, Penicillium marneffei, which has come under increased medical scrutiny as a growing opportunistic pathogen amongst people suffering from AIDs and other conditions.
Penicillium is a ubiquitous soil fungus and there are over 300 species currently known to scientists. When Penicillium spores settle on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where roofs and windows leak, plumbing failures have occurred, or where there has been flooding, they can begin to grow and multiply.
“Fungal spores from Penicillium are often present in the air and dust found in indoor environments,” reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, a leading mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) test kit provider. “Many building materials and household furnishing provide suitable nutrients that encourage Penicillium and other types of mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of Penicillium. It’s important that people who suffer from allergies and asthma, or people with a weakened immune system, not be exposed to high levels of Penicillium or other fungal contaminants where they live, work or go to school. IAQ Index’s mold test kit will identify elevated levels of Penicillium and other types of mold so that people can then take corrective actions.”
To help educate the public about Penicillium, IAQ Index has sponsored an online video that can be seen at:
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues. IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys. The approach is similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.