Indoor Molds

Characteristics

Fate and Transport in the Environment

Methods for Monitoring in the Environment

Exposure Pathways

Methods for Measuring Human Exposure

Strategies for Preventing or Controlling Mold Exposure


Harmful Effects

Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and sites of toxicity

Biomarkers

Molecular mechanism of action

Risk Assessment

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Biomarkers

A biomarker is a specific physical trait used to measure or indicate the effects or progress of a disease or condition. As reported by Dr. M. Cloeren, no biomarkers exist at the current time that can aid in measuring human exposure to molds. However, several studies are ongoing to develop appropriate methods.

Although there are no known biomarkers being used to identify the presence of mold spores within humans, studies are being done to correlate biomarkers with airborne concentration of mold spores. In these studies, they identify a fungus protein ergosterol in the air and correlate the amounts of the protein present to actual concentration of Aspergillus in the ambient air.

Another study involves the analysis of fluids for unspecified biomarkers. These biomarkers are then correlated to the presence of mycotoxins in foods and feeds that are to be consumed by humans and farm animals. These studies have not yet been accepted by the scientific community as appropriate to measure affects of molds on the human body.

References

http://www.dictionary.com
Biomarker. 11/24/03

Conceptual Reference Database for Building Envelope Research - Application of Biomarkers to Assessment of Risk to Human Health from Exposure to Mycotoxins. 11/19/03

Cloeren, M. Information Paper – Health Effects of Mold Exposure. 2/28/02

Miller, J. Biomarkers of Exposure to Microbial Contaminants. Plant Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario Canada. 251-257.