The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5095.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #69144

Associations of molds indoors with neurobehavioral and pulmonary impairment

Kaye H. Kilburn, MD, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2025 Zonal Avenue, CSC 201, Los Angeles, CA 90033, (323) 442-1830,

Background: Mold spores and mycotoxins produce asthma, airway irritation and bleeding. Recent problems with dizziness, impaired memory and concentration suggested testing pulmonary and neurobehavioral functions.

Methods: Neurobehavioral and pulmonary functions as means of percent predicted were compared in 65 consecutive mold exposed adults and 202 community controls. Measurements included balance, choice reaction time, color discrimination, blink reflex, visual fields, grip, hearing, problem solving, verbal recall, perceptual motor speed, and memory. Check lists surveyed histories, mood states and symptom frequencies. Spirometry measured volumes and flows.

Findings: Exposed persons had abnormal balance, reaction time, blink reflex latency, color discrimination, visual fields, and grip. Also digit symbol substitution, peg-placement, trail making, verbal recall, and picture completion scores were reduced. Twenty-one of 26 tested functions were abnormal. Airways were obstructed and vital capacities reduced. Mood State scores and symptom frequencies were elevated.

Interpretation: Mold exposures indoors were associated with neurobehavioral impairment probably from mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Environmental Toxics - Indoor Air Quality in the Home and Workplace

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA