Comparisons of seasonal fungal prevalence in indoor and outdoor air and in house dusts of dwellings in one Northeast American county

Ping Ren, Thomas M. Jankun, Brian P. Leaderer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Fungi cause allergies and many other adverse health effects. In this study, we characterized the nature and seasonal variation of fungi inside and outside homes in the Greater New Haven, Connecticut area. Three indoor air samples (in the living room, bedroom, and basement) and one outdoor sample were collected by the Burkard portable air sampler. House dust samples were collected in the living room by a vacuum cleaner. The mold concentrations varied widely from house to house in both indoor and outdoor air. No significant difference (p > 0.05) in concentration and type of fungi between living room and bedroom or by season was observed. Both concentration and type of fungi were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the basement than other indoor areas and outdoor air in winter. The type of fungi in living room, bedroom, and outdoor air were found to have significant changes among seasons, but there was no significant difference for the basement among seasons. Cladosporium spp. was dominant in both indoor and outdoor air in summer. Penicillium and Aspergillus were dominant in indoor air in winter, but neither was dominant in any season in outdoor air. The type of fungi and their concentrations in house dust samples were not representative of those isolated in indoor air. In dust samples, more Mucor, Wallemia, and Alternaria species, but less Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium species were found in all seasons. Air sampling in spring or fall in every suspected house is suggested for year-round fungal exposure assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • House dust
  • Indoor air
  • Outdoor air
  • Seasonal fungal prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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