Development of an Environmental Relative Moldiness index for US homes

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Aug;49(8):829-33. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181255e98.


Objective: The objective of this study was to establish a national relative moldiness index for homes in the United States.

Methods: As part of the Housing and Urban Development's American Healthy Homes Survey, dust samples were collected by vacuuming 2 m in the bedrooms plus 2 m in the living rooms from a nationally representative 1096 homes in the United States using the Mitest sampler. Five milligrams of sieved (300 mum pore, nylon mesh) dust was analyzed by mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction for the 36 indicator species in 1096 samples.

Results: On the basis of this standardized national sampling and analysis, an "Environmental Relative Moldiness Index" was created with values ranging from about -10 to 20 or above (lowest to highest).

Conclusions: The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index scale may be useful for home mold-burden estimates in epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Dust