Our study aims at estimating exposure to molds at home, based on microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs) assessment, and evaluating its effect on respiratory diseases in a representative sample of dwellings. In the framework of a national campaign, indoor pollution was monitored in a sample of the 24 million dwellings of metropolitan France (n=567). 727 subjects answered to a standardized questionnaire on respiratory diseases and had MVOCs sampled in their bedrooms and a fungal index (FI) defined. Among the 431 dwellings with complete data, one out of three was contaminated by molds as assessed by a positive FI: 27.0% in urban, 38.2% in periurban and 34.9% in rural dwellings respectively. Positive associations were observed between fungal index and current asthma (8.6%) and chronic bronchitis-like symptoms (8.4%), especially in rural areas (OR=2.95, 95%CI (1.10; 7.95) and 3.35, 95%CI (1.33; 8.48) respectively). Our study, based on objective assessments of fungal contamination, is in agreement with previous results suggesting mold-related respiratory effects. Moreover associations found among rural population could indicate specific pollution and impact in this environment.
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