Review of quantitative standards and guidelines for fungi in indoor air

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 1996 Sep;46(9):899-908. doi: 10.1080/10473289.1996.10467526.


Existing quantitative standards/guidelines for fungi in indoor air issued by governmental agencies are based primarily on baseline data (rather than health effects data), and are either absolute (numerical) or relative (indoor/outdoor comparisons) or a combination of the two. The Russian Federation is the only governmental agency that has binding quantitative regulations for bioaerosols. Recommended guidelines have been proposed or sponsored by North American and European governmental agencies and private professional organizations. A considerable number of frequently cited guidelines have been proposed by individuals based either on baseline data or on personal experience. Quantitative standards/guidelines range from less than 100 CFU/m3 to greater than 1000 CFU/m3 (total fungi) as the upper limit for non-contaminated indoor environments. Major issues with existing quantitative standards and guidelines are the lack of connection to human dose/response data, reliance on short term grab samples analyzed only by culture, and the absence of standardized protocols for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Urgent research needs include the study of human responses to specific fungal agents, development and widespread use of standard protocols using currently available sampling methodologies, and the development of long term, time-discriminating personal samplers that are inexpensive, easy to use, and amenable to straightforward, relevant analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Fungi*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans