Hazardous bacteria spawned by water damage finally identified by scientists

Hazardous bacteria spawned by water damage finally identified by scientists

A new study conducted at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has identified the two strands of hazardous bacteria linked to indoor molds{. These bacteria are believed to} have the potential to cause health problems to those exposed, as well as damage to homes and businesses.

Certain indoor mold, which develops in buildings with water damage, has long been linked to serious respiratory problems like asthma{. B}ut until now, scientists were unsure of what specific bacterial contamination was the cause, which made it harder to treat.

The study, which was funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), identified the hazardous strains as Stenotrophomonas and Mycobacterium.

"If we are going to understand the role of indoor bacteria in human health, we must be able to identify and quantify the relevant bacterial species contributing to the health problems,” said the study's principal investigator{,} Dr. Atin Adhikari, at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in San Francisco on June 18.

Stenotrophomonas are particularly harmful as they are a pathogen resistant to multiple drugs.

Researchers performed mold testing by comparing samples taken from buildings with mold damage with findings in the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (only need this inclusion if you are using the abbreviation in text again)

According to the report, the strands had never before been assessed in homes quantitatively by professionals before, marking a step forward in understanding how to treat hazards like harmful molds in the home.

HUD funded this study as part of an initiative to help identify health risks to children in homes nationwide. For Homeowners worried about toxic mold, a home mold inspection from home inspection contractors can identify whether a household is safe or at risk to the adverse effects of water damage to a person's health.

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