Title: Too dry and too cold for mould germination in New Zealand dwellings?

Authors: Mikael Boulic, Robyn Phipps, Malcolm Cunningham, Don Cleland, Par Fjallstrom

Addresses: Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. ' Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. ' Building Research Association of New Zealand, Porirua, New Zealand. ' Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand ' Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Abstract: The indoor climate was investigated in 25 dwellings during the winter of 2005, in the Hutt Valley region (Greater Wellington, New Zealand). A temperature/relative humidity sensor and a fungal detector were attached to the indoor side of the external wall in the living room and in the asthmatic child|s bedroom for an average period of 42 days. Germinated spores in the fungal detector were counted under a microscope. Only 2% of the Aspergillus penicillioides, 6% of the Eurotium herbariorum and 22% of the Alternaria alternata inclusions, showed germination of spores. Severe visible mould contamination was observed in only 12% of rooms studied. Consistent with these results, the measured average temperature of 16.7°C ± 0.2°C and relative humidity of 63% ± 1% were lower than normally considered necessary for significant mould development. To confirm these results, the experiment will be repeated in the same dwellings during the winter of 2006.

Keywords: fungal detectors; indoor climate; relative humidity; sensors; temperature; mould germination; New Zealand; dwellings; mould contamination.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2007.016113

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2007 Vol.7 No.4, pp.330 - 340

Available online: 05 Dec 2007 *

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