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Background levels of fungi in NYC - white paper

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10 There are certain limitations with regard to the results of this study and the ability of other practitioners to use them. Overall, the results are only applicable to Class A commercial buildings located in large urban areas with environmental conditions similar to those found in the Metropolitan New York region. Ambient levels of fungal spores in more tropical climates would be expected to be generally higher year round than what we typically found and, as such, indoor levels should be correspondingly higher as well. Conversely, those found in more northern climates could be expected to be lower overall, particularly during the winter months. Finally, as demonstrated in prior studies, the indoor-to- outdoor airborne fungal ratio for naturally ventilated buildings could be expected to be higher than that reported in this study. (41,42) CONCLUSION The results of this study indicated that in mechanically ventilated commercial office buildings, where there have been no reported water intrusion problems, indoor air fungal spore levels averaged less than 22% of the outdoor concentrations. In general, the species and concentrations found inside were consistent with those outdoors, with the exception of basidiomycetes, where the average indoor levels tended to be much lower than what would be expected based upon the outdoor average. Overall, 80% of the indoor samples had a total fungal spore concentration of less than 106 CFU/m 3 , and 95% of the samples had levels equal to or less than 237 CFU/m 3 . Jack Springston, CIH, CSP, FAIHA , is a Senior Project Manager at TRC Companies and Past-Chair of AIHA's IEQ Committee. Jack is an industrial hygiene consulting professional with over 27 years of experience in recognizing, evaluating, measuring and controlling employees' exposures to health hazards in their workplace. He has been a Certified Industrial Hygienist since 1993, and is one of only approximately 60 CIH's who also currently have a sub-specialty certificate in Indoor Environmental Quality, and a Certified Safety Professional since 1996. Jack has participated in and overseen hundreds of indoor environmental quality studies, both investigative and proactive, in over 50,000,000 square feet of building space. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackspringston

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