Detection of fungal development in closed spaces through the determination of specific chemical targets


In addition to the biodegradation problems encountered in buildings, exposure of their occupants to moulds is responsible for numerous diseases: infections (invasive nosocomial aspergillosis), immediate or delayed allergies, food-borne infections and different types of irritation. In this context, the aim of our work has been to determine specific chemical tracers for fungal development on construction materials. More generally, by detecting a specific chemical fingerprint of fungal development, our objective was to propose a microbiological alert system which could control systems and/or procedures for the microbiological treatment of indoor areas.

We therefore characterized the chemical emissions from six types of construction material contaminated artificially by moulds. Chemical fingerprints were established for 19 compounds arising specifically from fungal metabolism: 2-ethylhexanoic acid methyl ester, 1-octen-3-ol, 3-heptanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, 1,3-octadiene, 2-(5H)-furanone, 2-heptene, α-pinene, 2-methylisoborneol, 4-heptanone, 2-methylfuran, 3-methylfuran, dimethyldisulfide, methoxybenzene, a terpenoid and three sesquiterpenes.

Determining the origin of these compounds and their specific links with a growth substrate or fungal species made it possible to judge the pertinence of choosing these compounds as tracers.

Thus the detecting specific volatile organic compounds emitted as from the second day of fungal growth demonstrated that this approach had the advantage of detecting fungal development both reliably and rapidly before any visible signs of contamination could be detected.

Keywords: VOC; Fungal development; Quality of indoor air; Moulds; Chemical fingerprint

Note – This article requires subscription or can be purchased


About Sharon Kramer

Hi, I'm an advocate for integrity in health marketing and in the courts.
This entry was posted in Environmental Health Threats, Toxic Mold and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s