Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures Caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Nonindustrial Buildings

Office buildings, schools, and other nonindustrial buildings may develop
moisture and dampness problems from roof and window leaks, high indoor
humidity, and flooding events, among other things. Dampness, as the presence of
unwanted and excessive moisture in buildings, can lead to the growth of mold,
fungi, and bacteria; the release of volatile organic compounds; and the
breakdown of building materials. We use the term "mold" for a group of fungi
that are common on wet materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants,
and on dead or decaying matter.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) alerts that
there are thousands of species of molds and they can be any color. Different
mold species can adapt to different moisture conditions. Research studies have
shown that exposures to building dampness and mold have been associated with
respiratory symptoms, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinosinusitis,
bronchitis, and respiratory infections. Individuals with asthma or
hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be at risk for progression to more severe
disease if the relationship between illness and exposure to the damp building
is not recognized and exposures continue.

More info - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)