Rachel Adams, PhD – Moisture Measurement and Mold

Iaqradio+ Episode 540

Rachel Adams, PhD  - Research Scientist at UC Berkeley

Moisture Measurement and Mold

Z-Man’s Blog

Moisture measurement and mold

Rachel Adams, PhD recollects always being interested in nature and biodiversity. With a purely research background, she studies the hidden diversity of tiny things. She works as a Project Scientist at University California, Berkeley and as a microbiologist with the California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH). She doesn’t work in infection or regulation she researches the microbial causes of indoor air pollution.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

In California dampness and mold make homes and apartments substandard. The CDPH’s Indoor Air Quality Program has published statements discussing mold and what to do about it. A database has been created identifying who can help when Californians in rental homes have mold. There are variations between how effectively the different agencies provide mold assistance. Local jurisdictions can cite or deem housing as uninhabitable. Landlords then must make repairs.

A 2014 metanalysis shows that moisture and mold exacerbate asthma. Kanchongkittiphon, W., Mendell, M. J., Gaffin, J. M., Wang, G., &Phipatanakul, W. (2014). Indoor environmental exposures and exacerbation of asthma: an update to the 2000 review by the Institute of Medicine. Environmental health perspectives123(1), 6-20.

Relying upon multiple reports, papers and questionnaire/survey it is estimated that 20%-50% of US homes have one or more signs of dampness.

“Water activity (aw) is defined as the ratio of the partial pressure of water in the atmosphere in equilibrium with the substrate (e.g. a food) to that of the atmosphere in equilibrium with pure water at the same temperature, and is expressed on a scale of 0 to 1 where 1 is for pure water.” From: Chilled Foods (Third Edition), 2008 

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