Acute Effects of a Fungal Volatile Compound

 In Autoimmune/Allergy Medicine, Bacterial/Viral Infections, Editorial / Opinion, Environmental Medicine

Mitch Kennedy, ND

Species of molds that grow in ventilation systems, water damaged areas of buildings, or areas exposed to flood waters will discharge volatile compounds during their lifecycle. Researchers at the University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden studied the acute respiratory and occular effects of human exposure to one of these toxins, 3-Methylfuran (3-MF), previously studied and shown to contribute to airway disease. Twenty-nine volunteers were placed in a chamber and exposed to 1 mg/m3 of 3-MF. They monitored eye tear film break-up time, vital staining of the eye, blinking frequency, and forced vital capacity. Subjective markers were not significantly changed during the test, yet significant decreases in forced vital capacity, myeloperoxidase and lysozyme biomarkers were decreased, and eye blinking was increased. This study not only suggests that 3-MF has acute respiratory effect, but that these effects may occur before the building occupant registers subjective changes in his or her well-being. This study has particular relevance to the people of the recently flooded areas in and around New Orleans and Mississippi where mold growth and contamination continues to be an obstacle to habitation.

Source: Environ Health Perspect 113: 1775-1778 (2005).


Mitch Kennedy, ND has a family practice in Avon, CT, and is the first ND with clinical privileges at the University of Connecticut, a teaching hospital. Before graduation from Southwest College, Kennedy earned an international reputation as a leader in pollution prevention, showing industries around the world how preventing pollution saves money. For more information:



Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search