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Black mold building sickness.

When testing buildings for air quality, inspectors have focused on Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, a toxin-producing fungus. Now, research has shown that it may be important to test for additional fungi from the genus Myrothecium, a close relative of Stachybotrys.

Though Myrothecium species are known to cause diseases in plants, Stachybotrys has been linked to serious diseases in livestock and humans, and both are known to produce the same kinds of toxins.

All these fungi are common in nature, where they pose no threat to human health. But these toxins can accumulate and become a hazard indoors, especially if a building is relatively airtight and contains moist, woody materials. Lisa A. Castlebury, USDA-ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland; phone (301) 5045270, e-mail castlebl@ba.ars.usda.gov.
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Title Annotation:Science Update
Author:Castlebury, Lisa A.
Publication:Agricultural Research
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5MD
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:130
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