Health Effects of Moldy Buildings – Reproductive Issues



This page lists medical journal articles discussing the relationship between reproductive issues and moldy buildings.

The Health Effects of Moldy Buildings page of the Paradigm Change site provides further information on this topic.


Peltola J, Andersson MA, Haahtela T, Mussalo-Rauhamaa H, Rainey FA, Kroppenstedt RM, Samson RA, Salkinoja-Salonen MS. Toxic-metabolite-producing bacteria and fungus in an indoor environment. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Jul;67(7):3269-74. PMID: 11425751

Toxic-metabolite-emitting microbes were isolated from the indoor environment of a building where the occupant was suffering serious building-related ill-health symptoms. Toxic substances soluble in methanol and inhibitory to spermatozoa at <10 microg (dry weight) ml(-1) were found from six bacterial isolates and one fungus. The substances from isolates of Bacillus simplex and from isolates belonging to the actinobacterial genera Streptomyces and Nocardiopsis were mitochondriotoxic. These substances dissipated the mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsi) of boar spermatozoa. The substances from the Streptomyces isolates also swelled the mitochondria. The substances from isolates of Trichoderma harzianum Rifai and Bacillus pumilus damaged the cell membrane barrier function of sperm cells.


Andersson MA, Nikulin M, Köljalg U, Andersson MC, Rainey F, Reijula K, Hintikka EL, Salkinoja-Salonen M. Bacteria, molds, and toxins in water-damaged building materials. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Feb;63(2):387-93. PMID: 9023919

Microbial toxins and eukaryotic cell toxicity from indoor building materials heavily colonized by fungi and bacteria were analyzed. Limulus assay of water extracts prepared from a water-damaged gypsum liner revealed high contents of gram-negative endotoxin (17 ng mg-1 of E. coli lipopolysaccharide equivalents) and beta-D-glucan (210 ng mg-1 of curdlan equivalents). High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the methanol extracts showed that the water-damaged gypsum liner also contained satratoxin (17 ng mg-1). This methanol-extracted substance was 200 times more toxic to rabbit skin and fetus feline lung cells than extract of gypsum liner sampled from a non-water-damaged site. The same extract contained toxin(s) that paralyzed the motility of boar spermatozoa at extremely low concentrations; the 50% effective concentration was 0.3 microgram of dry solids per ml. This toxicity was not explainable by the amount of bacterial endotoxin, beta-D-glucan, or satratoxin present in the same extract.


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