What are the knowledge gaps concerning mold exposure and its health effects?
Chief among the knowledge gaps are defining how mycotoxins affect human health and the health risks associated with mycotoxins, microbial volatile organic compounds, allergen and glucan exposures.
The causes of individuals’ susceptibility to infectious fungi are relatively well understood. Conversely, the mechanisms responsible for allergic sensitization, contact dermatitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and inhalation fevers vary from incompletely characterized to entirely unknown. Predisposing host factors influence individual susceptibility to environmental exposures.
The lack of meaningful exposure limits for most indoor air quality contaminants is a major obstacle to establishing regulatory standards for individual exposure to airborne contaminants. The same is certainly true for molds. Until microbiological methods for demonstrating mold concentrations in the environment are standardized and reproducible, epidemiological studies necessary to determine dose‐response can only suggest association, not cause and effect, with respect to mold exposures and health effects.