Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Chloroanisoles may explain mold odor and represent a major indoor environment problem in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Show others and affiliations
2016 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 26, no 2, 207-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Indoor mold odor is associated with adverse health effects, but the microbial volatiles underlying mold odor are poorly described. Here, chloroanisoles were studied as potential key players, being formed by microbial metabolism of chlorophenols in wood preservatives. Using a three-stage approach, we (i) investigated the occurrence of chloroanisoles in buildings with indoor air quality problems, (ii) estimated their frequency in Sweden, and (iii) evaluated the toxicological risk of observed chloroanisole concentrations. Analyses of 499 building materials revealed several chloroanisole congeners in various types of buildings from the 1950s to 1970s. Evaluation of Swedish records from this time period revealed three coinciding factors, namely an unprecedented nationwide building boom, national regulations promoting wood preservatives instead of moisture prevention, and use of chlorophenols in these preservatives. Chlorophenols were banned in 1978, yet analysis of 457 indoor air samples revealed several chloroanisole congeners, but at median air levels generally below 15ng/m(3). Our toxicological evaluation suggests that these concentrations are not detrimental to human health per se, but sufficiently high to cause malodor. Thereby, one may speculate that chloroanisoles in buildings contribute to adverse health effects by evoking odor which, enhanced by belief of the exposure being hazardous, induces stress-related and inflammatory symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Vol. 26, no 2, 207-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Building-related illness, Sick building syndrome, Asthma, Allergy, Psychology, Olfaction
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health Psychology Respiratory Medicine and Allergy Building Technologies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118702DOI: 10.1111/ina.12207ISI: 000373209200006PubMedID: 25858592OAI: diva2:915273
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-05-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nordin, Steven
By organisation
Department of Psychology
In the same journal
Indoor Air
Environmental Health and Occupational HealthPsychologyRespiratory Medicine and AllergyBuilding Technologies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 27 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link