There are obvious places to look when it comes to the hunt for mold inside a home, but what most Americans don’t realize is that even after a natural disaster or flood, there may still be dangerous mold lingering that we can’t see.
Richard Shaughnessy, an expert on mold at the University of Tulsa has been studying it for decades. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded his department a $1million grant to help study the link between mold and the rise in childhood asthma cases.
Shuaghnessy’s team will use the money for DNA testing in their homes. Their goal is to find mold, dampness, or fungi not visible by the naked eye or traditional methods of testing.
“Even 30 or 40 years ago, we didn’t have the DNA technology to be able to get that picture of all the fungi that are present,” he said.
All this is done to benefit children across the country.
Kevin Kennedy is with Mercy Children’s Hospital. He hopes that researchers will be able to dramatically reduce the incidence of childhood asthma by using a more precise science to detect mold.
“To me, it’s being able to help more kids by developing technology that could be used in more homes,” Kennedy said.
According to some estimates, almost half of all US homes have mold. The urgency of this study can be understood when you consider that 21% of childhood asthma cases are caused by mold and dampness in the homes.
The study will take approximately three years to complete. It is hoped that the study will give home inspectors more tools to find hidden mold and could prevent many children from becoming sick.