Assessment of indoor climate in an apartment by use of a fungal index.


Indoor climate was assessed in an apartment in Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, by use of a fungal index. The index represents the environmental (climate) capacity to allow fungal growth; it is determined by measuring the growth rate of a biosensor fungus, Eurotium herbariorum J-183. Differences in climate among various parts of the apartment (microclimate) and its changes could be clarified by using the index. The index in the entire apartment was high in summer, low in winter, and intermediate in spring and autumn. According to the part of the apartment, the index was high in water-associated areas and cool areas. This high fungal index in cool areas was caused by the air at the same absolute humidity showing an increase in the relative humidity with a decrease in temperature. Fungal contamination rapidly progressed in areas with a high fungal index in this apartment. A correlation was observed between the fungal index and fungal contamination. Therefore, areas susceptible to fungal contamination can be estimated by use of the fungal index.

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