IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

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Fine-Tuning of a Molecular Analysis Method to Calculate an Index (ERMI, Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) to Assess the Mycological Risk of Indoor Air in the Workplace


Exposure to humidity or mould increases the prevalence of respiratory diseases, allergies, asthma and immune reactions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to assess air contamination. The ERMI takes into consideration 26 kinds of mould that are indicators of humidity problems and 10 others that are commonly found in workplace air. In addition to being used to calculate the ERMI, the detection systems developed can be used individually, both to confirm the identification of a strain isolated in a culture and to apply PCR to detect and quantify the moulds in a sample from a workplace.

This activity will make it possible to fine-tune and validate molecular detection systems for the 36 species of mould checked in calculating the ERMI and to develop a method for detecting and quantifying these 36 species to allow for faster interventions in the workplace, thereby reducing workers’ exposure.