Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2010, Article ID 510380, 7 pages
Research Article

The Relationship between Mold Exposure and Allergic Response in Post-Katrina New Orleans

1Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street SL-18, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2Allergy and Immunology, Ochsner Health System, 1514 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, LA 70121, USA
3Department of Biostatistics, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
4Faculty of Biological Science, The University of Tulsa, 600 S. College, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA

Received 12 November 2009; Revised 30 March 2010; Accepted 3 April 2010

Academic Editor: Ting Fan Leung

Copyright © 2010 Felicia A. Rabito et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. The study's objective was to examine the relation between mold/dampness exposure and mold sensitization among residents of Greater New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Methods. Patients were recruited from the Allergy Clinic of a major medical facility. Any patient receiving a skin prick test for one of 24 molds between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008 was eligible for the study. Exposure was assessed using standardized questionnaires. Positive mold reactivity was defined as a wheal diameter >3 mm to any mold genera. Results. Approximately 57% of participants tested positive to any indoor allergen, 10% to any mold. Over half of respondents had significant home damage, 34% reported dampness/mold in their home, half engaged in renovation, and one-third lived in a home undergoing renovation. Despite extensive exposure, and multiple measures of exposure, we found no relationship between mold/dampness exposure and sensitivity to mold allergens. Conclusions. These results along with results of earlier research indicate no excess risk of adverse respiratory effects for residents living in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.