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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2793820, 5 pages
Research Article

Increased Sensitization to Mold Allergens Measured by Intradermal Skin Testing following Hurricanes

1Private Practice, Associates in ENT & Allergy, Elizabeth, NJ, USA
2Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Diego Saporta

Received 21 January 2017; Accepted 28 March 2017; Published 9 April 2017

Academic Editor: Evelyn O. Talbott

Copyright © 2017 Diego Saporta and David Hurst. 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.


Objective. To report on changes in sensitivity to mold allergens determined by changes in intradermal skin testing reactivity, after exposure to two severe hurricanes. Methods. A random, retrospective allergy charts review divided into 2 groups of 100 patients each: Group A, patients tested between 2003 and 2010 prior to hurricanes, and Group B, patients tested in 2014 and 2015 following hurricanes. Reactivity to eighteen molds was determined by intradermal skin testing. Test results, age, and respiratory symptoms were recorded. Chi-square test determined reactivity/sensitivity differences between groups. Results. Posthurricane patients had 34.6 times more positive results () at weaker dilutions, all tested molds were found to be more reactive, and 95% had at least one positive test versus only 62% before the hurricanes (); average mold reactivity was 55% versus 16% while 17% of patients reacted to the entire panel versus none before the hurricanes (). The posthurricane population was younger () and included more patients with asthma or lower respiratory symptoms (). Conclusion. Reactivity and sensitization to mold allergens increased compared to patients before the hurricanes. This supports climatologists’ hypothesis that environmental changes resulting from hurricanes can be a health risk as reflected in increased allergic sensitivities and symptoms and has significant implications for physicians treating patients from affected areas.