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Determining the growth and vitality of micro-organisms in carpets and mattresses in non-problem dwellings by measuring CO2 released during respiration

Kemp, P.C., Neumeister-Kemp, H.G., Koch, C., Lysek, G. and Murray, F. (2002) Determining the growth and vitality of micro-organisms in carpets and mattresses in non-problem dwellings by measuring CO2 released during respiration. Indoor and Built Environment, 11 (4). pp. 214-220.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000066011
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Abstract

Bedroom carpets and mattresses devoid of any reported or observed moisture damage or problems were analysed as sources of indoor fungal growth by determining the amount of CO2 released from respiration by micro-organisms living in furnishings. Dust was extracted from the carpets and mattresses using a Kirby G5 vacuum cleaner. The basal respiration rate of the dust samples without moisture added was used to estimate base respiration rate and a substrate-induced respiration rate method was used to estimate the vitality of micro-organisms in the dust and to estimate the amount of living microbial biomass. Analysis of fungal species was performed by direct sprinkling of dust samples and stamping the filter collection papers directly onto a range of nutrient agars. Fungal differentiation revealed 18 species were living in the carpets and 12 species in the mattresses. Penicilliumspp., Aspergillus niger and Zygomycetes were dominant fungi. The relative abundances of fungal species in the carpets were significantly correlated to the species in the mattresses. The basal CO2 respiration rate and the living microbial biomass from all samples was the same as several soil types including sandy loam soils, Para Brown Earth, Sandy Brown Earth and Brown Podzol. The rate of respiration showed that the fungal species detected were living in the furnishings, and were highly metabolically active. This revealed that bedroom carpets and mattresses in non-problem dwellings and without moisture damage can provide a habitat with enough moisture to support fungal growth despite the lack of an obvious moisture source.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Copyright: © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15233
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