Effect of chlorine dioxide gas on fungi and mycotoxins associated with sick building syndrome

S. C. Wilson, C. Wu, L. A. Andriychuk, J. M. Martin, T. L. Brasel, C. A. Jumper, D. C. Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The growth of indoor molds and their resulting products (e.g., spores and mycotoxins) can present health hazards for human beings. The efficacy of chlorine dioxide gas as a fumigation treatment for inactivating sick building syndrome-related fungi and their mycotoxins was evaluated. Filter papers (15 per organism) featuring growth of Stachybotrys chartarum, Chaetomium globosum, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Cladosporium cladosporioides were placed in gas chambers containing chlorine dioxide gas at either 500 or 1,000 ppm for 24 h. C. globosum was exposed to the gas both as colonies and as ascospores without asci and perithecia. After treatment, all organisms were tested for colony growth using an agar plating technique. Colonies of S. chartarum were also tested for toxicity using a yeast toxicity assay with a high specificity for trichothecene mycotoxins. Results showed that chlorine dioxide gas at both concentrations completely inactivated all organisms except for C. globosum colonies which were inactivated an average of 89%. More than 99% of ascospores of C. globosum were nonculturable. For all ascospore counts, mean test readings were lower than the controls (P < 0.001), indicating that some ascospores may also have been destroyed. Colonies of S. chartarum were still toxic after treatment. These data show that chlorine dioxide gas can be effective to a degree as a fumigant for the inactivation of certain fungal colonies, that the perithecia of C. globosum can play a slightly protective role for the ascospores and that S. chartarum, while affected by the fumigation treatment, still remains toxic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5399-5403
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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