Influence of indoor chemistry on the emission of mVOCs from Aspergillus niger molds.

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Influence of indoor chemistry on the emission of mVOCs from Aspergillus niger molds.

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jun 13;741:140148

Authors: Kalalian C, Abis L, Depoorter A, Lunardelli B, Perrier S, George C

People spend 80% of their time indoors exposed to poor air quality due to mold growth in humid air as well as human activities (painting, cooking, cleaning, smoking…). To better understand the impact of molds on indoor air quality, we studied the emission of microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (mVOCs) from Aspergillus niger, cultivated on malt agar extract, using a high-resolution proton transfer reaction- time of flight- mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS). These emissions were studied for different cultivation time and indoor relative humidities. Our results show that the concentration of the known C4-C9 mVOCs tracers of the microbial activity (like 1-octen-3-ol, 3-methylfuran, 2-pentanone, dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, nitromethane, 1,3-octadiene…) was the highest in the early stage of growth. However, these emissions decreased substantially after a cultivation time of 10-14 days and were highly affected by the relative humidity. In addition, the emissions of certain mVOCs were sensitive to indoor light, suggesting an impact of photochemistry on the relative amounts of indoor mVOCs. Based on this study, an estimation of the mVOC concentration for a standard living room was established at different air exchange rates and their indoor lifetimes toward hydroxyl radicals and ozone were also estimated. These findings give insights on possible mVOCs levels in moisture-damaged buildings for an early detection of microbial activity and new evidences about the effect of indoor light on their emission.

PMID: 32610229 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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