16/11/2020 1 min

Exposure to mould in outdoor air exacerbates asthma in children

Mould (microscopic fungi found in nature and in outdoor air) causes respiratory effects, especially in children. ANSES recommends improving the monitoring of mould in outdoor air and training healthcare professionals on the potential health risks to younger people.

Following on from its work on mould in indoor air, ANSES examined the types of mould found in outdoor air (in particular Cladosporium, Alternaria and Aspergillus), and their health effects. As with those found indoors, ANSES's expert appraisal showed that they exacerbate asthma in children.

Since the development of mould in outdoor air is mainly determined by climate and vegetation, reducing the main sources of its growth is not a simple matter. In its opinion, the Agency nevertheless stressed the need to:

  • improve the monitoring of mould in outdoor air by optimising the existing monitoring scheme, harmonising analyses and measurement periods, and disseminating information on this topic;
  • train healthcare professionals on the health effects of mould in outdoor air, particularly on the risks of asthma exacerbation in children.


Did you know?

Mould refers to different types of microscopic fungi that colonise soil and vegetation. It accounts for nearly 25% of biological air contaminants, which also include pollen, bacteria and viruses.

In Europe, the highest concentrations of mould in outdoor air are found in the summer-autumn period (May to September/October), related to the lifecycle of plants.