Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Rene Salazar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas E. Bernard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Smyth, Ph.D.


Mold, Ambient conditions, Indoor air quality


Mold is a type of fungus present in nearly all environments. Mold thrives under several environmental parameters such as high humidity and an adequate food source. A professional, such as an industrial hygienist, can measure mold in indoor and outdoor environments. Industrial hygienists commonly use a cascade impactor with a culture plate to capture air within a sampling area. While collecting air samples, environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide are recorded. A laboratory then cultures and analyzes the samples, identifying the types and amounts of viable mold found in the sampling area.

In this study, a data analysis method is used to interpret lab results and compare those results to the environmental parameters measured during collection. The study aims to show the relationship between the environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide) and the types and amounts of mold that were measured in both indoor built environments and their surrounding outdoor areas.

Among all 170 different sampling locations, the outdoor areas had higher counts and concentrations of mold. In addition, both indoor and outdoor areas saw Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium as the most prevalent molds, with Cladosporium having the highest counts. Lower temperatures and humidity had a very small influence on mold growth and thus, yielded the lowest counts. Furthermore, the highest concentrations of mold were found within the same temperature and humidity ranges for both indoor and outdoor environments.