Outbreaks of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) first gained attention in the 1970s in the USA, with thedevelopment of more energy-efficient buildings that depend on mechanical ventilation systems tocirculate fresh air, as well as to control air temperature and sometimes humidity.SBS at office building and so on is not such a severe problem, but, a similar syndrome has beenrecently reported with increasing frequency in airtight new houses in Japan, that is, Sick HouseSyndrome (SHS). We have conducted the survey concerning SHS in Fukushima city, northeast area ofJapan since 2003.
In seven hospitals in the eastern United States air filters of various types, selected by discoloration, were collected from the primary and secondary filter banks of the HVAC systems. The samples were then examined with direct microscopy for fungal colonization. Results showed that filters from five of the hospitals were colonized with fungi. Several of the species had not previously been reported to colonize air filters.