Stachybotrys chartarum: Current Knowledge of Its Role in Disease

Daniel L. Sudakin, MD, MPH

In This Article


Despite the far-reaching public health measures that have emerged as a result of recent publications, the health risks from environmental exposure to Stachybotrys remain poorly defined. The most current research is limited by indirect assessment of exposure, weak and inconsistent associations between exposure and disease, and inadequate assessment of known confounders. What is becoming clear is that Stachybotrys and other potentially toxigenic fungi are more common in the indoor environment than has been previously acknowledged. Further research to clarify the association between Stachybotrys and disease should begin by focusing on the critical toxicologic distinctions between exposure and dose, as these are not equivalent terms. Without attention to these epidemiologic principles, issues surrounding human health and safety when these fungi are identified in the indoor environment will continue to cause controversy.


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