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California School Discovers Mold Spores Surf their Own Wind


LA Testing offers mold and other indoor air quality (IAQ) testing services to protect building occupants from their allergenic and pathogenic exposure risks.

Pasadena, CA

Mathematicians and biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard and Cornell University recently released a new study about a fungus that releases thousands of spores virtually simultaneously to form a plume that reduces drag and creates its own wind. This allows the spores to travel up to 20 times farther than a single spore would travel if it had been released alone.

The fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is a destructive plant pathogen that costs U.S. agriculture approximately $1 billion each year. The findings could lead to a new understanding of methods for controlling fungal pathogens. Although various fungi have been known for many years to create spore plumes, this is the first time their dynamics have been thoroughly studied.

Not only is fungal growth a concern for agriculture across California and beyond, but their presence in indoor environments cause allergies, illness and lost productivity. Airborne mold spores from the outdoor environment eventually make their way into buildings and are then inhaled by building occupants.

Mold growing in the indoor environment from water leaks or excessive humidity also release spores that cause a host of medical conditions ranging from allergies to infections. Fungal infections are typically caused by inhaling viable airborne fungal spores. People with undeveloped or weakened immune systems are generally the most susceptible to these infections which can be deadly.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading indoor air quality testing laboratory, provides analytical services and testing supplies to help identify microbial contamination from mold. “Understanding how mold spores spread helps environmental professionals to come up with better ways to protect building occupants,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “This information will help to provide better IAQ for all of us.”

To learn more about mold or other IAQ testing services please visit, email or call (800) 303-0047.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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