Indoor Environment Division Partner
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Potential Association Between Indoor Mold Growth and Pulmonary
Hemorrhage in Infants
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Public Health Service has recently
asked for our help to publicize the apparent association between mold contamination of the
indoor environment and a number of cases of infant pulmonary hemorrhage that COC has
investigated. During the last 4 years several infants have experienced pulmonary
hemorrhage or bleeding from the lungs - some of them died. CDC investigators believe that
an association may exist between infant pulmonary hemorrhage and the indoor mold
Symptoms Of Pulmonary Hemorrhage
hemorrhage is bleeding in the lungs. Symptoms include coughing up blood and nosebleed. If
you notice these symptoms in your infant, get medical attention immediately. It can be
fatal in infants under 1 year of age.
Causes of Pulmonary Hemorrhage
research is ongoing about this rare but deadly disease, CDC's investigation suggests that
one of the causes of infant pulmonary hemorrhage may be toxins from the indoor mold in the
infants' environment. These toxins may irritate the lining of the infants lungs and weaken
developing blood vessels, eventually leading to pulmonary bleeding. In addition, CDC
indicates that exposure to tobacco smoke in addition to this indoor mold may increase an
infant's risk of pulmonary hemorrhage. Pulmonary hemorrhage has also been linked with
allergy to cow's milk, pneumonia, heart/ lung/spleen/pancreas problems, and other
mold suspected to be associated with pulmonary hemorrhage is Stachybotrys atra.
Stachybotrys is black or green-black and has a slimy appearance. This mold grows primarily
on materials such as wood and wood based products, paper, or other cellulose products
which have become and remain wet. It is not typically found in dry or simply humid
locations or on bread, shower tiles, plastic, vinyl, concrete, or ceramics.
Cleanup of Mold Growth
all leaks and eliminate water sources associated with the mold growth. Clean hard surfaces
with a solution of bleach and water (1.5 cups of bleach per gallon of water); make sure to
ventilate the area when using chlorine bleach (note do not add detergents which contain
ammonia to the solution of bleach and water - toxic fumes could result). Some experts
suggest that persons performing the cleanup wear filter masks and gloves to avoid contact
with the mold. Let the bleach and water mixture sit for, 15 minutes and then dry the area
thoroughly. Porous materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried
should be discarded, as they can remain a source of mold growth.
report a case of pulmonary hemorrhage with an unknown cause in an infant (under 1 year of
age) or to obtain the publications marked with an asterisk below, please contact the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (770) 488-7320.
for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Facts about Pulmonary Hemorrhage.
Pamphlet September 1996.
for Disease Control and Prevention. Update on Pulmonary Hemorrhage/ Hemosiderosis
Among Infants - Cleveland, Ohio, 1993-1996. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol.46,
No.2, January 17, 1997. (Internet httpIlwww.cdc.govlcdc.htm)
for Disease Control and Prevention. Acute PulmonaryHemorrhage/Hemosiderosis Among
Infants - Cleveland, January 1993-November 1994., Morbidityand Mortality Weekly Report,
Vol.43, No.48, December 9, 1994.(Internet httpIlwww.cdc.govlcdc.htm)
fact sheets and other indoor air quality related publications including
"Biological Pollutants in Your Home" and "Flood Cleanup Avoiding Indoor Air
Quality Problems" are available from
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
Washington, DC 20013-7133
(800)438-4318 or (202)484-1307
E., Ettel. R., Allan, T, Horgan, T, and Dearborn, D. Environmental Risk Factors Associated
with Pediatric Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemorrhage and Hemosiderosis in a Cleveland Community
Pediatrics, Vol.99, No.1, January 1997 (Internet
Environmental Protection Agency, indoor Environments Division web site: