2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Assessment of Fungal Growth on Boron Treated Cellulose Insuluation
Melvin E. Omodon
Dr. Jose Herrera, Faculty Mentor

Cellulose insulation has a large market share among home builders and buyers. Recent interest regarding health effects of high fungi concentrations within indoor environments has promoted concern about susceptibility of building materials like cellulose insulation to fungal attack. This study reports an assessment of fungal growth on cellulose insulation made from recycled paper treated with varying concentrations of sodium polyborate (Boron 10TM; CAS # 183290-63-3), exposed to high ambient temperatures and relative humidities throughout the summer. Cellulose within wall units was challenged with a high concentration spore suspension of five fungal species: Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Penicillium chrysogenum and Stachybotrys chartarum. We report that sodium polyborate treated cellulose insulation, (1) precludes growth of the five common fungal species; (2) harbors fewer fungal species before and after being challenged with spore suspension; and (3) is likely to have a cytotoxic or sporocidal effect on most fungal species growing on cellulose insulation.

Keywords: Fungi, Boron, Cellulose Insulation, Mock Walls

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-1
Location: VH 1000
Time: 8:15

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