Exposure to indoor allergens in day-care facilities: results from 2 North Carolina counties.
ABSTRACT With 63% of US children under 5 years of age in regular child care, day-care facilities could be an important source of exposure to indoor allergens.
This study examined levels of 7 indoor allergens in 89 day-care facilities in 2 North Carolina counties.
At each facility, a questionnaire was administered, observations were made, and vacuumed dust samples were collected from carpeted and noncarpeted areas of one room. Allergen concentrations were measured with antibody-based ELISAs.
Each allergen was detected in a majority of facilities (52% to 100%). Geometric mean concentrations were 5.19 mug/g for Alternaria alternata , 2.06 mug/g for Can f 1, 1.43 microg/g for Fel d 1, 0.21 U/g for Bla g 1, 0.20 microg/g for Der p 1, 0.10 microg/g for Der f 1, and 0.01 microg/g for Mus m 1. Concentrations for 5 of the 7 allergens were not statistically different from concentrations found in southern US homes sampled in the National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing. In rooms with carpet and hard-surfaced flooring, levels of A alternata , Can f 1, Der f 1, Der p 1, and Fel d 1 were statistically higher on carpet.
In this survey of day-care facilities in North Carolina, detectable levels of indoor allergens were commonly found. For many young children and day-care staff, day-care facilities might be a source of clinically relevant exposures to indoor allergens.
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to animal allergens is a major risk factor for sensitization and allergic diseases. Besides mites and cockroaches, the most important animal allergens are derived from mammals. Cat and dog allergies affect the general population; whereas, allergies to rodents or cattle is an occupational problem. Exposure to animal allergens is not limited to direct contact to animals. Based on their aerodynamic properties, mammalian allergens easily become airborne, attach to clothing and hair, and can be spread from one environment to another. For example, the major cat allergen Fel d 1 was frequently found in homes without pets and in public buildings, including schools, day-care centers, and hospitals. Allergen concentrations in a particular environment showed high variability depending on numerous factors. Assessment of allergen exposure levels is a stepwise process that involves dust collection, allergen quantification, and data analysis. Whereas a number of different dust sampling strategies are used, ELISA assays have prevailed in the last years as the standard technique for quantification of allergen concentrations. This review focuses on allergens arising from domestic, farm, and laboratory animals and describes the ubiquity of mammalian allergens in the human environment. It includes an overview of exposure assessment studies carried out in different indoor settings (homes, schools, workplaces) using numerous sampling and analytical methods and summarizes significant factors influencing exposure levels. However, methodological differences among studies have contributed to the variability of the findings and make comparisons between studies difficult. Therefore, a general standardization of methods is needed and recommended.Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:76.
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ABSTRACT: The main objective of the study was to determine the levels of house dust mite (Der p1), dog (Can f1), cat (Fel d1) and cockroach (Bla g2) allergens in kindergartens localized in an urban agglomeration. A quantitative analysis of allergens was carried out in settled dust samples collected by vacuuming the floor surface in three kindergartens (N = 84) and children's clothing (N = 36). The samples were collected in spring-summer and autumn-winter periods as well as at the beginning and end of the week. The allergen dust concentration was determined by enzyme-linked immunoenzymatic assay (ELISA). The mean geometric concentrations (±geometric standard deviations) of allergens Der p1, Can f1, Fel d1 and Bla g2 determined in kindergartens were: 0.02±3.21 μg/g of dust; 0.97±4.49 μg/g of dust; 0.30±4.43 μg/g of dust and 0.01±3.08 μg/g of dust, respectively. Younger classrooms (children aged from 3 to 4 years) were characterized by almost twice higher mean concentration of allergen Fel d1, as compared to older classrooms (children aged from 5 to 6 years) (p < 0.05). A significant impact of seasonality on the level of dog allergen Can f1 was found (p < 0.05). No significant weekly variation was found in average concentrations of the allergens. Children who had a dog and/or cat at home were characterized by high concentrations of allergens Can f1 and Fel d1 on their clothes (59.2±5.39 μg Can f1/g of dust; 3.63±1.47 μg Fel d1/g of dust), significantly higher than concentrations of allergens in children who did not have any pets (p < 0.001). Special attention should be paid to keeping the kindergarten rooms tidy and clean and to an appropriate choice of furnishings and fittings which would prevent the proliferation of the house dust mite and accumulation of allergens.International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 12/2013; 26(6):890-9. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In most of the cases health pests are carriers of pathogens or parasites which have a negative impact on human health or affect the health of other mammals. What is lesser known is that they can also act as allergens. Most of the health pests in this sense belong to the arthropods, such as cockroaches (Blattaria), mosquitos (Culiciformia), lice (Pediculus humanus corporis), fleas (Siphonaptera) and ticks (Argasidae). In the group of vertebrates rats (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus), house mice (Mus musculus) and pigeons (Columba livia domestica) are also classified as health pests. Also storage pests which are not carriers of pathogens can induce secondary infestation with hygiene pests or molds and have an underestimated impact on human health. In this article selected examples of health pests and also storage pests as an allergen source are described, taking into account the sensitization prevalence and identified single allergens.Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz 05/2014; 57(5):585-592. · 0.72 Impact Factor