Indoor environment and respiratory symptoms in children living in the Dutch-German borderland

ArticleinInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 208(5):373-81 · February 2005with17 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2005.04.007 · Source: PubMed
To investigate the relation between indoor environmental risk factors and respiratory symptoms in 7-8-year-old children living in the Dutch-German borderland. A nested case-control study was conducted among children participating in a large longitudinal study on respiratory health. Parents of all 781 children with respiratory complaints and an equal number of randomly selected controls were asked to complete a questionnaire, including questions on indoor environment. The parents of 1191 children (76.2%) participated. Past exposure to environmental (OR = 2.73, 95% CI 1.14-6.67) as well as in utero exposure (OR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.15-4.53) to tobacco smoke, use of an unvented geyser for water heating (OR = 3.01, 95% CI 1.21-7.56), long-term exposure to dampness (OR = 2.98, 95% CI 1.10-8.28) or pets (OR = 2.18, 95% CI 1.39-3.42) increased the risk of asthmatic symptoms in 7-8-year-old children. A middle or low socio-economic status also increased the risk of asthmatic symptoms. An inverse association with asthmatic symptoms was seen for wall-to-wall carpeting (OR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.33-0.95) and insulation measures (OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.25-0.83). Except for the presence of an unvented geyser, these environmental risk factors also presented a risk for coughing symptoms in children. This study showed an increased risk of respiratory symptoms in children exposed to several indoor environmental risk factors.
    • "[95% CI 1.28, 5.58]), as compared to a group of people who empty the wastes bin more often. Mommers et al. investigated the impact of household environment on children's health and found that the duration of keeping the household wastes in flats was considered to be one of the risk factors that may adversely affect the functioning of the inhabitants' respiratory systems [9]. The obtained results indicated an increased risk of the occurrence of asthmatic symptoms and persistent cough in children, with decreased frequency of emptying the waste bins; but this correlation was not statistically significant. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In our study we evaluated the technical condition and microbiological contamination (bacteria, fungi, bacterial endotoxins) of indoor chute devices (lower waste chambers, waste disposal rooms) in multistoried residential buildings. Microbiological analysis was performed according to the standard procedures. LAL test was used for endotoxins assay. The most frequently reported problem (76% of respondents) connected with the operation of indoor waste chute devices was odor nuisance due to sanitary negligence and frequently clogged chute channels. The average concentration of airborne microorganisms amounted to 1.66×103 cfu/m3 (fungi: 1.17×103 cfu/m3; bacteria: 4.96×102 cfu/m3). Fourteen genera/species of the leading microorganisms were determined in indoor chute devices. The mean concentration of endotoxins amounted to 1.81±2.61 ng/m3. The effect of seasonal variability of endotoxins’ levels was observed (summer: 3.33 ng/m3, winter: 0.98 ng/m3, p<0.001). The highest level of biocontaminants was found in the chute premises located on the lowest floors of the buildings (p<0.05). The indoor waste chute systems in multistoried buildings constitutes a source of microbiological contaminants. Because of the common sanitary and technical negligences connected with the use of waste chutes, it’s important to implement plans for cleaning and proper maintenance of the indoor chute devices or to make decisions about their liquidation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011
    • "In buildings, moisture and dampness (Bornehag et al 2001), poor ventilation, dust, and high concentration of particles in the indoor air is associated with a number of respiratory problems (Mommers et al 2005). Still, the specific causes of the adverse health effects are unknown. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycotoxins are toxic, secondary metabolites frequently produced by molds in water-damaged indoor environments. We studied the prevalence of selected, potent mycotoxins and levels of fungal biomass in samples collected from water-damaged indoor environments in Sweden during a 1-year period. One hundred samples of building materials, 18 samples of settled dust, and 37 samples of cultured dust were analyzed for: (a) mycoflora by microscopy and culture; (b) fungal chemical marker ergosterol and hydrolysis products of macrocyclic trichothecenes and trichodermin (verrucarol and trichodermol) by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; and (c) sterigmatocystin, gliotoxin, aflatoxin B(1), and satratoxin G and H by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Sixty-six percent of the analyzed building materials samples, 11% of the settled dust samples, and 51% of the cultured dust samples were positive for at least one of the studied mycotoxins. In addition, except in the case of gliotoxin, mycotoxin-positive building material samples contained 2-6 times more ergosterol than mycotoxin-negative samples. We show that (a) molds growing on a range of different materials indoors in water-damaged buildings generally produce mycotoxins, and (b) mycotoxin-containing particles in mold-contaminated environments may settle on surfaces above floor level. The mass spectrometry methods used in this study are valuable tools in further research to survey mycotoxin exposure and investigate potential links with health effects.
    Article · Nov 2009
    Erica BloomErica BloomEva NymanEva NymanAime MustAime Must+1more author...[...]
    • "Studies in the USA and the UK show that ethnic differences in allergic disease and prevalence of asthma can be explained by SES while studies in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands show association between ethnicity and allergic disease are independent of SES (Koopman et al. 2002). Research has also linked adverse indoor environments to respiratory morbidity in children, especially factors such as the presence of dampness and mould (Hynes et al. 2003; Mommers et al. 2005;), overcrowded living situations (Fuchs et al. 1996) and ventilation (Brundage et al. 1998; Wickman et al. 1991; Hynes et al. 2003; Chaudhuri 2004). Exposure to fungi and their component toxins may increase lower respiratory illness by acting as irritants or through increased susceptibility to infection (Stark et al. 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory illness is an important childhood illness and a significant cause of infant mortality. This study examined the relationship between neighbourhood level variables and rates of respiratory illness for children less than 2years of age, born in Saskatoon between 1992 and 1994. Rates of respiratory illness, as measured by proportion of children hospitalized and frequency of hospitalization and ambulatory visits to physicians, were higher among infants living in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Multivariate predictive models for rates of respiratory illness support the research hypothesis that housing characteristics, in the presence of other neighbourhood characteristics, have a significant impact on determining the rates of respiratory illness among Saskatoon children.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2008
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