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Low home ventilation rate in combination with mouldy odor from the building structure increase the risk for allergic symptoms in children
Department of Building Physics and Indoor Environment, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Borås.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Department of Building Physics and Indoor Environment, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Borås.
Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment and Energy Institute, University of Texas at Tyler, TX, USA.
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2009 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 19, no 3, 184-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are consistent findings on associations between asthma and allergy symptoms and residential mold and moisture. However, definitions of ‘dampness’ in studies are diverse because of differences in climate and building construction. Few studies have estimated mold problems inside the building structure by odor assessments. In a nested case-control study of 400 Swedish children, observations and measurements were performed in their homes by inspectors, and the children were examined by physicians for diagnoses of asthma, eczema, and rhinitis. In conclusion, we found an association between moldy odor along the skirting board and allergic symptoms among children, mainly rhinitis. No associations with any of the allergic symptoms were found for discoloured stains, ‘floor dampness’ or a general mold odor in the room. A moldy odor along the skirting board can be a proxy for hidden moisture problem inside the outer wall construction or in the foundation construction. There are indications that such dampness problems increase the risk for sensitization but the interpretation of data in respect of sensitization is difficult as about 80% of the children with rhinitis were sensitized. Furthermore, low ventilation rate in combination with moldy odor along the skirting board further increased the risk for three out of four studied outcomes, indicating that the ventilation rate is an effect modifier for indoor pollutants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 19, no 3, 184-192 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-9921DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2008.00573.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-9921DiVA: diva2:493431
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-10-30Bibliographically approved

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