Low-cost interventions improve indoor air quality and children's health
Intervention in the home environment to reduce asthma triggers theoretically improves health outcomes for asthmatic children. Practical benefit from application of these interventions has proven difficult. This single-blind study tested the effectiveness of simple low-cost home interventions in improving health scores of children with asthma. Families with at least one asthmatic child were recruited. Initial health examination, health, and home assessments were conducted and targeted interventions were implemented. Interventions included dehumidification, air filtration, furnace servicing, and high-efficiency furnace filters. When present, gross fungal contamination was remediated. Asthma education was provided along with education in healthy home practices. Follow-up assessments were conducted after 6 months. Health surveys were completed at enrollment and follow-up. This study enrolled 219 children with asthma. Home inspections and interventions were conducted in 181 homes and 83 families completed all phases. Reduction in asthma and allergy-related health scores was shown in follow-up health surveys. Health improvements were significant for cough when heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service and dehumidification were used. Breathing problems were significantly improved for dehumidification, HVAC service, and room air cleaners. Total dust allergen load was reduced for the dehumidification group (p < 0.05). Mold spore counts were reduced one order of magnitude in 25% of the homes. Indoor spore counts adjusted for outdoor spore levels were reduced overall (p < 0.01). Simple low-cost interventions directed to producing cleaner indoor air coupled with healthy home education improve the indoor air quality and health in asthmatic children.
Keywords: Aerobiology; air pollution; air-conditioning; allergy; asthma; dust allergens; healthy homes; indoor mold; pediatric; quality of life
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2009
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- Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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