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Low-cost interventions improve indoor air quality and children's health

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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

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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