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Adverse health effects in children associated with moisture and mold observations in houses

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This work was conducted to study the health effects in children associated with observations of moisture or mold in their homes. A random sample of 310 houses in Finland was studied during the years 1993-1994. In all, 204 children 15 years old or younger were living in 110 houses. The houses were investigated for visual signs of moisture by a surveyor, and observations of mold were reported by the parents. Thus, two different definitions of exposure were used in the analysis. Health data was collected by a postal questionnaire. Exposure to moisture or mold significantly increased the risk of respiratory infections and respiratory symptoms as well as non-respiratory symptoms in both the preschool and schoolchildren. In preschool children, exposure to moisture significantly increased the risk of hoarseness and in the schoolchildren, the risks were significantly increased of cough without phlegm, nocturnal cough, sore throat and rhinitis. Preschool children exposed to mold had significantly increased risks of nocturnal cough and eczema, and they also had significantly more episodes of common cold than the non-exposed children. If schoolchildren had been exposed to mold, this significantly increased their risk of nausea and led to difficulties in concentration. They also had a significantly higher number of doctor visits than the non-exposed children.
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Keywords: CHILDREN; INDOOR ENVIRONMENT; MOISTURE; RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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