Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
An increasing number of plants for re-use of refuse have been constructed in Denmark in recent years. The Kaastrup Plant near Skive was opened in spring 1986. The plant accepts household rubbish and industrial refuse separately. The refuse is sorted by machine (industrial refuse is sorted partially manually) and in a large partially open machine plant, refuse is converted into fuel pellets. During a period of eight months, eight out of 15 employees developed respiratory symptoms. In seven, bronchial asthma was diagnosed and chronic bronchitis in one person. Four had initial symptoms of the organic dust toxic syndrome. After further six months, another case of occupationally-conditioned asthma occurred in the plant. Only two out of nine had previously had asthma or atopic disease. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of type-I allergy. Six out of nine had specific precipitating antibodies to refuse while all had negative RAST tests to this. In spring 1989, from six to eighteen months after the onset of the symptoms, six had still dyspnoea on exertion and three had positive histamine-provocation tests and seven out of nine had left the plant. Occupational medical measurements revealed dust concentrations of 8.1 mg/cubic millimeter in September 1986 and total germs of up to 3 x 10(9) cfu/cubic meter. Construction of the plant involved considerable contact with the refuse on account of the cleansing processes and open systems and it was reconstructed in the course of 1987/1988 so that the hygienic conditions are now acceptable.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
A comparison was made between the amount of airborne pollen collected by Burkard airsampler and the allergenic activity of particles trapped on glass fibre filters in an Accu-Vol high-volume airsampler. The comparison was made throughout the pollen seasons 1986 to 1989. Both airsamplers were operated 24 h a day. They were placed less than 5 m apart, and estimation of the pollen amount was made on a day-to-day basis during the pollen seasons, and on a weekly basis outside the seasons. The occurrence of the 3 clinically most important allergenic types of pollen, birch, grass, and mugwort, was analysed, and close correlations between the 2 sampling techniques were found (rs 0.5-0.8, p
BACKGROUND: Some schools in Sweden offer allergen avoidance classrooms for allergic children with severe asthma. However, the measures commonly used to achieve a reduction in allergen levels have not been properly evaluated. The aim of the present prospective study was to study whether the levels of airborne cat allergen are altered after introducing feasible intervention measures in classrooms, without interfering with peoples' freedom of choice regarding pet ownership. METHODS: Twenty-five classes, including five established allergy prevention classrooms participated in the study during a school year. After one term, six classes underwent a number of intervention measures recommended by the Swedish National Institute of Public Health. Curtains, upholstery and plants were removed, bookshelves were replaced with cupboards and regular cleaning was increased. Airborne dust was collected weekly (32 weeks) using duplicate Petri dishes (n = 1574) and on six occasions using two personal air samplers in each class (n = 264). RESULTS: Airborne cat allergen levels were showing a similar variability throughout the whole study in all classes. Despite extensive measures in order to reduce allergen exposure, cat allergen levels were unaltered in the six classes after intervention. Allergen levels were not significantly lower in the established allergy prevention classes, compared with the other classes. Cat allergen levels differed, however, significantly between classes with few and many cat owners (P
BACKGROUND: In general, the non-pyroglyphid mites Lepidoglyphus destructor and Blomia tropicalis show a different geographical distribution. Allergic sensitization to both species have been demonstrated in several investigations. However, whether this reflects cross-reactivity or dual sensitization is so far not known. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate the allergenicity and allergenic crossreactivity of L. destructor and B. tropicalis using sera from Sweden and Brazil. METHODS: Allergens in extracts of L. destructor and B. tropicalis were identified with SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting and the crossreactivity was studied by an immunoblot inhibition method. In addition to mite extracts, a recombinant major allergen of L. destructor, Lep d 2, was used. RESULTS: The extract prepared from L. destructor contained 21 IgE-binding components when using the Swedish or the Brazilian sera. A 15 kDa allergen was recognized by 85% of the Swedish sera and 78% of the Brazilian. The B. tropicalis extract exposed 23 IgE-binding components when the Brazilian sera were used and 19 when the Swedish sera were used. A total of 83% of the Brazilian sera and 80% of the Swedish sera identified a 14.5 kDa allergen. The IgE response of the Swedish serum pool to 10 B. tropicalis allergens was inhibited by L. destructor extract. Likewise, the response of the Brazilian serum pool to four different L. destructor allergens was inhibited by B. tropicalis extract. The recombinant Lep d 2 allergen inhibited 33% of the IgE binding of the Swedish serum pool to the 14.5 kDa allergen in the B. tropicalis extract. CONCLUSION: Crossreactivity with several proteins from L. destructor and B. tropicalis was demonstrated. The results suggest that a B. tropicalis 14.5 kDa allergen is antigenically crossreactive with recombinant L. destructor allergen Lep d 2.
Metalworking fluids (MWFs) are well-known causes of occupational contact dermatitis in machinists.
To gain information about skin sensitizers in MWFs and to compare it with the information in safety data sheets (SDSs).
A total of 17 samples of MWF concentrates were analysed for skin sensitizers known or suspected to be used in MWF. Alkanolamines, formaldehyde, isothiazolinones, methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDBGN), and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC) were separated by liquid chromatography. Resin acids of colophonium (colophony) were separated by gas chromatography. The substances were identified with mass spectrometric detection and ultraviolet detection.
Of the MWFs, 15 contained 6-39% of alkanolamines, mostly monoethanolamine and triethanolamine. Formaldehyde was detected in all MWFs: the concentrations of total formaldehyde ranged between 0.002% and 1.3%. Benzisothiazolinone and octylisothiazolinone were detected in one fluid each. IPBC was detected in nine MWFs, and the highest concentration was 0.09%. Methylisothiazolinone and MDBGN were not detected in any of the fluids. Resin acids of colophonium were detected in seven MWFs in concentrations ranging from 0.41% to 3.8%. On the whole, the allergens analysed were poorly declared in the SDSs.
The content of total formaldehyde was not declared in any SDS. IPBC, a relatively new allergen, seems to be common in MWFs. Isothiazolinones may be relevant allergens of machinists, and they should be analysed in MWFs in case other sources are not identified. The occupational relevance of positive patch test results to MWF ingredients in machinists is difficult to determine if information in the SDSs is relied upon.
Associations between selected allergens, phthalates, nicotine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and bedroom ventilation and clinically confirmed asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis in preschool children.
Previous studies, often using data from questionnaires, have reported associations between various characteristics of indoor environments and allergic disease. The aim of this study has been to investigate possible associations between objectively assessed indoor environmental factors and clinically confirmed asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis. The study is a cross-sectional case-control study of 500 children aged 3-5 years from Odense, Denmark. The 200 cases had at least two parentally reported allergic diseases, while the 300 controls were randomly selected from 2835 participating families. A single physician conducted clinical examinations of all 500 children. Children from the initially random control group with clinically confirmed allergic disease were subsequently excluded from the control group and admitted in the case group, leaving 242 in the healthy control group. For most children, specific IgE's against various allergens were determined. In parallel, dust samples were collected and air change rates were measured in the children's bedrooms. The dust samples were analyzed for phthalate esters, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), nicotine, and various allergens. Among children diagnosed with asthma, concentrations of nicotine were higher (P
BACKGROUND: Several studies have consistently reported inverse associations between exposure to endotoxin in house dust and atopy. With regard to the association between house dust endotoxin and asthma, the results are inconsistent. OBJECTIVES: To study the association between house dust endotoxin levels and respiratory symptoms and atopy in populations from largely different countries. METHODS: Data were collected within the International Study on Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase Two, a multi-centre cross-sectional study of 840 children aged 9-12 years from six centres in the five countries of Albania, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Living room floor dust was collected and analysed for endotoxin. Health end-points and demographics were assessed by standardized questionnaires. Atopy was assessed by measurements of allergen-specific IgE against a panel of inhalant allergens. Associations between house dust endotoxin and health outcomes were analysed by logistic regression. Odds ratios (ORs) were presented for an overall interquartile range increase in exposure. RESULTS: Many associations between house dust endotoxin in living room floor dust and health outcomes varied between countries. Combined across countries, endotoxin levels were inversely associated with asthma ever [adjusted OR (95% confidence interval (CI)) 0.53 (0.29-0.96) for endotoxin levels per m(2) of living room floor] and current wheeze [adjusted OR (95% CI) 0.77 (0.64-0.93) for endotoxin levels per gram of living room floor dust]. There were inverse associations between endotoxin concentrations and atopy, which were statistically significant in unadjusted analyses, but not after adjustment for gender, parental allergies, cat and house dust mite allergens. No associations were found with dust quantity and between endotoxin exposure and hayfever. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest an inverse association between endotoxin levels in living room floor dust and asthma in children.
The aim of this study was to measure the levels of cat and dog allergen in homes of families that had either never kept pets or kept or had kept cats or dogs. From a small residential area outside Stockholm consisting of 250 houses with similar exteriors 70 homes were included. Dust samples were collected from mattresses and textile-covered floors. The levels of cat and dog allergen were analysed by ELISA. Fel d1 was found in mattress dust in all 70 homes, median 0.5 micrograms/g [0.24-8.89 micrograms/g (quartiles)] and textile-covered floors 0.7 micrograms/g (0.20-2.52 micrograms/g). Can f1, was found in 98% of the collected samples, mattress dust 1.89 micrograms/g (0.70-9.20 micrograms/g) and textile-covered floor dust 2.5 micrograms/g (1.04-2.72 micrograms/g). There was a positive correlation (p