Department of Food, Water and Cosmetics, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.
Sensitization to food allergens and food allergic reactions are mostly caused by ingesting the allergen, but can also occur from exposure via the respiratory tract or the skin. Little is known about exposure to food allergens in the home environment.
The objective of this study was firstly to describe the frequency of detection of allergens from fish, egg, milk, and peanut in mattress dust collected from homes of 13-year-old adolescents and secondly to identify home characteristics associated with the presence of food allergen contamination in dust.
Food allergens were measured by dot blot analysis in mattress dust from 143 homes in Oslo, Norway. We analysed associations between home characteristics (collected by parental questionnaires and study technicians) and food allergens by multivariate regression models.
Fish allergen was detected in 46%, peanut in 41%, milk in 39%, and egg allergen in 22% of the mattress dust samples; only three samples contained none of these allergens. All four food allergens were more frequently detected in mattresses in small dwellings (