Care Facilities Carry Common Indoor Allergens
3, 2005 – NEWSdial.com) Day care facilities
were shown to be an important source for allergen exposure, according
to a study featured on the online version of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical
Immunology (JACI). The JACI is the peer-reviewed journal of the
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Indoor allergies have been associated with an increased risk
of allergy and asthma development in children. Many studies have
examined this relationship using levels found in the child's
home since this is where they typically spend most of their time.
Many children also spend a significant amount of time in day
care. In 1997, 63% of the country's 19.6 million children under
the age of five were in some form of regular child care during
a typical week. However, little information is known on allergy
levels in day care facilities in the United States.
Samuel J. Arbes, DDS, MPH, PhD, and colleagues from the National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences examined the levels
of seven indoor allergens (dog, cat, mouse, American and European
dust mite, fungus, and cockroach) in 89 day care facilities located
in two North Carolina counties. At each facility, researchers
administered questionnaires and collected dust samples from the
room where children spent the most time. They collected either
a carpet sample, hard surfaces sample, or one of each if both
> Detectable levels
of each allergen were found in a majority of the day care facilities
> Dog and cat allergen
were detected in 97% and 100% of the facilities, even though
dogs and cats were not present in the
majority of the facilities.
> The highest concentrations
were for fungus, American dust mite allergen, and dog and cat
> The lowest concentrations
were for cockroach allergen, European dust mite allergen and
> Carpeted surfaces
had significantly higher levels of dog, cat and dust allergens,
indicating that carpets provide a reservoir
for these allergens.
Researchers compared the results of the study to results of
the National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing, which studied
allergen concentrations in 831 homes. They found that although
levels of these allergens were high enough in some day care facilities
to trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, they were very similar
to those found in living rooms in the Southern United States.
This study provides evidence that day care settings are an important
source of exposure to indoor allergens. Further research should
be conducted to examine relationships between allergen exposure
in day-care faculties and the effect on the health of children
and day-care workers.
the Allergy Section of NEWSdial.com
to the Allergy, Asthma, and Sinusitis Ezine
> Return to June 2005 Archives
> Return to NEWSdial.com