Household indoor pollution linked to lung problems!

By Faith Huang, M.D.

According to a study by Dr. Raj Kumar, titled “The Association of Household Air Pollution with Allergic Respiratory Diseases in Children” that was recently presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta, increased levels of asthma and hay fever (or allergic rhinitis) were found in children in India who were exposed to more indoor pollutants. This study looked at 70 households where no children had symptoms of asthma and/or hay fever, while the other 70 households had at least one child with one of those conditions. Researchers measured the levels of air pollutants – smoking, kerosene, biomass fuel combustion, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – in all the homes. They found that in the homes of children who suffered from asthma and allergies, there was twice as much household air pollution when compared to the homes of children with no asthma or allergies. This study is interesting as it shows a link between the environment that one lives in and specific disease processes. If you or your child is suffering from asthma or allergies, it is important to talk to your board certified allergist about your symptoms, and learn ways you can reduce exposure to harmful environmental pollutants that may cause or worsen the symptoms!

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