Airborne environmental injuries and human health

Andrea T. Borchers, Christopher Chang, Carl L Keen, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The concept that the environment in which we live can have detrimental effects on our health has existed for centuries. Obvious examples of substances that can cause human diseases include infectious agents, poisons, chemicals and other noxious agents, drugs, and physical stimuli such as bright lights and loud sounds. Some less obvious agents can include allergens, nontangible agents such as colorless, odorless gases and aerosolized toxins. In recent decades, humans have developed various new materials and compounds. Additionally, we are now producing known compounds, and even naturally occurring substances, in vastly increased amounts. Many of these substances are generally believed to threaten the health of our environment. However, there is also a considerable amount of hype and exaggeration regarding some of these agents (e.g., mold) that is unsubstantiated. This article extensively reviews the data on a large number of airborne-related illnesses and attempted to place scientific reality in the context of clinical medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-101
Number of pages101
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Biologicals
  • Formaldehyde
  • Organochlorines
  • Organophosphate pesticides
  • Particulate matter
  • Phthalates
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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