Indoor air quality and human health: Truth vs mass hysteria

Christopher Chang, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Indoor air quality is an important issue, because anything we breathe can potentially affect our health. To determine if there is a real health risk, well-designed scientifically valid studies must be performed. Although much attention has focused on sick building syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and mycotoxicosis, there actually is very little evidence that these conditions have an adverse effect on human health. In contrast, real health issues have been shown to exist regarding indoor air triggers of allergies and asthma. Outdoor allergens are difficult to avoid because the pollen grains we encounter outdoors, which are the size that can cause allergies, are windborne and can travel for miles. However, indoor allergens can cause severe allergic symptoms and may also have a priming effect on an individual's susceptibility to simultaneous or subsequent exposure of other outdoor allergens. Therefore, it is important to minimize exposure to indoor allergens. Determination of individual susceptibility can be paired with knowledge of the patient's indoor exposure pattern to produce a customized management plan of avoidance, which can be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatment of allergies and asthma, as well as immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Indoor Air Pollution
Hysteria
Allergens
Hypersensitivity
Health
Mycotoxicosis
Asthma
Sick Building Syndrome
Pollen
Immunotherapy
Air
Pharmacology

Keywords

  • Allergen avoidance
  • Atopy
  • Environmental exposures
  • Hygiene hypothesis
  • Indoor air quality
  • Molds
  • Sick building syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this

Indoor air quality and human health : Truth vs mass hysteria. / Chang, Christopher; Gershwin, M. Eric.

In: Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, Vol. 27, No. 3, 12.2004, p. 219-239.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f2c6eb1d87eb4c959af8a05afa059290,
title = "Indoor air quality and human health: Truth vs mass hysteria",
abstract = "Indoor air quality is an important issue, because anything we breathe can potentially affect our health. To determine if there is a real health risk, well-designed scientifically valid studies must be performed. Although much attention has focused on sick building syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and mycotoxicosis, there actually is very little evidence that these conditions have an adverse effect on human health. In contrast, real health issues have been shown to exist regarding indoor air triggers of allergies and asthma. Outdoor allergens are difficult to avoid because the pollen grains we encounter outdoors, which are the size that can cause allergies, are windborne and can travel for miles. However, indoor allergens can cause severe allergic symptoms and may also have a priming effect on an individual's susceptibility to simultaneous or subsequent exposure of other outdoor allergens. Therefore, it is important to minimize exposure to indoor allergens. Determination of individual susceptibility can be paired with knowledge of the patient's indoor exposure pattern to produce a customized management plan of avoidance, which can be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatment of allergies and asthma, as well as immunotherapy.",
keywords = "Allergen avoidance, Atopy, Environmental exposures, Hygiene hypothesis, Indoor air quality, Molds, Sick building syndrome",
author = "Christopher Chang and Gershwin, {M. Eric}",
year = "2004",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1385/CRIAI:27:3:219",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "219--239",
journal = "Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology",
issn = "1080-0549",
publisher = "Humana Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Indoor air quality and human health

T2 - Truth vs mass hysteria

AU - Chang, Christopher

AU - Gershwin, M. Eric

PY - 2004/12

Y1 - 2004/12

N2 - Indoor air quality is an important issue, because anything we breathe can potentially affect our health. To determine if there is a real health risk, well-designed scientifically valid studies must be performed. Although much attention has focused on sick building syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and mycotoxicosis, there actually is very little evidence that these conditions have an adverse effect on human health. In contrast, real health issues have been shown to exist regarding indoor air triggers of allergies and asthma. Outdoor allergens are difficult to avoid because the pollen grains we encounter outdoors, which are the size that can cause allergies, are windborne and can travel for miles. However, indoor allergens can cause severe allergic symptoms and may also have a priming effect on an individual's susceptibility to simultaneous or subsequent exposure of other outdoor allergens. Therefore, it is important to minimize exposure to indoor allergens. Determination of individual susceptibility can be paired with knowledge of the patient's indoor exposure pattern to produce a customized management plan of avoidance, which can be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatment of allergies and asthma, as well as immunotherapy.

AB - Indoor air quality is an important issue, because anything we breathe can potentially affect our health. To determine if there is a real health risk, well-designed scientifically valid studies must be performed. Although much attention has focused on sick building syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and mycotoxicosis, there actually is very little evidence that these conditions have an adverse effect on human health. In contrast, real health issues have been shown to exist regarding indoor air triggers of allergies and asthma. Outdoor allergens are difficult to avoid because the pollen grains we encounter outdoors, which are the size that can cause allergies, are windborne and can travel for miles. However, indoor allergens can cause severe allergic symptoms and may also have a priming effect on an individual's susceptibility to simultaneous or subsequent exposure of other outdoor allergens. Therefore, it is important to minimize exposure to indoor allergens. Determination of individual susceptibility can be paired with knowledge of the patient's indoor exposure pattern to produce a customized management plan of avoidance, which can be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatment of allergies and asthma, as well as immunotherapy.

KW - Allergen avoidance

KW - Atopy

KW - Environmental exposures

KW - Hygiene hypothesis

KW - Indoor air quality

KW - Molds

KW - Sick building syndrome

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=13444249636&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=13444249636&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1385/CRIAI:27:3:219

DO - 10.1385/CRIAI:27:3:219

M3 - Article

C2 - 15630158

AN - SCOPUS:13444249636

VL - 27

SP - 219

EP - 239

JO - Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology

JF - Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology

SN - 1080-0549

IS - 3

ER -