Allergens and β-Glucans in Dutch Homes and Schools: Characterizing Airborne LevelsReportar como inadecuado

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Indoor air quality has an effect on respiratory health. Children are more vulnerable to a decreased indoor air quality as their lungs are still developing. We measured levels of allergens and β-1,3-glucans in 19 school buildings and determined whether measured levels could be reproduced. School levels were compared to those in 169 homes and the effect of building characteristics on both home and school exposure was explored.


Electrostatic Dust fall Collectors were placed in school buildings for 8 weeks and in homes for 2 weeks to collect settled airborne dust. Cat, dog, and mouse allergen levels, domestic mite antigen levels and β-1,3-glucans were measured in the extracts from the collectors. Results were corrected for sampling duration. Using questionnaire data, relations between measured levels and building and classroom characteristics were explored.


In schools, exposure levels were highest in classrooms and were influenced by the socioeconomic status of the children, the season measurements were performed, moisture status of the building and pet ownership. Repeated measurements in different seasons and over the years showed significantly different levels. Home exposure was influenced by socioeconomic status, occupancy and pet ownership. Domestic mite antigen was found in higher levels in extracts from homes compared to schools while pet allergen levels were 13 times higher in schools compared to homes without pets. For mouse allergen overall levels of exposure were low but still two times higher in schools compared to homes. Levels of β-1,3-glucans were also approximately two times higher in schools than in homes.


Exposure levels of several allergens and β-1,3-glucans in schools differ over time and are higher than in homes. For children, exposure levels measured at school could contribute to their total exposure as especially animal allergen levels can be much higher in schools compared to homes.

Autor: Esmeralda J. M. Krop , José H. Jacobs, Ingrid Sander, Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, Dick J. J. Heederik



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