Friday, December 02, 2005

Asthma and Toxins in Dust?

New research is apparently reinforcing the link between household dust exposure and asthma.

University of Iowa researchers compared the asthma symptoms of 2,400 residents to dust samples collected in 800 homes.

They found that endotoxins in bedding dust correlated strongest with asthma symptoms in the study volunteers (endotoxins are toxic substances associated with the outer membrane of certain bacteria).

"This study clearly demonstrates significant relationships between household endotoxin and diagnosed asthma, recent asthma symptoms, current use of asthma medications and wheezing," says Peter Thorne, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

Researchers found the strongest relationship between asthma, wheezing and asthma drugs and endotoxin levels in bedrooms and bedding.

They note this association was found only in adults.

Surprisingly, the highest levels of endotoxins were found in kitchen and living room dust.

(This article was adapted from a report by Invanhoe