Monday, June 20, 2011

Moldy homes linked to children's asthma

"Lab studies suggest that being exposed to mold and airborne mold spores can cause airway inflammation."

(PressTV)  Children who live in water-damaged homes with visible mold problems are at a greater risk of developing asthma, wheezing problems or nasal allergies.

A review of 61 international studies showed that children living in homes with visible mold are 49 percent more likely to have asthma compared with their peers that are not exposed to such environments, Reuters reported.

Moreover, these children are 39 times more prone to developing nasal allergies, said the study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Lab studies suggest that being exposed to mold and airborne mold spores can cause airway inflammation. The findings, however, do not prove that mold is the culprit, said researchers.

Exposure to mold components in house dust, on the other hand, was linked to a lower risk of respiratory disorders, according to researchers at the German Research Center for Environmental Health in Neuherberg.

"Visible mold patches at the walls, or a moldy odor, is indicating that the normal microbial composition is out of kilter, which is most often due to dampness, excessive moisture or building damages," said Christina Tischer, the lead author.

One theory called the "hygiene hypothesis" suggests that the immune system of children, who live in an environment containing normal mix of microbes, are less likely to show allergic reactions.

Removing visible mold "might be a first important step in order to create a healthy environment at home," said Tischer.

Repairing leaky plumbing or other sources of water damage and lowering humidity in the home with better ventilation are among other strategies that can prevent the growth of mold at home, she added.

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