Thursday, October 24, 2013

PVC flooring linked to asthma in children

A new study has found that Children exposed to PVC flooring are more likely to develop asthma during the following 10 year period.

There are also indications that PVC flooring in the parents’ bedrooms were actually more strongly associated with the new cases of asthma when compared with child's own bedroom. This could be an indication that the children were exposed in the womb as well.

Soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC) includes phthalates that normally are released to the surrounding environment. Phthalates is a group of chemicals with suspected endocrine disrupting properties that may impact on several chronic diseases/disorders such as asthma and allergy. The current study was aimed to investigate if PVC-flooring in the home of children in the age of 1-5 years was associated with the development of asthma in 5-year and 10-year follow-up investigations.

The Dampness in Buildings and Health (DBH) study started in the year of 2000 with a questionnaire to the parents of more than 14,000 children (1-5 years of age) in Värmland, Sweden, with responses from almost 11,000 children corresponding to a response rate of 79%. In this baseline questionnaire we screened for health in the family, lifestyles, building characteristics, etc. In 2005 we made a first 5 year follow up study and 2010 we made a second 10 year follow up, i.e., the data for the current study. The major interest in the follow up studies was to identify children that had developed asthma and other allergic diseases during the period after the baseline investigation.

Children who had PVC floorings in the bedroom were more likely to develop doctor diagnosed asthma during the following 10 years period when compared with children living without such flooring material. The risk was in several cases more than doubled. Furthermore, there were indications that PVC flooring in the parents’ bedrooms were stronger associated with the new cases of doctor diagnosed asthma when compared with child's bedroom. This could be an indication that prenatal exposure is of importance.

The scientists previously found that PVC flooring material is a source for phthalates found in indoor air, specifically in household dust. This exposure can be associated with eczema and asthma in children.

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