Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Everyday substances increase risk of allergies

The use of chemicals in our everyday lives entails increased risks of allergies in children, according to a study at Karlstad University in Sweden. The prevalence of PGEs, propylene glycol and glycol ethers, in bedroom air is associated with asthma, hay fever, and eczema, but also with antibodies against common allergens in children. The study shows a risk increase of up to 180 percent.

“The study shows for the first time that the concentration of PGEs, propylene glycol and glycol ethers, in bedroom air was linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, hay fever, and eczema in children,” says Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, professor of public health science at Karlstad University and associated with the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

“The increase in risk varied between 50 and 180 percent. It was also found that a higher concentration of PGEs in indoor air was associated with children evincing antibodies (IgE) against allergens such as cats, dogs, pollen. Our analyses also revealed that the use of water-based paint in the dwelling, as well as water-based cleansers, was linked to a higher concentration of PGEs in bedroom air.”

What does this mean?

In recent decades a huge number of chemicals have been introduced into our everyday environments. Such chemicals are primarily related to construction materials, paints, etc. and a great number of common consumer products such as cleansers, plastics, toys, cosmetics, and packaging.

“We have previously shown that phthalates from soft PVD could be tied to allergic conditions in children,” says Carl-Gustaf Bornehag. “Now we have focused on PGEs, which are a group of volatile organic compounds found in water-based indoor paints and cleansers, for example. Among the PGE substances identified are compounds suspected of disturbing hormones, which was also the case regarding the phthalates we studied earlier.”

“Our findings once again raise the question of the health-related aspects of the use of chemicals in our everyday lives,” says Carl-Gustaf Bornehag. “Particularly when it comes to exposure in our home environments, since small children and pregnant women spend a great deal of their time there and there are many indications that exposing fetuses and infants is probably more risky. Our current research is addressing this, that is, what does it entail in terms of chronic conditions later in life that we expose fetuses and infants to a great number of chemicals that are suspected of being toxic.”

The study comprised 198 preschool children with asthma and allergy and 202 healthy controls included in the Housing-Children-Health Study in the county of Värmland. Dwellings were examined by professional inspectors, and air samples were taken in the children’s bedrooms, where eight groups of volatile compounds were analyzed. The children were examined by physicians. Moreover, parents responded to a questionnaire about the family’s health, lifestyle, etc. The article is a result of a collaboration between Karlstad University and the Harvard School of Public Health in the U.S.

For more information please contact Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, professor of public health science, phone: +46 (0)54 700 2540 or mobile: +46 (0)70 586 6565,

Pressofficer: Carina Olsson;; +46-54 054 700 2244

Carina Olsson | idw
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>