Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Asthma and pollution at home

The Physical Chemistry of the Atmosphere Laboratory (1) of the University Louis Pasteur will soon publish some very novel results, obtained from asthmatic patients, which question the recommended level of formaldehyde regarding human health in the domestic environment. This air-born gaseous substance is classified as a pollutant at high concentrations.

There are substances in the air which, at high concentrations, can lead to harmful effects on health or the environment. This depends primarily on the dose and the duration of exposure or enclosure. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (2) (VOC) released in small concentrations from many commonly used products : insulating foam, lacquers, glues, varnishes, inks, resins, paper, household products, pesticides, certain types of chipboard and plywood. It is also used in some cosmetics and textiles.

The concentration of formaldehyde in the air was measured in various environments : exterior, intermediate (libraries, shopping centres, train stations) and interior (individual homes). In around 10% of the studied locations, the level of formaldehyde was found to be greater than 50 µg m-3 (3). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 100 µg m-3 for 30 minutes corresponds to acute exposure, the recommended value of formaldehyde exposure in an interior environment. According to the results obtained by the Physical Chemistry of the Atmosphere Laboratory (ULP/CNRS joint research unit) in collaboration with the Pneumology Department of the Strasbourg University Hospitals (4), the researchers of these two teams suggest a new value of between 50 and 60 µg m-3 for chronic exposure. Effectively, when people suffering from asthma stay at home, they are constantly exposed to low concentrations of formaldehyde over a period of hours and not intermittently for a period of 30 minutes. This study was performed in the Lower-Rhine region on a population of non-smoking, allergic asthmatics not exposed to formaldehyde in their professional life compared to a control population.

The obtained results, supported by the Région Alsace, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and the French Ministry for Regional Planning and Environment, raises the question on whether manufacturers of construction materials, furniture and maintenance products will take this new recommendation into account. It has also provided new clues in the study of allergic reactions to atmospheric pollutants present in our everyday environment.

Isabel Pellon Zarragoitia | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

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...

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

The nanostructured cloak of invisibility

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>