Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Softening agent from PVC cause of asthma and allergic symptoms among children

16.08.2004


There is a clear co-variation between allergic symptoms in children and the concentration of softening agents in their homes. This is a finding made by a Swedish-Danish research team in a recently published study financed by Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning.



“A great number of consumer products and surface materials like PVC mats contain softening agents, such as phthalate esters,” says Professor Carl-Gustaf Bornehag at Karlstad University and the Swedish National Testing and Research Institute, SP. World production of such softening agents has increased dramatically since the 1950s. At the same time, asthma and allergies have proliferated over the last 3-4 decades.

The study was carried out within the framework of the Dampness in Buildings and Health Study, DBH. In 2000 a questionnaire was sent out to cover all children in the province of Värmland (14,077 individuals). Answers were received from 79 percent regarding background factors, health, and housing factors. From these, 198 children with allergies and 202 healthy children were selected for in-depth study. Building inspectors checked the children’s homes, and dust and air samples were taken to determine their chemical and microbiological content. Dust from surfaces above the floor level in the child’s bedroom was gathered to determine the presence of softening agents. At the same time, the children underwent medical examinations and clinical samples were taken, including sensitivization (IgE antibodies in the blood).


“We found higher concentrations of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP) in the affected children compared with the healthy ones. Further it was shown that the concentration of BBzP co-varied with rhinitis (runny nose and eyes) and eczema, whereas di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) co-varied with respiratory complaints such as asthma. Moreover, a dose-response association was found, that is, the higher the concentration of softening agent, the greater the reaction in the children,” says Jan Sundell, Professor at the Technical University of Denmark.

Four other phthalates were investigated but were not found to be associated with asthma and allergic reaction: diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-isobytyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP).

“The study thus shows that normal concentrations of phthalate esters in indoor dust co-vary with allergies in children. We believe that the different associations for the three most prevalent phthalates, BBzP, DEHP, and DnBP can be explained by differences in chemical and toxicological properties.”

Emilie von Essen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.formas.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

nachricht Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

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: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>