Mouldy home tied to kids’ asthma and allergies

A review of over 1300 publications and 60 studies taken over the last 30 years has shown that children who live in homes with visible mould problems and water-damage have a greater risk of suffering from asthma and allergies. However, more recent studies have also suggested that early childhood exposure to specific components of the mould may protect children from developing allergies.

Dr Christina Tischer of the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Neuherberg and her colleagues have found that although exposure to mould, and its airborne spores can inflame the airways, mould is not necessarily the culprit. They advise that because the mould grows in an environment where the microbial composition is out of kilter, this needs to be addressed, and that any visible mould should be removed. Tischer and colleagues found the presence of mould to be positively associated with asthma, wheeze and allergic rhinitis.

They also found that there is a lower risk of allergy in children exposed to mould-derived components such as (1,3)-ß-D-glucan and Extracellular polysaccharides (EPS). However further research needs to be undertaken to discover the effects of mould-derived components, and to work out the different effects of overall microbial exposure on children’s health.

Source: European Respiratory Journal

See also: 15 tips for getting rid of mould


Click here for more research on the possible causes of asthma

First Published June 2010


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