PGE chemicals in bedroom air significantly increases risk of asthma, hay fever and eczema

A study carried out by researchers at Karlstad University in Swecden looked at 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 analysed. The children were examined by physicians while the parents responded to a questionnaire about the family's health, lifestyle, etc.

The study showed that the concentration of PGEs, propylene glycol and glycol ethers, in bedroom air was linked to an increased risk of between 50 and 180% of the children developing asthma, hay fever, and eczema. It was also found that the children who lived with a higher concentration of PGEs in indoor air were also more likely to have IgE antibodies against cats, dogs and pollen. Analysis showed that the higher level of PGEs was liked to water-based paints and  water-based cleaners.

Hyunok Choi, Norbert Schmidbauer, Jan Sundell, Mikael Hasselgren, John Spengler, Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, Dominik Hartl. Common Household Chemicals and the Allergy Risks in Pre-School Age Children. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (10): e13423

Click here for more research reports

First Published in November 2010

Top of page