Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Aug;109(8):859-64.

Predictors of airborne endotoxin in the home.

Author information

Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


We identified home characteristics associated with the level of airborne endotoxin in 111 Boston-area homes enrolled in a cohort study of home exposures and childhood asthma, and we developed a predictive model to estimate airborne endotoxin. We measured endotoxin in family-room air and in dust from the baby's bed, family room, bedroom, and kitchen floor. Level of airborne endotoxin was weakly correlated (r < 0.3) with level of endotoxin in each of the four types of dust samples and was significantly correlated with endotoxin in family-room dust (p < 0.05). Endotoxin in family-room dust accounted for < 6% of the variability of airborne endotoxin. In a multivariate model, certain home characteristics were positively (p < 0.05) associated with airborne endotoxin. These included current presence of dog (difference in level, dog vs. no dog = 72%, partial R(2 )= 12.8%), past presence of dog (partial R(2) = 5.5%), and endotoxin level in family-room dust (partial R(2) = 5.3%). Use of a dehumidifier (partial R(2) = 6.4%) was negatively associated (p = 0.02; difference = -31%) with airborne endotoxin. Other home characteristics were identified as important determinants of increased airborne endotoxin in this model, but individual coefficients were not statistically significant (alpha = 0.05): total amount of fine dust collected in the home (partial R(2 )= 3.8%), concrete floor in family room (3.7%), water damage (3.6%), and use of cool-mist humidifier in past year (2.7%). This multivariate model explained 42% of the variability of airborne endotoxin levels, a substantial improvement over that with dust endotoxin alone. Airborne endotoxin in Boston-area homes appears to be determined by the presence of dogs, moisture sources, and increased amounts of settled dust.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center