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Indoor Air. 2005 Oct;15(5):356-62.

Allergens and endotoxin in settled dust from day-care centers and schools in Oslo, Norway.

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Division of Environmental Medicine, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.


Allergy to indoor allergens can cause frequent and severe health problems in children. Because little is known about the content of allergens in the indoor environments in Norway, we wanted to assess the levels of cat, dog and mite allergens in schools and day-care centers in Oslo. Allergen levels in dust samples from 155 classrooms and 81 day-care units were measured using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Additionally, we measured the levels of endotoxin in 31 day-care units, using the limulus amebocyte lysate test. Most of the dust samples contained detectable amounts of cat and dog allergens. In mattress and floor dust (day-care centers), and curtain and floor dust (schools) the median Fel d 1 levels were 0.17, 0.002, 0.02 and 0.079 microg/m2, while the median Can f 1 levels were 1.7, 0.03, 0.1 and 0.69 microg/m2, respectively. Levels of cat and dog allergens in school floor dust were associated with the number of pupils with animals at home. In contrast, <1% of the samples had measurable levels of the mite allergen Der p 1. Moreover, the levels of endotoxin tended to be higher in dust from floors (1.4 ng/m2) compared with that from mattresses (0.9 ng/m2).


To reduce allergen exposure, allergic individuals should be placed in the classes/rooms with the fewest pet owners. Moreover, mattresses in day-care centers are major reservoirs of cat and dog allergens and should be cleaned frequently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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