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Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Apr;114(4):610-4.

Airborne endotoxin is associated with respiratory illness in the first 2 years of life.

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Air Health Effects Division, Health Canada, Ottawa Hospital (General Campus), 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada.


To determine the influence of endotoxin on the incidence of acute respiratory illness during the first 2 years of life, we carried out a longitudinal follow-up study, beginning at birth, of 332 children born in Prince Edward Island, Canada. We measured 5-day averaged air endotoxin in the homes of children, whose parents provided information by daily symptom diaries and twice-monthly telephone contact for up to 2 years. Endotoxin concentration was 0.49 +/- 3.49 EU/m3 (geometric mean +/- geometric SD), and number of annualized illness episodes was 6.83 +/- 2.80 (mean +/- SD). A doubling of the air endotoxin concentration was associated with an increase of 0.32 illness episodes per year (p = 0.0003), adjusted for age, year of study, breast-feeding, environmental tobacco smoke, child care attendance, indoor temperature, and income. Indoor mold surface area and fungal ergosterol were not significantly associated with endotoxin. Airborne endotoxin appears to be a risk factor for clinically symptomatic respiratory illnesses during the first 2 years of life independent of indoor fungus.

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