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Environ Health Perspect. 1991 Nov;95:135-43.

Approaches for assessing health risks from complex mixtures in indoor air: a panel overview.

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ILSI Risk Science Institute, Washington, DC 20036.


Critical to a more definitive human health assessment of the potential health risks from exposure to complex mixtures in indoor air is the need for a more definitive clinical measure and etiology of the health effects of complex mixtures. This panel overview highlights six of the eight presentations of the conference panel discussion and features a number of the major topical areas of indoor air concern. W. G. Meggs assessed clinical research priorities with primary focus on the role of volatile organic chemicals in human health, recognizing the areas where definitive data are lacking. By recognizing many types of chemical sensitivity, it may be possible to design studies that can illuminate the mechanisms by which chemical exposure may cause disease. The critically important topic of multiple chemical sensitivity was discussed by N. A. Ashford, who identified four high risk groups and defined the demographics of these groups. P. A. Schulte addressed the issue of biological markers of susceptibility with specific considerations of both methodological and societal aspects that may be operative in the ability to detect innate or inborne differences between individuals and populations. Three case studies were reviewed. H. Anderson discussed the past and present priorities from a public health perspective, focusing on those issues dealing with exposures to environmental tobacco smoke and formaldehyde off-gassing from materials used in mobile home construction. J. J. Osborne described several case studies involving wood smoke exposure to children, with emphasis on the significantly greater occurrence of chronic respiratory symptoms and acute chest illness for children from homes heated with woodburning stoves.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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