Send to

Choose Destination
B-ENT. 2012;8 Suppl 19:73-9.

The role of indoor pollution in the development and maintenance of chronic airway inflammation in children.

Author information

Scientific Service of Mycology and Aerobiology, Scientific Institute of Public Health, Brussels, Belgium.


Air pollution is one of the great problems of this century and it plays an important role in the increasing prevalence of chronic inflammatory problems in the upper airway in children. Since their lungs and immune system are not fully developed when exposure begins, newborns and children appear to be more sensitive to the effects of both outdoor and indoor air pollution. Furthermore, children spend most of their time indoors and are exposed more often to pollutants in indoor air. The link between health problems, chemical products and allergens (the latter mainly from cats and mites) has been extensively studied. Other important indoor contaminants are fungi, which are often present in damp buildings and can cause severe respiratory disease by producing spores, allergens, volatile irritant compounds and toxins. A proper identification of mould contamination of this kind is vital for correct diagnosis, treatment and the prevention of health problems, and improvements have been observed after the removal or cleaning of the contaminated materials and improvements to the ventilation of buildings. While a possible association between respiratory symptoms, such as rhinitis, and the presence of fungi in the indoor environment has been documented by several authors, other studies have observed no significant relationship. The development of standardised sampling, detection and diagnostic tests will be essential to understand the proper role of fungi in the indoor atmosphere and their impact on public health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center