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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Jul 1;485-486:153-163. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.059. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Exposure to house dust phthalates in relation to asthma and allergies in both children and adults.

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Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.
Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, 21 Yazakokarimata, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.
Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology, Division of Environment Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health, 3-24-1 Hyakunincho, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0073, Japan.
Hokkaido University Center for Environmental and Health Sciences, Kita 12, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan.
Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita 565-0871, Japan.
Fukushima Medical University, 80-6 Yagita-Shinnmei, Fukushima-City, 960-8164, Japan.
Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.
Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences, 39 Mukaizano, Dazaifu 818-0135, Japan.
Asahikawa Medical University, 1-1-1 Midorigaoka Higashi 2 jo, Asahikawa 078-8510, Japan.
Hokkaido University Center for Environmental and Health Sciences, Kita 12, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan. Electronic address:


Although an association between exposure to phthalates in house dust and childhood asthma or allergies has been reported in recent years, there have been no reports of these associations focusing on both adults and children. We aimed to investigate the relationships between phthalate levels in Japanese dwellings and the prevalence of asthma and allergies in both children and adult inhabitants in a cross-sectional study. The levels of seven phthalates in floor dust and multi-surface dust in 156 single-family homes were measured. According to a self-reported questionnaire, the prevalence of bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis in the 2 years preceding the study was 4.7%, 18.6%, 7.6%, and 10.3%, respectively. After evaluating the interaction effects of age and exposure categories with generalized liner mixed models, interaction effects were obtained for DiNP and bronchial asthma in adults (Pinteraction=0.028) and for DMP and allergic rhinitis in children (Pinteraction=0.015). Although not statistically significant, children had higher ORs of allergic rhinitis for DiNP, allergic conjunctivitis for DEHP, and atopic dermatitis for DiBP and BBzP than adults, and liner associations were observed (Ptrend<0.05). On the other hand, adults had a higher OR for atopic dermatitis and DEHP compared to children. No significant associations were found in phthalates levels collected from multi-surfaces. This study suggests that the levels of DMP, DEHP, DiBP, and BBzP in floor dust were associated with the prevalence of allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis in children, and children are more vulnerable to phthalate exposure via household floor dust than are adults. The results from this study were shown by cross-sectional nature of the analyses and elaborate assessments for metabolism of phthalates were not considered. Further studies are needed to advance our understanding of phthalate toxicity.


Allergic conjunctivitis; Atopic dermatitis; Bronchial asthma; Children; House dust; Phthalates

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