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Crit Rev Toxicol. 1996 Nov;26(6):633-707.

Toxicological considerations in evaluating indoor air quality and human health: impact of new carpet emissions.

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Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


This review article considers evidence regarding the toxicological impact of new carpet emissions on indoor air quality and human health. It compares emissions data from several studies and describes the dominant compounds found in those emissions. The toxicity of each these compounds is assessed for animal and human data, with a focus on inhalation exposure. Data for acute and chronic exposures are presented, and synergistic effects are considered. Differences and similarities between health responses caused by toxicity and/or by immunological reactions are discussed. Possible neurogenic pathways and associations between these and immune changes are considered as they might relate to inflammatory-based human reactions. Additionally, factors affecting human odor responses are described. The roles that a variety of psychological factors may also play in the etiology of potentially related phenomena, such as the sick building syndrome, pathogenic illness, and multiple chemical sensitivity, are considered. Gaps in the literature are identified within the article and suggestions for future research are offered. In particular, it is noted that few, if any, prior studies have evaluated both neurogenic and immune-mediated inflammation status within the same study. Based on the present information available, it is concluded that under normal environmental circumstances, VOC emissions from new carpets are sufficiently low such that they should not adversely affect indoor air quality or pose significant health risk to people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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