Torben Sigsgaard

Molds in floor dust and building-related symptoms among adolescent school children: a problem for boys only?

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • H W Meyer
  • ,
  • H Würtz, Danmark
  • Poul Vilhelm Suadicani, Institut for Klinisk Medicin, Danmark
  • O Valbjørn
  • ,
  • Torben Sigsgaard
  • F Gyntelberg, Danmark
  • Members of a Working Group under the Danish Mold in Buildings program (DAMIB)
  • Afdeling for Miljø- og Arbejdsmedicin
In this stratified cross-sectional study in eight 'wet' and seven 'dry' schools, 1024 adolescent school children reported potentially building-related symptoms (BRS) in self-administrated questionnaires. From their classrooms dust samples were collected from floors, ventilation ducts, and air; settled dust was collected in cardboard boxes over a period of 5 months. Measurements of temperature, relative humidity and CO2 were performed. BRS were strongly associated with personal factors like recent airway infections, hay fever, asthma and psycho-social work load, but also to molds in floor dust and presence of mechanical ventilation. The association between molds in floor dust and BRS has in stratified analyses shown a strong association among adolescent school boys, and no association among adolescent school girls using multivariable analyses controlling for relevant confounders. In contrast to the menstruating school girls, the symptoms among the small group of not yet menstruating girls were associated with the levels of molds in floor dust. Their symptom prevalences were very similar to those of the boys. This finding makes us suggest a new hypothesis: The higher endogenous estrogen levels of sexually matured adolescent females seems to protect them from the effects of molds in dust, despite their overall higher symptom prevalence. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: In this cross-sectional epidemiological study of adolescent school children we found independent significant positive associations between building-related symptoms and viable molds in floor dust in boys and non-menstruating girls. In contrast, no such associations were seen among menstruating girls. The identification of these two susceptible groups adds further support the relevance of minimizing sources of dust and mold exposure.
TidsskriftIndoor Air
NummerSuppl. 10
Sider (fra-til)17-24
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2005

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