, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 414-420
Date: 28 Jun 2011

Impact of Environmental Controls on Childhood Asthma

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Abstract

Exposure to allergens early in life can lead to sensitization and the development of childhood asthma. It is thought that increased exposure with the advent of modern housing is likely contributing to the rise in prevalence of childhood asthma during the past few decades. The progression from allergen exposure to sensitization and asthma development has been noted with respect to dust mites, pets, cockroach, mouse, mold, tobacco smoke, endotoxin, and air pollution, although some have found a protective effect with pet and endotoxin exposure. Recent studies have shown that allergen remediation may be beneficial in reducing asthma morbidity and development, although there is also some evidence to the contrary. Examples of allergen remediation that have been studied include the use of dust mite–impermeable covers, high-efficiency particulate air filtration, integrated pest management, home repairs, ventilation improvement, and pet removal. Several multifaceted, randomized controlled trials have shown that reducing multiple early allergen exposures with environmental controls is associated with a decreased risk of asthma.