Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 414–420 | Cite as

Impact of Environmental Controls on Childhood Asthma

  • Devika Rao
  • Wanda Phipatanakul


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.


Asthma Asthma prevention Asthma control Children Allergen House dust mites Home remediation Mold Endotoxin Integrated pest management Pollution Cats Dogs Tobacco 



Dr. Phipatanakul is funded by National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases R-01 grant (AI-073964) and National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases AsthmaNet 1U10HL098102.


Dr. Phipatanakul has served on boards for the New England Society of Allergy and MedImmune and has received grant support from AstraZeneca.

Dr. Rao reported no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Respiratory DiseasesChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of ImmunologyChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA

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