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Association of VOCs, PM2.5 and household environmental exposure with children’s respiratory allergies


Over the last decade, the prevalence of respiratory allergy diseases in Indonesian children has reportedly increased, particularly in Surabaya. A few studies have confirmed that indoor environmental quality is a determinant factor. This research aims to assess the association of the air concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), household environmental exposure and respiratory allergic symptoms among children in Surabaya, Indonesia. The data was obtained from a cross-sectional study design focused on 80 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old with respiratory problems living in 25 houses over the three months of the study using the International Childhood Asthma and Allergy Research (ISAAC) guidelines. The Impinger and Epam 5000 dust sampler instruments were used to measure the VOC (toluene and formaldehyde) and PM2.5 concentrations. The statistical analyses undertaken consisted of the chi-square, Fisher’s exact and logistic regression tests. The data showed that the toluene, formaldehyde and PM2.5 concentrations were in the range of 0.004–1.160 ppm, 0.023–0.432 ppm and 14–427 μg/m3, respectively. This is above the WHO standards of toluene (0.27 ppm), formaldehyde (0.08 ppm) and PM2.5 (35 μg/m3) In addition, formaldehyde, the residential characteristics and mosquito dispellers were associated with respiratory allergic symptoms at AOR=8.05 (CI: 1.16–55.85), AOR=4.82 (CI: 1.49–15.61) and AOR=8.61 (CI: 1.97–37.63), respectively. This study suggests that the periodic monitoring of indoor air quality is an effective measure to prevent respiratory allergies among children in an indoor environment.

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The authors are grateful to the Research Development and Innovation Unit (LPI) of Universitas Airlangga for funding this research. The authors are also grateful for all of the participants who agreed to be involved in this study.

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Correspondence to Corie I. Prasasti.

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Prasasti, C.I., Haryanto, B. & Latif, M.T. Association of VOCs, PM2.5 and household environmental exposure with children’s respiratory allergies. Air Qual Atmos Health 14, 1279–1287 (2021).

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  • VOCs
  • PM2.5
  • Residence characteristics
  • Mosquito dispeller
  • Children’s respiratory allergy