A nationwide study of indoor and outdoor environments in allergen avoidance and conventional daycare centers in Sweden
2006 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 16, no 3, 227-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sweden has had specialized 'allergen avoidance daycare centers' (AADC) since 1979. The aim was to compare AADC with ordinary daycare centers (ODC). Through contacts with municipalities and hospitals, 72 AADC were identified. For each AADC, the two nearest ODCs served as controls. A questionnaire was sent to the local directors of the 216 daycare centers (531 sections), 83% responded. A total of 39% of the ODCs had ever had dampness/molds, 12% were near (<500 m) stables/farms, 23% were closer than 50 m to a heavy trafficked road, and 13% were exposed to wood smoke in winter. Only 11% of the AADCs had any child with furred pets at home, while 97% of the ODCs had children with furred pets. Bans on smoking at home and on perfumes were more common at the AADCs (P = 0.001). Fewer AADCs had PVC floors (OR = 0.53; P = 0.01), dampness/molds (OR = 0.55; P = 0.04), shelves (OR 3.03; P = 0.001), curtains (OR = 1.67; P = 0.047), and flowers (OR = 0.03; P < 0.001), while more had daily floor cleaning (OR = 19.9; P = 0.004), weekly wiping of furniture (OR = 11.0; P = 0.001), and washing of pillows/mattresses (OR = 2.74; P = 0.005) and curtains (OR = 9.07; P = 0.001). In conclusion, allergy avoidance daycare centers differ from other daycare centers, and may have better indoor environments. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: There is a need to improve the indoor environments of daycare centers, including reduction of building dampness and molds. Allergen avoidance daycare centers (AADC) in Sweden differ from ordinary daycare centers in many respects, with fewer indoor and building factors related to dust, allergens and irritants. This shows that the indoor environments of daycare centers can be improved. Data suggest that AADC may have lower levels of pet allergens, and this is beneficial for children with pet allergy. The effects of these improvements on indoor exposures and health of the children need to be further evaluated.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 16, no 3, 227-35 p.
Air Pollutants, Air Pollution; Indoor/*analysis, Allergens/*analysis, Animals, Antigens; Dermatophagoides/analysis, Cats, Child Day Care Centers, Child; Preschool, Cockroaches, Dogs, Dust/analysis, Environmental Monitoring, Facility Design and Construction, Humans, Questionnaires, Sick Building Syndrome, Sweden, Ventilation
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-81290DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2005.00420.xPubMedID: 16683941OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-81290DiVA: diva2:109205