Room-specific characteristics of suburban homes as predictors of indoor allergen concentrations

Tamara T. Perry, Robert A. Wood, Elizabeth C. Matsui, Jean Curtin-Brosnan, Cynthia Rand, Peyton A. Eggleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Room characteristics predicting indoor allergen exposure in suburban homes have not been clearly identified. Objective: To examine relationships between room characteristics and concentrations of indoor allergens in homes of suburban asthmatic patients. Methods: The homes of 339 asthmatic children ages 6 to 17 years were studied. Home inspections were conducted by a trained technician, and dust samples were analyzed for indoor allergen content. A high allergen concentration was defined as 8 μg (U)/g or more of fine dust. Results: Infrequent sheet washing and wall-to-wall carpet were risk factors for high bedroom dust mite concentrations. Infrequent sheet washing was also a risk factor for high Fel d l concentrations. Food remains in the bedroom was a risk factor for high bedroom Bla g l levels, and exposed food, leaks, and dirty pots were all risk factors for high kitchen Bla g l levels. The combination of lack of mattress or pillow encasements, infrequent sheet washing, and carpeting was associated with a 24-fold increase in odds of a high dust mite concentration (odds ratio [OR], 24.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.2-181.4). Among non-cat owners, the combination of stuffed toys on the bed, lack of mattress or pillow encasements, and infrequent sheet washing was associated with a 49-fold increase in odds of a high Pel d l level (OR, 49.4; 95% CI, 2.8-887.3). The combination of leaks, exposed food, and dirty pots was associated with a high kitchen Bla g l concentration (OR, 10.6; 95% CI, 2.8-40.5). Conclusions: Specific room characteristics predict high indoor allergen exposure among children with asthma, and a combination of these characteristics may further increase the risk of high allergen exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-635
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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