In recent years, there has been a global increase in the prevalence of asthma. This has coincided with many modifications to the home environment, resulting in changes to the quality of indoor air. This article considers the links between indoor air pollution and asthma. Exposure to a range of pollutants is examined. Airborne allergens such as those from house dust mites and cockroaches, domestic pets and moulds and fungal spores may be important. Pollution from particulate materials associated with bio-fuel combustion and smoking is discussed, as is the role of chemical vapours and gasses including nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds. The efficacy of various environmental controls to limit the impact of these pollutants is explored. It is concluded that indoor air pollution may be an important risk for asthma and the health impacts of building design and management require greater recognition and further research.
- bronchial asthma
- indoor environment