Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Indoor Air Quality and Asthma in School Children

Poster Number

54

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

air quality, PM2.5, asthma, school

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that puts a strain on lung function and breathing. It is the leading cause of school absenteeism and hospitalization for American children. Genetics play a major role in allergy related disease development such as asthma, but environmental exposures are proving to be a potential contributor to childhood asthma. Despite the sufficient data regarding air pollution, there is a huge knowledge gap regarding indoor air quality and its relationship with health outcomes such as asthma. Many of the studies available only look at outdoor air pollution levels, while children spend the majority of their time indoors. The majority of studies focus on particles smaller than 10 μm (Pm10). Studies show that the smaller particles (PM2.5, PM1) are more dangerous than larger ones however, because they can penetrate deeper in the lungs and are not as easily expelled at the nasal/ oral level. The health effects of PM2.5 exposure in schools still being explored and the ability to monitor these smaller particles is advancing only as fast as the detection technology. Children are a vulnerable population and are at a disadvantage in managing their own circumstance since they are told where to be and how long to be there, i.e. school and home. Research in this field needs to be drastically increased in order to better understand the relationship between schoolchildren’s respiratory health and their indoor environments.

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Indoor Air Quality and Asthma in School Children

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that puts a strain on lung function and breathing. It is the leading cause of school absenteeism and hospitalization for American children. Genetics play a major role in allergy related disease development such as asthma, but environmental exposures are proving to be a potential contributor to childhood asthma. Despite the sufficient data regarding air pollution, there is a huge knowledge gap regarding indoor air quality and its relationship with health outcomes such as asthma. Many of the studies available only look at outdoor air pollution levels, while children spend the majority of their time indoors. The majority of studies focus on particles smaller than 10 μm (Pm10). Studies show that the smaller particles (PM2.5, PM1) are more dangerous than larger ones however, because they can penetrate deeper in the lungs and are not as easily expelled at the nasal/ oral level. The health effects of PM2.5 exposure in schools still being explored and the ability to monitor these smaller particles is advancing only as fast as the detection technology. Children are a vulnerable population and are at a disadvantage in managing their own circumstance since they are told where to be and how long to be there, i.e. school and home. Research in this field needs to be drastically increased in order to better understand the relationship between schoolchildren’s respiratory health and their indoor environments.