Predicted risk of childhood allergy, asthma, and reported symptoms using measured phthalate exposure in dust and urine

N.-Y. Hsu, C.-C. Lee, J.-Y. Wang, Y.-C. Li, H.-W. Chang, C.-Y. Chen, C.-G. Bornehag, P.-C. Wu, Jan Sundell, H.-J. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The associated risk of phthalate exposure, both parent compounds in the home and their metabolites in urine, to childhood allergic and respiratory morbidity, after adjusting for exposures of indoor pollutants, especially bioaerosols, was comprehensively assessed. Levels of five phthalates in settled dust from the homes of 101 children (3–9 years old) were measured, along with their corresponding urinary metabolites. Other environmental risk factors, including indoor CO2, PM2.5, formaldehyde, 1,3-b-D-glucan, endotoxin, allergen and fungal levels, were concomitantly examined. Subjects health status was verified by pediatricians, and parents recorded observed daily symptoms of their children for the week that the home investigation visit took place. Significantly increased level of benzylbutyl phthalate, in settled dust, was associated with test case subjects (allergic or asthmatic children). Higher levels of dibutyl phthalate and its metabolites, mono-n-butyl phthalate, and mono-2-ethylhexyl
phthalate were found to be the potential risk factors for the health outcomes of interest. Similarly, indoor fungal exposure remained a significant risk factor, especially for reported respiratory symptoms. The relative contribution from exposure to phthalates and indoor biocontaminants in childhood allergic and respiratory morbidity is, for the first time, quantitatively assessed and characterized.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air Online
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)186-199
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Phthalates
  • Benzylbutyl phthalate
  • Children
  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Fungi


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