Water-Based Paint Fumes May Up Childhood Asthma Risk

An emerging study has found that children sleeping in rooms with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two-to-four times likelier to suffer from asthma and allergies, according to Environmental Health News.

The study, conducted by Swedish and US scientists, “measured propylene glycol and glycol ethers in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers,” finding significantly higher levels of “asthma, stuffy noses and eczema,” wrote Environmental Health News.

Of note, these compounds are allegedly safer that previous oil-based paints and solvents, which prompted more pollution, said Environmental Health News. “Apparent risks of PGEs at such low concentrations at home raise concerns for the vulnerability of infants and young children,” according to the report, which was just published in the journal of the Public Library of Science, PLoS ONE.

The study was the first of its kind to connect the dangerous effects of PGEs and household exposure, suggesting the chemicals worsen, even causing, allergic illness and asthma, said the team from Harvard University and Sweden’s Kalstad University, wrote Environmental Health News.

The study sought to investigate the health effects of chemicals called volatile organic compounds, commonly found in homes and discovered that of the hundreds of compounds tested in eight categories, PGEs were linked to pediatric allergies and asthma, explained Environmental Health News. PGEs are typically found in water-based paints and varnishes and cleaning fluids. PGEs have long been believed to be healthy due to their low volatility, said Environmental Health News.

Of note, for three decades, science has sought to understand the increase in allergies and asthma in developed countries throughout the world, according to Environmental Health News. Experts point to in-utero environmental issues and triggers that occur early in life, noting that this study adds to the body of evidence against “indoor air pollutants, diesel exhaust, viruses, and cockroach allergens,” said Environmental Health News. Michael Laoisa, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and an expert in children’s allergies and immune disorders, said the study, “may be another piece of the puzzle as to why atopic diseases like allergy and asthma are on the rise, particularly in kids,” quoted Environmental Health News. Laoisa was not involved in the study.

The research looked at 198 children in Varmland, Sweden, aged from one to five, said Environmental Health News. The children were diagnosed with asthma or who presented with “at least two symptoms or wheezing or rhinitis without a cold or eczema in the previous year”; 202 children with no symptoms were also studied, added Environmental Health News.

We previously wrote that some routine chemicals found in medications pose dangerous risks for premature babies. Chemicals added to medications to improve taste, longevity, and absorption could prove harmful to babies, specifically nondrug ingredients—so-called excipients. Propylene glycol, which is found in Dexamethasone, is known one such compound and is known to cause nerve damage.

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