Domestic ventilation rates, indoor humidity and dust mite allergens: are our homes causing the asthma pandemic?

S G Howieson, A Lawson, C McSharry, G Morris, E McKenzie, J Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)
256 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper is concerned with historical changes in domestic ventilation rates, relative humidity and the associated risk of house dust mite colonization. A controlled trial evaluated allergen and water vapour control measures on the level of house dust mite (HDM) Der p1 allergen and indoor humidity, concurrently with changes in lung function in 54 subjects who completed the protocol. Mechanical heat recovery ventilation units significantly reduced moisture content in the active group, while HDM allergen reservoirs in carpets and beds were reduced by circa 96%. Self reported health status confirmed a significant clinical improvement in the active group. The study can form the basis for assessing minimum winter ventilation rates that can suppress RH below the critical ambient equilibrium humidity of 60% and thus inhibit dust mite colonization and activity in temperate and maritime in' uenced climatic regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2003

Keywords

  • houses
  • asthma
  • public health
  • architecture
  • ventilation

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  • Research Output

    • 26 Citations
    • 1 Keynote

    Health consequences of cold and damp homes

    Howieson, S., 17 Mar 2009, (Unpublished).

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceKeynote

    Activities

    • 1 Membership of board
    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

    The Allergy House: The living room

    Stirling Howieson (Speaker)

    9 Apr 2009

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

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