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Keywords:

  • Allergy;
  • Asthma;
  • Children;
  • Dampness in Buildings and Health Study;
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals;
  • Incidence;
  • Longitudinal;
  • Phthalates;
  • Polyvinylchloride flooring

Abstract

The incidence of asthma and allergy has increased throughout the developed world over the past decades. During the same period of time, the use of industrial chemicals such as phthalates, commonly used as plasticizers in polyvinylchloride (PVC) flooring material, has increased. The aim of this study was to investigate whether PVC flooring in the home of children in the age of 1–5 years is associated with the development of asthma in 5- and 10-year follow-up investigations (n = 3228). Dampness in Buildings and Health Study (DBH Study) commenced in 2000 in Värmland, Sweden. The current analyses included subjects who answered all baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Logistic regression analyses were applied to questionnaire results. Children who had PVC floorings in the bedroom at baseline were more likely to develop doctor-diagnosed asthma during the following 10-year period when compared with children living without. There were indications that PVC flooring in the parents' bedrooms was strongly associated with the new cases of doctor-diagnosed asthma when compared with child′s bedroom. Our results suggest that PVC flooring exposure during pregnancy could be a critical period in the development of asthma in children at a later time; prenatal exposure and measurements of phthalate metabolites should be included in the future.