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Potential risk of indoor semivolatile organic compounds indoors to human health





Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2009 May;64(3):672-82.


Potential risk of indoor semivolatile organic compounds indoors to human health.


Kanazawa A, Kishi R. Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The concerns on indoor contamination by semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are increasing. Because of the high boiling points in the range of 260-380 degrees C, SVOCs are considered to vaporize poorly under living conditions. However, a wide variety of SVOCs were detected in indoor air and house dust in previous studies. Indeed, we found SVOCs frequently in both air and dusts of residential dwellings in Sapporo city in 2006. Among SVOCs, there are a number of findings indicating that phthalates and pesticides use associated with allergy or bronchial obstruction. The adjuvant effect of phthalates, particularly monoesters, was shown in animal experiments and the association between allergy prevalence and exposure to phthalates or indoor materials containing plasticizers was observed in previous epidemiological studies. Regarding pesticides involving organophosphates and pyrethroids among others, the association of pesticide use with asthma or chronic bronchitis was observed in commercial pesticide applicators or farmers. Because SVOCs were often found in air and house dust of residential dwellings, the risk of SVOC exposure should be assessed in the Japanese general population.


PMID: 19502763 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]









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  • This is an interesting study in that it opens our eyes to the fact that we need to be wary of exposing ourselves and our children not only to obvious sources of volatile chemicals (including phthalates), such as cleaning products, but also less obvious sources such as plastic packaging and containers, plastic electronic equipment and gedgets, and plastic toys. For those with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or sick building syndrome (SBS) these products and others made from plastics of varying hardness may be an overlooked source of indoor air pollution and trigger of symptoms.

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