Author(s): Wlinder R, Norbck D, Wieslander G, Smedje G, Erwall C
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Upper airway symptoms are common, but there is little information available on clinical findings in relation to indoor air pollution. This pilot study was conducted to test whether increased levels of indoor air pollutants in schools may correlate to a swelling of the nasal mucosa. The assumption was made that the degree of swelling could be related to the degree of decongestive effect of xylometazoline, and measured by acoustic rhinometry. The study was performed among 15 subjects in a school with low air exchange rate (0.6 air changes/h) and 12 subjects in a school with high air exchange rate (5.2 air changes/h). Hygienic measurements were performed in both schools. Acoustic rhinometry was performed for each individual under standardized forms. Cross-sectional areas and volumes of the nasal cavity were measured before and after decongestion with xylometazoline hydrochloride. Absolute values of the minimal cross-sectional area were lower in the school with poor ventilation. The decongestive effect of xylometazoline was significantly higher in the school with low air exchange, when correction for the influence of age was made. A diminished decongestive effect was seen with increasing age. The exposure measurements showed that indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds, bacteria and moulds were higher in the school with low ventilation. In conclusion, raised levels of indoor air pollutants due to inadequate ventilation in schools may affect the upper airways and cause a swelling of the nasal mucosa, and acoustic rhinometry could be a useful objective method to measure human nasal reactions to the indoor environment.
This article was published in Acta Otolaryngol
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals