Traffic exposure and allergic sensitization against latex in children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Sep;106(3):573-8. doi: 10.1067/mai.2000.109430.


Background: Latex antigens have been found in urban air samples and in debris deposited near freeways.

Objective: We investigated whether exposure to road traffic in a large city is associated with allergic sensitization against latex in children.

Methods: A population-based sample of 2505 children aged 5 to 11 years was examined in a cross-sectional study in the city of Dresden, Germany. Specific IgE levels against latex and a panel of common aeroallergens (timothy grass, rye, birch, mugwort, Cladosporium herbarum, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, cat dander, and dog dander) was determined by using a fluorescence immunoassay (CAP Pharmacia). Traffic exposure was assessed by (1) parental self-report on traffic frequency and truck traffic in the street of residence, (2) traffic counts, and (3) measurements of benzene at 182 points on a 1-km(2) grid for 1 year, which were used to estimate the children's individual exposure at the home address.

Results: Eight hundred fifty-four (34.1%) of the children were sensitized against any of the allergens, and 150 (6.0%) had specific IgE (>0.35 kU/L) against latex. The prevalence of latex sensitization was not positively associated with self-reported traffic exposure, traffic counts in the street of residence (adjusted prevalence odds ratio for >5000 vs < or =5000 cars/d, 0.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.3), or benzene exposure (adjusted prevalence odds ratio for an increase of 1 microg/m(3) air, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7-1.05).

Conclusion: The data suggest that exposure to road traffic is not associated with allergic sensitization to latex in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automobiles*
  • Benzene / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Benzene