Acoustic rhinometry and lavage biomarkers in relation to some building characteristics in Swedish schools

Indoor Air. 2001 Mar;11(1):2-9. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0668.2001.011001002.x.


It has been suggested that certain building factors can be associated with specific exposures, such as dampness, chemical emissions and dust. The aim of the study was to examine the relationships between some selected building factors, on the one hand, and signs of inflammation or obstruction in the upper airways on the other. Acoustic rhinometry and nasal lavage were used in a field study among 234 school personnel in 12 randomly selected schools (participation rate 84%). Eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), lysozyme, albumin and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were analyzed in the lavage fluid. Building related factors selected for the study were: roof inclination, fundament, building construction, signs of water damage, floor material, building age, ceiling height, bookcases and plants in the classroom. Control was made for potential confounders. The results indicate a pattern of nasal responses: less patent noses and an inflammatory biomarker response could be related to flat roof and a concrete slab fundament, factors that are known risk factors for water leakage, building dampness and possibly microbial growth. A reduced nasal patency without an inflammatory biomarker response was related to factors associated with plasticizers and dust. Positive effects were observed for plants in the classroom and in older buildings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Facility Design and Construction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology*
  • Nasal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Rhinitis / etiology*
  • Schools


  • Biomarkers