Environmental allergens and irritants in schools: a focus on asthma

J Sch Health. 2002 Jan;72(1):33-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2002.tb06509.x.


As part of the Partners in School Asthma Management Program, environmental data were collected from 385 rooms in 60 elementary schools in southeast Texas, using an Environmental Observation Checklist and a Q-TRAK Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Dust samples for allergen analysis were collected from floors, carpets, and area rugs in 80 classrooms in a subset of 20 schools. CO2 levels > 1,000 ppm were found in 86% of rooms; 69% had indoor humidity above recommended levels. Der p I dust mite allergen levels > 2,000 ng/g were present in 20% of rooms, but only 2.5% of rooms had Der f I mite allergen levels exceeding recommended tolerances. Detectable levels of cockroach allergen (Bla g II) were found in all schools (median 5.5 ng/g), with 10% of rooms over the recommended threshold. Almost two-thirds of classrooms had mold spore counts > 10,000 col/g (median, 14,400 col/g; range, 2,000-52,000 col/g).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Allergens / analysis*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Floors and Floorcoverings
  • Humans
  • Irritants / analysis*
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Prevalence
  • Schools*
  • Texas / epidemiology


  • Allergens
  • Irritants