Background: Other factors besides a genetic disposition seem to play a role in the development of allergic disorders. Exposure to risk factors such as indoor air pollution is becoming increasingly interesting, especially during early childhood.
Methods: Within an epidemiological study (LISS: Leipzig infection, allergy and airway diseases study among school starters, involving 2536 children, birth cohort 1991/92, carried out in 1997/98) the effect of indoor exposure on physician-confirmed eczema and allergic symptoms has been investigated. The exposure situation has been characterized on hand of the redecoration activities (painting, floor covering and new furniture) before birth and in the first years of life.
Results: Highly exposed children showed a significant effect on allergic disorders. The lifetime prevalences without any vs. all three redecoration activities were for allergic symptoms 9.3% vs. 17.2% and for eczema 11.5% vs. 20.4%. Adjusted for confounders, the redecoration associated burden led to odds ratios of 1.8 (95% CI: 1.3-2.6) for allergic symptoms and 1.9 (95% CI: 1.4-2.7) for eczema.
Conclusion: Exposure emissions due to redecoration activities seem to be associated with the risk of eczema and allergic symptoms. Thus, prevention of allergic disorders should include the avoidance of such activities around birth and in the first year of life.