Health effects of ultraviolet irradiation in asthmatic children's homes

J Asthma. 2006 May;43(4):255-62. doi: 10.1080/02770900600616887.


Objective: Centrally installed ultraviolet (UV) irradiation units were investigated to determine the potential health benefits in mold-sensitized asthmatic children.

Methods: Nineteen mold-sensitized asthmatic children 5 to 17 years of age with home central ventilation systems were enrolled in a 28-week double-blinded placebo controlled cross-over trial. Clinical outcome measurements included morning and evening peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR), PEFR variability, change in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), change in total rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma symptom scores, change in rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma quality-of-life scores, and total (rescue and controller) medication use from baseline and between time periods. Environmental outcomes included changes in temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and indoor airborne mold and bacterial counts from baseline and between time periods. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression analysis and t test were used to evaluate relationships between environmental exposure(s) and clinical outcome measurements during each study period.

Results: Twelve male and seven female children, average age 10.6 years, were enrolled. A statistically significant improvement in PEFR variability in subjects receiving CREON2000 units followed by placebo units was observed (p < 0.05) across both treatment periods. Within group analysis during treatment period 1, a statistically significant improvement in reduction of asthma symptom scores, the number of days with asthma symptoms, total asthma medication use, and PEFR variability were observed in subjects receiving CREON2000 units versus placebo units (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed between the CREON 2000 and placebo units for other clinical or environmental outcome measurements.

Conclusions: Central UV irradiation was effective at reducing airway hyperresponsiveness manifested as PEFR variability and some clinical symptoms. A larger cohort controlled longitudinal study to validate the clinical health effects of UV irradiation as a primary indoor environmental intervention for allergic asthma is necessary to confirm this finding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / prevention & control*
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Female
  • Fungi / immunology*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Probability
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reference Values
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Allergens