Respiratory health effects of the indoor environment in a population of Dutch children

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1990 Nov;142(5):1172-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/142.5.1172.


The effect of indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide on respiratory health was studied over a period of 2 yr in a population of nonsmoking Dutch children 6 to 12 yr of age. Lung function was measured at the schools, and information on respiratory symptoms was collected from a self-administered questionnaire completed by the parents of the children. Nitrogen dioxide was measured in the homes of all children with Palmes' diffusion tubes. In addition, information on smoking and dampness in the home was collected by questionnaire. There was no relationship between exposure to nitrogen dioxide in the home and respiratory symptoms. Respiratory symptoms were found to be associated with exposure to tobacco smoke and home dampness. There was a weak, negative association between maximal midexpiratory flow (MMEF) and exposure to nitrogen dioxide. FEV1, peak expiratory flow, and MMEF were all negatively associated with exposure to tobacco smoke. Home dampness was not associated with pulmonary function. Lung function growth, measured over a period of 2 yr, was not consistently associated with any of the indoor exposure variables. The development of respiratory symptoms over time was not associated with indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide. There was a significant association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the home and the development of wheeze. There was also a significant association between home dampness and the development of cough.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Humidity / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Vital Capacity


  • Air Pollutants
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Nitrogen Dioxide