Most buildings contain asthma-linked substances: study
New York – Many parts of indoor environments, such as structural materials and filtration systems, may contain substances linked to asthma, according to a study (.pdf file) from global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will.
Researchers compared 374 known asthmagens – substances that elicit an asthma respiratory response – against lists of commonly used substances in building designs. They concluded 75 asthmagens were found in most buildings, contained in the following:
- Building materials and furnishings
- Central heating and cooling systems
- Humidification devices
- Household cleaning, personal care and hobby products
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that indoor environments (where Americans spend most of their time) contain pollutant levels 2-3 times higher, and sometimes 100 times higher, than outdoor environments, a Perkins+Will press release stated. The firm called on the building industry to improve indoor conditions.
The study was conducted for the National Institutes of Health. It was published Aug. 8 as part of the Perkins+Will Transparency Initiative.