Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

The Irritation of House Dust: DEHP Heightens Inflammatory Response in Allergy Sufferers

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

The Irritation of House Dust: DEHP Heightens Inflammatory Response in Allergy Sufferers

Article excerpt

Past research has suggested that di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a commonly used plasticizer, contributes to asthma symptoms in children [EHP 116:98-103 (2008)] and to dermatitis caused by dust mite allergens in mice [EHP 114:1266-1268 (2006)]. Both the prevalence of allergic diseases and environmental exposure to phthalates have increased dramatically in the past several decades, but few studies have examined how people's mucosal airways respond to inhaled DEHP. A new study reveals that exposure to DEHP in house dust altered the response of nasal mucosa in allergic people but not in nonallergic people [EHP 116:1487-1493; Deutschle et al.].

DEHP is found in polyvinyl chloride pipes, flooring, food containers, and other household products. Oral intake is the main route of exposure, but inhalation offers an alternative route. DEHP vaporizes from consumer products directly into the home and attaches to inhalable airborne dust particles.

The subjects included 16 controls and 16 people who were allergic to house dust mites. The researchers exposed the subjects to one of two house dust samples--vacuumed samples containing 0.41 mg/g ([DEHP.sub.low]) or augmented samples containing 2.09 mg/g ([DEHP.sub.high])--for 3 hours. Nasal fluid was collected after exposure to measure biomarkers of allergic inflammation, including interleukin (IL)-2, -4, -5, -6, and -8, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP). …

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