Mold Exposure in Infancy Can Increase Childhood Asthma Risk
Mold exposure in infancy can increase a child’s likelihood of developing asthma, WebMD reports.
According to a new study, infants who live in moldy homes are nearly three times more likely to have childhood asthma by age 7.
"Early life exposure to mold seems to play a critical role in childhood asthma development," researcher Tina Reponen, PhD, professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati, said in a news release.
"This study should motivate expectant parents -- especially if they have a family history of allergy or asthma -- to correct water damage and reduce the mold burden in their homes to protect the respiratory health of their children," Reponen added.
The study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, looked at factors associated with the risk of developing childhood asthma. Researchers analyzed findings from a group of 176 children followed from birth in the Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky area.
Mold exposure in the home was measured using EPA standards, and the children were evaluated for asthma at age 7.
Results from the study showed that 18 percent of the children had childhood asthma by age 7. Those who lived in a home rated as having a high level of mold during the first year of life were 2.6 times more likely to have asthma than those who lived in homes with a low level of mold.