230346 An analysis of Potential Environmental Health Factors as Triggers for Asthma and other Respiratory Conditions among Children in School

Monday, November 8, 2010

Azugbene Ehiremen, BS , School of Public Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, MIami, FL
Rahulkumar Patel, MBBS , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Miami, FL
Miguel Cruz, MPH , Robert Stempel School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Michael A. Melchior, MPH, PhD(c) , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Janvier Gasana, MD PhD , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Amibahen Gandhi, MBBS , Environmental Health, FIU College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Background In school children, asthma and other respiratory diseases pose a grave risk to their health and quality of life. According to CDC reports in 2001-2003 out of an estimated 11.7 million persons who reported an asthma attack in preceding 12months; 4 million were children. Children, particularly in urban setting with low socioeconomic status, are more likely to expose to harmful substances than children in rural setting. Objective To analyze the factors contributing to asthma and other respiratory problems in school children and also to find out factors responsible for existing disparity. Method For this analysis, a systematic review of published journal articles (from 1970 to 2009) related to environmental health factors for asthma in schools in the United States was conducted using Medline, Pubmed and High Wire search engines. Key words: included ‘children”, “asthma studies”, “schools”, “environmental health”. Results Indoor environment of the school building often harbor a triggers for asthma and respiratory illnesses. Various other factors like poor ventilation, carpeting and moisture also contribute to the triggers. Carpeting is particularly hazardous due to dust mite contamination. Conclusion Scientists must continue to access and monitor environmental health factors that can serve as triggers or exacerbate respiratory conditions in schools. “Parents must help children with avoiding hazardous allergens and contaminants that can affect health of classmates with sensitivities. Monitoring the health of children at schools is very important for asthma and other respiratory conditions and the need for continuous health surveillance for asthma and other health conditions is necessary.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health biology
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the factors contributing to asthma in school children 2) Identify the various triggers of asthma in schools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently working on my MPH degree at Florida International University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.