Dust Contains Endotoxins
Researchers have uncovered whyhousehold dust can worsen asthma. Thedust may contain endotoxins that are producedby bacteria and are released whenthe bacteria die. The endotoxins are primarytriggers for adult asthma and asthma-related symptoms.
The 2-part study first analyzed dust samplesfrom 831 households across the countryand determined the endotoxin levels.Simultaneously, the investigators interviewed2456 residents of the households regardingasthma symptoms and medicines.
The highest levels of endotoxins werefound in kitchens. The effects on health,however, were most evident in bedrooms,where individuals spend more time inclose contact with them. The results of thestudy showed that the higher the levels ofendotoxins in the dust samples, the morelikely the residents were to have asthma,take asthma drugs, and experiencewheezing and other symptoms. The linkheld only for adults, not for children, however.(The findings were reported recentlyin the American Journal of Respiratoryand Clinical Care Medicine.)