Gas stoves and damp houses increase Aussie asthma rates

April 16, 2018, University of Queensland
Gas stoves and damp houses increase Aussie asthma rates
Credit: University of Queensland

University of Queensland researchers have found that childhood asthma in Australia is associated with gas stoves and damp houses.

Dr. Luke Knibbs, from the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research and UQ's School of Public Health, led research that aimed to find the connection between childhood and two common indoor exposures in homes.

"We found that 12 per cent of childhood asthma is attributable to exposure to gas stoves used for cooking, and eight per cent is linked to household dampness," Dr. Knibbs said.

"Cooking with gas releases chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde, which causes inflammation in the airways and exacerbates asthma.

"With 38 per cent of Australian homes using natural gas for stovetop cooking, this is a common problem.

"Using high-efficiency range-hoods could reduce the amount of associated with from 12 per cent to just three per cent.

"The preferred option is to make sure the range-hood is vented outdoors, rather than a hood that recirculates the air.

"Even in homes without a range-hood, opening windows during and after cooking can help reduce exposure."

The study identified the presence of dampness in 26 per cent of Australian homes.

"Damp homes are quite common around Australia, and living in a damp home can adversely affect children's lungs," Dr. Knibbs said.

"Simple ways to reduce dampness include better ventilating houses with fresh air (using open windows when conditions allow), using room dehumidifiers, and limiting use of clothes dryers indoors.

"Most parents of children with asthma are aware of ways to minimise exposure to dust mites, pollen and animal hair through vacuuming and replacing carpets with hard flooring, but other indoor exposures are not as well recognised.

"The prevalence of asthma in Australia is among the highest in the world, and it's a leading cause of illness in children.

"A coordinated national strategy is needed to increase awareness of indoor environmental exposures, such as gas stove emissions and dampness, and the different ways people can reduce in the home.

Explore further: Dampness key cause of asthma in children

More information: Luke D Knibbs et al. , The Medical Journal of Australia (2018). DOI: 10.5694/mja17.00469

Related Stories

Dampness key cause of asthma in children

June 27, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—The largest-ever worldwide study of the link between damp homes and respiratory and allergic conditions has significant implications for New Zealand children's health.

Childhood asthma linked to lack of ventilation for gas stoves

September 29, 2014
Parents with children at home should use ventilation when cooking with a gas stove, researchers from Oregon State University are recommending, after a new study showed an association between gas kitchen stove ventilation ...

Study shows mould in bedrooms causes asthma in young children

September 7, 2017
Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) have shown that leaking and mouldy homes may lead to the development of a first attack of asthma in young children living in them.

Indoor mold poses health risk to asthma sufferers

August 28, 2014
Damp and mould in homes could pose a significant health risk to people with asthma according to a new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

PVC as flooring material in childhood is related to asthma 10 years later

October 24, 2013
Children who had PVC floorings in the bedroom at baseline were more likely to develop asthma during the following 10 years period when compared with children living without such flooring material. Furthermore, there were ...

Easing your child's asthma

February 6, 2018
(HealthDay)—If your child is among the 10 percent of kids with asthma, you want to do everything you can to control it.

Recommended for you

Defense against intestinal infection in organism is affected by prostaglandin E2

November 15, 2018
The treatment of intestinal infections caused by some strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli, present in unsanitized or contaminated foods, may have a new ally.

No link between 'hypoallergenic' dogs and lower risk of childhood asthma

November 15, 2018
Growing up with dogs is linked to a lower risk of asthma, especially if the dogs are female, a new study from Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University in Sweden shows. However, the researchers found no relation between ...

Researchers finds better ways to improve the chances of survival of children with a rare immune deficiency

November 15, 2018
An international study published in the journal Blood by researchers led by Dr. Elie Haddad, a pediatric immunologist and researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and professor at Université de Montréal, highlights the urgent need ...

Human Cell Atlas study reveals maternal immune system modifications in early pregnancy

November 14, 2018
The first Human Cell Atlas study of early pregnancy in humans has shown how the function of the maternal immune system is affected by cells from the developing placenta. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Newcastle ...

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

Researchers identify factors behind inflammation in immunodeficiency patients

November 14, 2018
Oregon State University researchers have discovered two key factors behind the intestinal inflammation that plagues people suffering from a disorder that affects their immune system.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.