Influence of indoor formaldehyde pollution on respiratory system health in the urban area of Shenyang, China

  • L Zhai
  • J Zhao
  • B Xu
  • Y Deng
  • Z Xu
Keywords: Formaldehyde, respiratory system, adult, children


Background The decoration of interior spaces can lead to dangerous levels of indoor formaldehyde pollution. Exposure to indoor air pollution may be responsible for nearly 2 million deaths per year in developing countries.
Objectives To assess the prevalence of indoor formaldehyde pollution caused by decoration and resultant respiratory system symptoms exhibited in exposed adults and children, due to indoor formaldehyde pollution caused by decoration.                                                                Methods Survey sites were chosen and indoor formaldehyde concentrations determined according to the standard of formaldehyde in GB50325-2001. Logistic regression models were used to derive odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) after adjusting for potential confounders for this survey.
Results Formaldehyde concentration was above the standard in 64% of Shenyang City. Some adults surveyed complained of common respiratory system disorders, including coughing (11.8%), nasal irritation (39.2%), Heterosmia (14.51%), and throat irritation (25.27%); 12% of children suffered from asthma. The analysis identified formaldehyde pollution and ventilation frequency as risk factors for respiratory system disorders in both adults (OR=2.603, [95% CI: 1.770-3.828], OR=1.604, [95% CI: 1.146-2.244], respectively) and children (OR=4.250, [2.064-8.753], OR=1.831, [1.006-3.333], respectively).
Conclusion The prevalence of common respiratory system disorders was related both to formaldehyde pollution and insufficient ventilation after decorating.

Key words: Formaldehyde; respiratory system; adult; children


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eISSN: 1680-6905