Comparing the concentration levels of allergens and endotoxins in employees' homes and offices

  • \(\bf Objective\) The aim of the study was to find out whether allergen and endotoxin concentrations in offices differ from those measured at the homes of employees, and identify the parameters that influence exposure. \(\bf Methods\) Electrostatic dust collectors (EDCs) were placed in five office buildings (68 rooms, 436 EDCs), as well as the homes of the office workers (145 rooms, 405 EDCs) for 14 days, four times a year. In addition, surface samples were collected from the offices four times a year by vacuuming the carpeted floors. Domestic mite (DM), and the major cat and dog allergens (Fel d 1 and Can f 1) were quantified in all samples using fluorescence enzyme immunoassays. Endotoxin was measured in the EDC samples, using the Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay. The allergen and endotoxin concentrations were log transformed and analysed with multilevel models. \(\bf Results\) Endotoxin concentrations were significantly higher in personal homes compared to levels measured in the offices, and depended on the number of persons living in each household, as well as the presence of a dog. DM allergens were significantly higher in households than in offices, and were significantly higher in bedrooms compared to living rooms. Offices occupied by cat owners had significantly higher Fel d 1 concentrations than offices or homes without. Additionally, Can f 1 concentrations were significantly higher in offices occupied by dog owners compared to those without. \(\bf Conclusions\) Pet owners appear to transfer cat and dog allergens to their offices. Therefore, in case of allergy complaints at the office, employers and physicians might consider possible contamination by cat and dog allergens.

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Author:Ingrid SanderORCiDGND, Anne LotzORCiDGND, Verena LiebersGND, Eva ZahradnikORCiDGND, Ulrich Sauke‑Gensow, Jens PetersenGND, Monika RaulfORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):International archives of occupational and environmental health
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/01/18
Date of first Publication:2021/11/05
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Cat allergen Fel d 1; Dog allergen Can f 1; Domestic mite allergens; Electrostatic dust collectors; Endotoxin
First Page:573
Last Page:588
Dieser Beitrag ist auf Grund des DEAL-Springer-Vertrages frei zugänglich.
Institutes/Facilities:Institut für Prävention und Arbeitsmedizin der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International