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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 242; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020242

Use of a Robotic Sampler (PIPER) for Evaluation of Particulate Matter Exposure and Eczema in Preschoolers

Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Division of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helena Solo-Gabriele and Alesia Ferguson
Received: 9 September 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [260 KB, uploaded 19 February 2016]   |  


While the association of eczema with asthma is well recognized, little research has focused on the potential role of inhalable exposures and eczema. While indoor air quality is important in the development of respiratory disease as children in the U.S. spend the majority of their time indoors, relatively little research has focused on correlated non-respiratory conditions. This study examined the relationship between particulate matter (PM) exposures in preschool age children and major correlates of asthma, such as wheeze and eczema. Air sampling was carried out using a robotic (PIPER) child-sampling surrogate. This study enrolled 128 participants, 57 male and 71 female children. Ages ranged from 3 to 58 months with the mean age of 29.3 months. A comparison of subjects with and without eczema showed a difference in the natural log (ln) of PM collected from the PIPER air sampling (p = 0.049). PIPER’s sampling observed an association between the ln PM concentrations and eczema, but not an association with wheezing history in pre-school children. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of the role of the microenvironment in mediating atopic dermatitis, which is one of the predictors of persistent asthma. Our findings also support the use of PIPER in its ability to model and sample the microenvironment of young children. View Full-Text
Keywords: eczema; asthma; children; robot; particulate matter eczema; asthma; children; robot; particulate matter

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shah, L.; Mainelis, G.; Ramagopal, M.; Black, K.; Shalat, S.L. Use of a Robotic Sampler (PIPER) for Evaluation of Particulate Matter Exposure and Eczema in Preschoolers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 242.

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