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Article

Pulmonary Health Effects of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds—A Meta-Analysis

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Environmental Health, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francisco-Javier González-Barcala, Maribel Casas Sanahuja, Isabel Inés Urrutia Landa and Xavier Muñoz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041578
Received: 4 January 2021 / Revised: 1 February 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 7 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational and Environmental Asthma)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly found in consumer products, including furniture, sealants and paints. Thus, indoor VOCs have become a public health concern, especially in high-income countries (HICs), where people spend most of their time indoors, and indoor and outdoor air exchange is minimal due to a lack of ventilation. VOCs produce high levels of reaction with the airway epithelium and mucosa membrane and is linked with pulmonary diseases. This paper takes a stock of the literature to assess the strength of association (measured by effect size) between VOCs and pulmonary diseases with the focus on asthma and its related symptoms by conducting a meta-analysis. The literature was searched using the PubMed database. A total of 49 studies that measured VOCs or VOC types and pulmonary health outcomes were included in the analysis. The results of these studies were tabulated, and standard effect size of each study was computed. Most studies were conducted in high-income countries, including France (n = 7), Japan (n = 7) and the United States (n = 6). Our analysis suggests that VOCs have a medium-sized effect on pulmonary diseases, including the onset of asthma (effect size (or Cohen’s d) ~0.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.25–0.49; n = 23) and wheezing (effective size ~0.26; 95% CI = 0.10–0.42; n = 10). The effect size also varied by country, age and disease type. Multiple stakeholders must be engaged in strategies to mitigate and manage VOC exposure and its associated pulmonary disease burden. View Full-Text
Keywords: VOCs; indoor air pollution; pulmonary disease; asthma; wheezing VOCs; indoor air pollution; pulmonary disease; asthma; wheezing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alford, K.L.; Kumar, N. Pulmonary Health Effects of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds—A Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041578

AMA Style

Alford KL, Kumar N. Pulmonary Health Effects of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds—A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041578

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alford, Kyle L., and Naresh Kumar. 2021. "Pulmonary Health Effects of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds—A Meta-Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041578

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