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Chiropractic Research Review

PVC Flooring May Be Linked to Asthma

Plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials are among the most frequently used wall and floor covering materials in homes because they provide inexpensive, easy-to-clean surfaces that are especially practical in kitchens, bathrooms, and childrens playrooms and bedrooms.

But PVC materials are potential emission sources of long-lasting chemicals that may trigger development of bronchial obstruction in children during the first two years of life.

A cohort of 3,754 newborns in Oslo, Norway, was followed up for two years. The case group comprised 251 children with bronchial obstructions and the control group was matched one-for-one for date of birth. The study showed that the risk of bronchial obstruction was related to the presence of PVC flooring with which the children had continual close contact for much of their early lives. Children with PVC on the surfaces of their environment were at significantly greater risk of developing asthma symptoms than children in an environment free of PVC.

According to the researchers, the results support the hypothesis that PVC materials and other plasticizer-containing surface materials used in the home environment are possible determinants of bronchial obstruction in early childhood. The pervasiveness of the use of PVCs means an increased risk to children whose parents and caregivers do not make efforts to protect them from the harmful emissions from the surfaces all around them.

Jaakkola JJK, Øie L, Nafstad P, et al. Interior surface materials in the home and the development of bronchial obstruction in young children in Oslo, Norway. American Journal of Public Health, Jan. 1999;89(2), pp188-92.

Chiropractic Research Review

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