The increasing prevalence of respiratory diseases in Chinese children has focused attention on indoor environmental quality. We investigated associations between perceived air quality in domestic environments and children's allergic diseases with a questionnaire survey study. A total of 4017 children aged 1-8 years old from 23 kindergartens in urban, sub-urban and industrial areas in Nanjing were randomly recruited for this study. Parents' perceived odors, including stuffy odor, unpleasant odor, pungent odor, moldy odor, humid air and dry air were found to be associated with asthma, wheeze, dry cough and rhinitis (P < 0.05). Both perceived dry and humid air were found to be positively associated with dampness indices, and we present evidence that the sensation of dryness may not be due to the actual indoor relative humidity, but rather to indoor air irritants. Parents' perception of odors and relative humidity may be indicators of environment pollutants, which are likely the real factors associated with children's allergic diseases.
Qian, H., Zheng, X., Zhang, M., Weschler, L., & Sundell, J. (2016). Associations between parents’ perceived air quality in homes and health among children in Nanjing, China. PLoS ONE, 11(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155742