Exposure to Forest Air Monoterpenes with Pulmonary Function Tests in Adolescents with Asthma: A Cohort Study

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Abstract

Increasing evidence supports the direct healing effects of forests, partly attributed to the exposure to plant-emitted monoterpenes available in the forest atmosphere. The potential benefits on respiratory functions from inhaling monoterpenes have gained attention, especially due to the global rise in respiratory diseases. This study involved 42 asthmatic adolescents attending a summer rehabilitation camp at an Altitude Pediatric Asthma Center within a densely forested area in the Eastern Italian Alps. Volatile organic compound measurements indicated a pristine atmosphere, enabling the modeling of continuous hourly monoterpene concentration. The monoterpene concentration exposure and total inhaled dose were assessed over a 14-day stay, during which spirometry, lung oscillometry, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were measured. Statistically significant correlations were observed between modifications in lung function parameters among asthmatic adolescents and monoterpene exposure. These findings suggest a potential localized airway effect that is specific to monoterpenes. This pilot cohort study might pave the way for further investigations into the therapeutic effects of forest monoterpenes on lung function tests, asthma, and the broader healing potential of forest environments.

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APA

Donelli, D., Antonelli, M., Baraldi, R., Corli, A., Finelli, F., Gardini, F., … Cogo, A. (2023). Exposure to Forest Air Monoterpenes with Pulmonary Function Tests in Adolescents with Asthma: A Cohort Study. Forests, 14(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/f14102012

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