Tags: asthma | energy | efficient | home

Energy Efficient Homes Boost Asthma Risks

By    |   Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 04:53 PM

The drive for energy efficient homes over the past three decades has produced an unintended side effect: Homes that have been closed up tight have been tied to an increase in asthma, according to new research led by the University of Exeter Medical School.

This study, published in the journal Environment International, is based on an analysis of the medical charts of residents of 700 properties in Cornwall, England. The researchers found that people living in more energy efficient homes had a greater risk of asthma, and that the presence of mold doubled this risk.
 
The findings build on previous work showing that dampness and mold can increase the risk of allergic diseases.
 
"We've found that adults living in energy efficient social housing may have an increased risk of asthma,” said Richard Sharpe. “Modern efficiency measures are vital to help curb energy use, and typically prevent heat loss through improved insulation and crack sealing.
 
“Yet some people, particularly those living in fuel poverty, are unlikely to heat a building enough — or ventilate it sufficiently — to prevent the presence of damp and mold, factors that we know can contribute to asthma."
 
Health experts recommend making sure that homes have sufficient ventilation, by opening windows and doors regularly, even in colder weather.

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Homes that have been closed up tight have been tied to an increase in asthma, according to new research.
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Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 04:53 PM
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