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Indoor Allergens: Assessing and Controlling Adverse Health Effects
of standardized air sampling collection and analytical methods is needed.
Research Agenda Item: Standardize methods of collecting and analyzing indoor allergen samples to facilitate comparative and collaborative studies.
Improved, standardized methods of collecting and analyzing indoor allergen samples would be particularly valuable in establishing the relationship between reservoir samples, personal exposure measures, levels of activity, and the potential for airborne exposure of sufficient magnitude to induce negative health outcomes.
Research Agenda Item: Quantitate the relationship of allergens in reservoirs (and on surfaces) to aerosols and develop monitoring methods for quantitating airborne-allergen concentrations in personal breathing zones.
Assessment of exposure is a rapidly advancing, complex, and multistep process that entails numerous variables and estimations. Most monitoring, for example, is often based on sampling for indicators rather than the actual allergen. There is a need for developing improved methods for estimating environmental concentrations of aeroallergens and the resultant individual exposures.
Research Agenda Item: Develop appropriate exposure metrics for specific indoor allergens that are analogous to time-weighted averages and permissible-exposure limits for industrial chemicals.
Methods for determining the effects of indoor allergens can be divided into two general categories: patient testing and environmental testing. Data from both kinds of testing can be useful to the physician in directing the treatment, control, and prevention of allergic disease. There are, however, no effective means currently available to physicians or other medical professionals for obtaining quantitative information on environmental exposures.
Recommendation: Establish effective mechanisms for medical professionals to acquire assessments of potential exposure to indoor allergens in residential environments.