however, whether bronchial hyperreactivity can be correlated with exposure to indoor allergens.
Research Agenda Item: Determine whether changes in bronchial hyperreactivity can be correlated with exposure to indoor allergens. If such a correlation exists, determine how reducing the level of allergens affects bronchial hyperreactivity.
Some of the issues to be considered when undertaking a risk assessment for aeroallergens have been discussed and an example has been given by using data from the literature on dust mite exposure and the development of sensitization. The data can be described by a linear model and indicates that there is a positive relationship between cumulative exposure to dust mite allergen and the risk of sensitization.
Some residual sensitization (i.e., approximately 10 percent in this example) will occur irrespective of exposure to dust mite allergen according to these estimates. This finding is consistent with the knowledge that other factors may also result in sensitization. For this reason, information on cross-reactivity of allergenic agents in study subjects is desirable, and important to the analysis of potential mechanisms of sensitization.
Research Agenda Item: Determine whether a practical method could be developed to measure concentrations of dust mite allergens that are capable of sensitizing humans.
Variability in the methods used in the multiple study protocols reported to date is high. More uniformity in the collection of exposure data would be useful in the risk assessment process. Although reservoir sampling has yielded meaningful results that assist in remediating exposure, further development 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