June 23, 2006
UV Irradiation in the Home Improves Kids’ Asthma
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The use of centrally installed ultraviolet (UV) irradiation units in the homes of asthmatic children who are sensitized to mold can improve their symptoms, according to a new report.
The idea is that UV light kills off circulating microbial agents that can trigger asthma.
The study is one of only a few to look at the health benefits of UV air disinfection systems, Dr. Jonathan A. Bernstein, from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and colleagues note in the May issue of the Journal of Asthma. Also, many of the previous studies have focused on the use of these systems in an office environment, not at home.
In a 28-week 'crossover' trial, the researchers assessed respiratory symptoms in 19 children with asthma first while UV irradiation units were running in the home central ventilation system and then when dummy units were installed, or vice versa.
UV irradiation was delivered by the CREON2000 Photonic Air Disinfection system, which can operate continuously due to the presence of a pre-filter system that prevents dust from accumulating on the UV lamps.
Compared with the placebo situation, the use of the UV irradiation system was associated with a significant improvement in the children's peak expiratory flow rate, the report indicates.
In addition, the system seemed to improve asthma symptoms and reduce asthma medication usage by 51 percent, compared to 13 percent with placebo.
A larger study "to validate the clinical health effects of UV irradiation as a primary indoor environmental intervention for allergic asthma" is necessary to confirm the present findings, the researchers conclude.
SOURCE: Journal of Asthma, May 2006.