Endotoxin and β-(1,3)-glucan levels in automobiles: a pilot study.
 
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1
Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua City, Taiwan.
2
University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
3
Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua City, Taiwan
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010;17(2):327–330
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Exposure to bacterial endotoxin and fungal β-(1,3)-glucan in the indoor environment can induce respiratory symptoms. Automobiles are an exposure source of allergens but it is not known if, and how much exposure there is to endotoxin and fungal β-(1,3)-glucan. The objective of the study was to determine whether automobiles are a potential source of exposure to these microbial products. Dust was sampled from the passenger seats of 40 automobiles. Specific Limulus amoebocyte kinetic assays were used to measure endotoxin and β-(1,3)-glucan, respectively. Endotoxin and β-(1,3)-glucan was detected in all samples ranging from 19.9-247.0 EU/mg and 1.6-59.8 μg/g, respectively. There were no significant differences in endotoxin levels between automobiles of smokers and non-smokers, but β-(1,3)-glucan levels were about two-fold higher in the automobiles of non-smokers. In conclusion, endotoxin and β-(1,3)-glucan exposure in automobiles at levels found in our study may be of importance for asthmatics.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank the automobile owners for their participation. The work was funded by the Changhua Christian Hospital under Grant Num- ber 98-CCH-IRP-43 (92253) (081206).
 
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