Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2014.08.013
Title (Primary) Prenatal VOC exposure and redecoration are related to wheezing in early infancy
Author Franck, U.; Weller, A.; Röder, S.W. ORCID logo ; Herberth, G. ORCID logo ; Junge, K.M.; Kohajda, T.; von Bergen, M.; Rolle-Kampczyk, U.; Diez, U.; Borte, M.; Lehmann, I.
Source Titel Environment International
Year 2014
Volume 73
Page From 393
Page To 401
Language englisch
Keywords Childhood; Prenatal exposure; Wheezing; Volatile organic compounds; Redecoration
UFZ wide themes RU3;


Redecoration of dwellings is a common behavior of expecting parents. Former studies gave evidence that early childhood exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOC) resulting from renovation activities may increase the risk for wheeze in infants.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of prenatal exposure on early wheeze and to identify sensitive time windows.

Within the LINA birth cohort study data on renovation activities and respiratory outcomes were assessed via questionnaires during pregnancy and at children's age of one. At both timepoints, also indoor VOC concentrations were measured. The associations were studied by logistic regression analysis.

Floor covering during pregnancy contributed to an increased risk for physician treated wheeze (adjusted odds ratio OR = 5.20, 95% confidence interval 1.8–15.2) during the first 12 months after birth in particular in children with an atopic predisposition. Thereby, wall-to-wall-carpets, PVC material, and laminate were the flooring materials which showed the strongest adverse associations. Floor covering was associated with enhanced concentrations of VOCs in the apartments. For the VOCs styrene, ethylbenzene, octane, 1-butanol, tridecane, and o-xylene, a significant association was found to the occurrence of wheezing symptoms. In contrast to pregnancy, exposure during the first 12 months after birth showed less detrimental associations. Only the association between wheezing and styrene as well as between wheezing and PVC flooring remained significant for exposure after birth.

Redecoration during pregnancy, especially changing floor materials, increases the risk for respiratory diseases in early childhood and should therefore be avoided at least in families with a history of atopic diseases.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Franck, U., Weller, A., Röder, S.W., Herberth, G., Junge, K.M., Kohajda, T., von Bergen, M., Rolle-Kampczyk, U., Diez, U., Borte, M., Lehmann, I. (2014):
Prenatal VOC exposure and redecoration are related to wheezing in early infancy
Environ. Int. 73 , 393 - 401 10.1016/j.envint.2014.08.013