Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Palumbo, Jillian R., Shao Lin*, Ziqiang Lin, Iulia A. Neamtiu, Wangjian Zhang, Eva Csobod, and Eugen S. Gurzau


School environment may have an impact on children’s health, but few studies have focused on indoor comfort factors such as temperature, humidity, and noise in relation with potential effects on children’s health. Our cross-sectional study used data from the European Schools Indoor Pollution and Health Observatory Network in Europe (SINPHONIE) project to assess children’s allergy, asthma-like symptoms, and flu-like symptoms in relation with classroom comfort and environmental factors. The study used self-reported data from three questionnaires to identify classroom conditions and student health outcomes for 280 students. We used backwards variable selection and unconditional logistic regression to assess the outcome-environment relationship while controlling for demographics, family history of allergy, and home exposures. We found increased risks for allergy and flu-like symptoms associated with hot classrooms in the heating season, increased risks for asthma-like symptoms associated with noisy classrooms, and a protective effect for allergy associated with good outdoor air quality. Romanian classrooms rely on natural ventilation, which may contribute to increased temperature and humidity in the heating season. Further research warrants the use of SINPHONIE’s measurement data to validate our findings.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff