Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2014 Nov;6(6):478-484. 10.4168/aair.2014.6.6.478.

The Effects of Environmental Toxins on Allergic Inflammation

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, E-DA Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 2School of Medicine, College of Medicine, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 3Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 4Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. kuochanghung.dr@gmail.com
  • 6Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. pedhung@gmail.com
  • 7Department of Radiation Oncology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 8Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 9Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 10Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Abstract

The prevalence of asthma and allergic disease has increased worldwide over the last few decades. Many common environmental factors are associated with this increase. Several theories have been proposed to account for this trend, especially those concerning the impact of environmental toxicants. The development of the immune system, particularly in the prenatal period, has far-reaching consequences for health during early childhood, and throughout adult life. One underlying mechanism for the increased levels of allergic responses, secondary to exposure, appears to be an imbalance in the T-helper function caused by exposure to the toxicants. Exposure to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals can result in dramatic changes in cytokine production, the activity of the immune system, the overall Th1 and Th2 balance, and in mediators of type 1 hypersensitivity mediators, such as IgE. Passive exposure to tobacco smoke is a common risk factor for wheezing and asthma in children. People living in urban areas and close to roads with a high volume of traffic, and high levels of diesel exhaust fumes, have the highest exposure to environmental compounds, and these people are strongly linked with type 1 hypersensitivity disorders and enhanced Th2 responses. These data are consistent with epidemiological research that has consistently detected increased incidences of allergies and asthma in people living in these locations. During recent decades more than 100,000 new chemicals have been used in common consumer products and are released into the everyday environment. Therefore, in this review, we discuss the environmental effects on allergies of indoor and outside exposure.

Keyword

Allergy; asthma; environment; toxicant; smoking; allergen
Full Text Links
  • AAIR
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr