Last updated on Jun 22nd, 2021 at 04:43 pm

Burning candles while pregnant could predispose your baby to allergies, but that’s not the only air pollutant to watch out for…

New research has found that prenatal and early life exposure to multiple air pollutants increases odds of toddler allergies.

Early exposure to candles, cats and environmental tobacco smoke showed the greatest impact

“Because most children are exposed to more than one pollutant or allergen, we examined the relationship between multiple exposures and allergic sensitisations at two years of age,” says Mallory Gallant, MSc, lead author of the study.

“We examined exposure to dogs, cats, air fresheners, candles, mould, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and carpet, all of which have been associated with childhood allergies. Of the exposures we measured, prenatal exposure to candles, six-month exposure to cats and two-year exposure to ETS significantly increased the chance of a positive skin prick test (SPT) at two years of age.”

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The study included 108 mother-child pairs who were followed from birth to two years of age.

Exposure to air fresheners, candles, mould, cats, dogs, carpet and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during the prenatal, six-month, one-year, and two-year time points were obtained.

A skin prick test was performed on both the mother and the two-year-old child to measure allergic sensitivity.

Allergic sensitisation means that a person has had (or may have had given the possibilities for false positives) an allergic type immune response to a substance. But it does not necessarily mean that the substance causes them problems.

Children are more vulnerable to air pollutants

The increase in the average amount of time indoors means there is an increased risk of harmful health outcomes related to exposure to indoor air pollutants,” says allergist Anne K. Ellis, MD, study author, and member of the ACAAI Environmental Allergy Committee.

“Additionally, children breathe more frequently per minute than adults, and mostly breathe through their mouths. These differences could allow for air pollutants to penetrate more deeply into the lungs and at higher concentrations, making children more vulnerable to air pollutants.”

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology via

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