Monday, June 24, 2013

How do Household Pets Affect Indoor Air Quality and Health?

Home Life: Factors Structuring the Bacterial Diversity Found within and between Homes(8 page pdf, Robert R. Dunn, Noah Fierer, Jessica B. Henley, Jonathan W. Leff, Holly L. Menninger, PloS One, May 22, 2013)

Also discussed here: You dirty, dirty dog: Homes with canines swarming with bacteria(Amberly McAteer,The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2013)

Today we review research aimed at indoor air quality and in particular the difference that the air quality in a house with a dog differs from one without one. Results indicate the former has many many more microbactieria and a higher health risk than the latter, including the risk of developing allergies which has long been hypothesized but not tested. On the other hand, the existence of these bacteria also seem to a sort of immunity for children growing up in this environment that does not exist in a more pristine environment.

pets and indoor AQ  
Key Quotes:

“this work provides the first comprehensive analysis of the microbial communities found in the home and the factors that shape the structure of these communities both within and between homes.”

“nearly all homes have some level of natural ventilation that would allow for outdoor microbes to gain entry into the home, and we did find evidence that the types of bacteria found outside the home influence the types found inside the home as there was a significant correlation between outer and inner bacterial communities across homes.”

“When you bring a dog into your house,you are not just bringing a dog, you are also introducing a suite of dog-associated taxa directly into your home environment, some of which may have direct or indirect effects on human health.”

“The presence of dogs had significant effects on both the diversity and the types of bacteria found within homes on surfaces that may be in direct contact with dogs (e.g., pillows) and those that they are unlikely to ever touch (television screens).”

 “The presence of dogs had a significant effect on bacterial community composition in multiple locations within homes as the homes occupied by dogs harboured more diverse communities and higher relative abundances of dog-associated bacterial taxa.”

 “research suggests that pregnant mothers who live in houses with dogs are less likely to give birth to children who go on to develop allergies or atopic dermatitis.”
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