Classroom aeroallergen exposure in Arkansas Head Start centers

Tamara T. Perry, Perla A. Vargas, Jeremy Bufford, Charles Feild, Michael Flick, Pippa M. Simpson, Robert G. Hamilton, Stacie M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of preschool environmental conditions on classroom aeroallergen concentrations is not fully understood. Objective: To examine the relationship between school environmental conditions and classroom aeroallergen concentrations in the Pulaski County Head Start (HS) Program. Methods: Thirty-three HS centers in Pulaski County, Arkansas, underwent a detailed environmental evaluation. Classroom settled dust samples were analyzed for the presence of common indoor allergens. Results: Classroom eating (70%), wall-to-wall carpeting (58%), and water damage (33%) were common. Median classroom allergen levels were as follows: dust mite (Der p 1 and Der f 1), 0.6 μg/g; Fel d 1, 0.4 μg/g; Can f 1, 1.7 μg/g; cockroach, below detection; Mus m 1, 0.18 μg/g; and mold spores, 17,800 CFU/g. Can f 1 and Mus m 1 allergens were detected in 100% of HS centers. Facilities with carpeting, increased humidity, and single-use facilities showed trends toward increased dust mite concentrations. Detectable cockroach allergen was more common in classrooms cleaned by teachers than by professional housekeepers. Conclusions: Aeroallergens were commonly detected in Pulaski County HS center classrooms, with dog and mouse allergens detected in 100% of centers. Median classroom allergen concentrations were low, and classroom characteristics were not strongly predictive of increased allergen exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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