Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Volatile organic compounds and risk of asthma and allergy: a systematic review

Nurmatov, Ulugbek ORCID:, Tagieva, N., Semple, S., Deveraux, G. and Sheikh, A. 2015. Volatile organic compounds and risk of asthma and allergy: a systematic review. European Respiratory Review 24 , pp. 92-101. 10.1183/09059180.00000714

[thumbnail of VOC_SR_2015.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (361kB) | Preview


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ubiquitous domestic pollutants. Their role in asthma/allergy development and exacerbations is uncertain. This systematic review investigated whether domestic VOC exposure increases the risk of developing and/or exacerbating asthma and allergic disorders. We systematically searched 11 databases and three trial repositories, and contacted an international panel of experts to identify published and unpublished experimental and epidemiological studies. 8455 potentially relevant studies were identified; 852 papers were removed after de-duplication, leaving 7603 unique papers that were screened. Of these, 278 were reviewed in detail and 53 satisfied the inclusion criteria. Critical appraisal of the included studies indicated an overall lack of high-quality evidence and substantial risk of bias in this body of knowledge. Aromatics (i.e. benzenes, toluenes and xylenes) and formaldehyde were the main VOC classes studied, both in relation to the development and exacerbations of asthma and allergy. Approximately equal numbers of studies reported that exposure increased risks and that exposure was not associated with any detrimental effects. The available evidence implicating domestic VOC exposure in the risk of developing and/or exacerbating asthma and allergy is of poor quality and inconsistent. Prospective, preferably experimental studies, investigating the impact of reducing/eliminating exposure to VOC, are now needed in order to generate a more definitive evidence base to inform policy and clinical deliberations in relation to the management of the now substantial sections of the population who are either at risk of developing asthma/allergy or living with established disease.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Publisher: European Respiratory Society
ISSN: 0905-9180
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 April 2014
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:58

Citation Data

Cited 124 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics