TV2 News on 9 August 2004, 19.00 hrs
On Monday 9 August the TV2 News informed about a Danish-Swedish group of researchers had made a study, the results of which showed that the so-called plasticizers, that are contained in vinyl flooring, are the main reason for the increase in asthma and allergy incidences in children. The study was prepared by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and Geo Clausen, Deputy Manager of the DTU, says to the TV2 News about the study as follows: “The conclusion is that children, living in homes with a high concentration of plasticizers in the house dust, have an notably increased risk to promote asthma and allergy.” The study of DTU has, however, been met with a certain scepticism. Professor in asthma, Søren Pedersen, has been studying asthma for twenty years, and he says that you should be careful not to uncritically accept the results of the study at its face value: “You should be cautious to use one single result for anything, because, until now, studies like that have shown – when taken a closer look into the matter – not to have been the full explanation.” Søren Pedersen mentions the fact for instance that it is not only in countries with many plasticizers that asthma is a big problem: “In desert areas the incidence of asthma has increased dramatically, even though the style of building there is completely different from ours.”
Also the Asthma-Allergy Organization is doubtful as to the results of the study. Deputy Manager, Anne Holm Hansen says to the TV2 News that these so-called cross section studies are no proof in itself, and she stresses that “it is absurd that people shall now rip up their flooring when we have no large-scale proofs.” Anne Holm Hansen explains: “There have been made tests for phthalates in the homes, and found that in homes with phthalates the asthma children are to be found. This is like the stork and the children; even though we had more storks in Denmark, it would not influence the number of childbirth. We simply need more studies with correlations, which HAVE influence.” Anne Holm Hansen considers, however, the study of DTU an excellent basis for a better research, which can result in some proofs, and which again can result in some good, useful guidelines for the consumers.
Read also the news: Danish Asthma-Allergy Organization makes reservations to new Report on Phthalates