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Kube, Hannah; Herrera, Ronald; Dietrich-Gümperlein, Gisela; Schierl, Rudolf; Nowak, Dennis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7871-8686; Radon, Katja ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5271-3972; Wengenroth, Laura ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4730-1612 and Gerlich, Jessica (2021): From workplace to home environment: spreading of mouse allergens by laboratory animal workers. In: International archives of occupational and environmental health, Vol. 94, No. 4: pp. 601-610 [PDF, 766kB]


PURPOSE Laboratory animal workers (LAW) working with laboratory mice are exposed to mouse allergens (MA). If MA are spread to home environments, this might increase the risk for allergies in LAW and their families. This study aimed to assess 1. whether spreading of MA from workplace to home environment takes place; 2. which factors increase spreading of MA. METHODS In a cross-sectional study, dust samples were taken on the mattress and seating in homes of LAW (n = 105) and an unexposed comparison group (n = 13). From 89 LAW, additional dust samples were taken from their workplaces. Samples were analysed using Mus m1 ELISA kits detection limit (DL) 0.2~ng mus m1/ml. Sociodemographic data, personal history of allergies and cleaning habits, as well as work-related characteristics (LAW only) were assessed by questionnaire. Latent factors were assessed via factor analysis. Tobit models were fitted to analyse the latent factors' contribution to MA spreading. RESULTS MA concentration on the seating was significantly higher in home environments of LAW (median = 1.28~ng mus m1/m2) than in the comparison group (median < DL, p = 0.019). The highest workplace MA concentration was found on the floor of the scullery (median = 140,000.00~ng mus m1/m2), followed by hair-covering caps (median = 76.02~ng mus m1/m2). Cage and mouse facility cleaning tasks and infrequent changing of bed linen at home were statistically significantly associated with higher MA concentrations at home. CONCLUSIONS Spreading of MA from LAW's workplace to their home environment takes place, especially among LAWs involved in cleaning tasks.

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