Recently, a question regarding a possible role of phthalate esters in the pathogenesis of asthma has been raised [83,84]. The studies in question found phthalate esters from vinyl products in the air of households with asthmatic children. They speculated on a possible mechanism for DEHP to cause asthma. The hypothesis is that DEHP and its metabolites have some structural similarities to, and can mimic, some prostaglandins and thromboxanes, and the widespread use of DEHP in wall coverings, flooring, and other construction material leads to the induction or exacerbation of asthma. The merit of this hypothesis is questionable. There is also no direct evidence that DEHP or MEHP acts like prostaglandin, the hormone associated with inflammatory responses. Furthermore, there is no indication of any sensitization potential from exposure to DEHP, based on animal experiments or human patch tests . Phthalates are not the large, complex molecules which are more commonly associated with allergy, and are not among the substances such as insect parts, animal dander, and pollen, which authorities have associated with the induction of asthma.Vinyl flooring is easy to clean; it is often recommended for use in homes where asthmatics live. If an association between phthalate esters used in vinyl exists, it is not clear whether the use of vinyl flooring is a cause of the asthma or a remedy to reduce dust and animal dander that cause asthma. Further work is necessary to evaluate this phenomenon.
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.