Exposure to ambient bioaerosols is associated with allergic skin diseases in Greater Taipei residents

Kraiwuth Kallawicha, Ying Chih Chuang, Shih Chun Candice Lung, Bor Cheng Han, Yi Fang Ting, Hsing Jasmine Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Allergic skin diseases may result from various types of chemical and biological allergens. This study investigated the association between ambient bioaerosol exposure and allergic skin diseases by using the exposure data obtained from land use regression models and interpolated data. Data on daily average outpatient visits for atopic dermatitis (ICD-9-CM 691.8) and contact dermatitis and other eczema (ICD-9-CM 692.9) between November 2011 and August 2012 were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database. A generalized estimating equation was used to analyze the associations between the skin diseases and ambient bioaerosol levels. The results indicated that during the study period, contact dermatitis and other eczema were more prevalent than atopic dermatitis in the study area. Most cases were observed in districts of Taipei City and 3 major districts of New Taipei City, namely Xinzhuang, Banqiao, and Xindian. In univariate analysis, most bioaerosols were positively associated with both skin diseases. After adjustment for air pollution and sociodemographic factors, exposure to total fungal spores was significantly associated with atopic dermatitis in males (relative risk [RR] = 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05-1.19). Contact dermatitis and other eczema had significant relationships with Cladosporium in males (RR = 1.07; 95% CI = 1.02-1.14) and with Aspergillus/. Penicillium in females (RR = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.02-1.07). Meteorological parameters, namely wind speed, temperature, and rainfall, were also significantly associated with skin diseases. Our findings reveal that exposure to ambient bioaerosols is a significant and independent risk factor for allergic skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-850
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2016


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Bioaerosols
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Land use regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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