Environmental exposures have been recognized as critical in the initiation and exacerbation of asthma, particularly in children, among whom asthma is the most common chronic disease. In June 2014, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN) sponsored a joint workshop entitled "The Indoor Environment and Childhood Asthma: Implications for Home Environmental Intervention in Asthma Prevention and Management." U.S. and international experts with backgrounds in allergy/allergens, immunology, asthma, environmental health, environmental exposures and pollutants, epidemiology, public health, and bioinformatics were assembled to discuss the current state of the science with respect to the indoor environment and its effects on the development and morbidity of childhood asthma.
A primary focus of the workshop was critical review of trials and research relevant to the prevention or control of asthma through environmental intervention; sessions were divided in five working groups:
The participants identified critical limitations and gaps in the scientific methodologies and knowledge, and proposed the following areas for future research.