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  1. Andrew Bush,
  2. Ian Pavord, Editors

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Out of the frying pan?

School age children spend a lot of time in the classroom, where one would hope they might escape adverse home environmental factors, such as smoking (‘I never smoke in front of the children, Dr, so when I need a cigarette I send the kids outside to play’) and aeroallergens (‘Honey the kids are allergic to the cat; we had better get rid of the kids’). However, the classroom may not be the safe haven we thought. Cat allergic children in classes where more than 20% of their schoolmates own a cat develop an occupational asthma like picture (Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001;163:694–8), with asthma worsening during the week and improving at the weekend and during holidays. Now Annesi-Maesano et al demonstrate that French primary school class rooms are not exactly havens of unpolluted air (see page 682). Elevated levels of major pollutants were common, and associated with prevalent asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis. In some …

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