Use of a robotic sampler (PIPER) for evaluation of particulate matter exposure and eczema in preschoolers

Lokesh Shah, Gediminas Mainelis, Maya Ramagopal, Kathleen Black, Stuart L. Shalat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While the association of eczema with asthma is well recognized, little research has focused on the potential role of inhalable exposures and eczema. While indoor air quality is important in the development of respiratory disease as children in the U.S. spend the majority of their time indoors, relatively little research has focused on correlated non-respiratory conditions. This study examined the relationship between particulate matter (PM) exposures in preschool age children and major correlates of asthma, such as wheeze and eczema. Air sampling was carried out using a robotic (PIPER) child-sampling surrogate. This study enrolled 128 participants, 57 male and 71 female children. Ages ranged from 3 to 58 months with the mean age of 29.3 months. A comparison of subjects with and without eczema showed a difference in the natural log (ln) of PM collected from the PIPER air sampling (p = 0.049). PIPER’s sampling observed an association between the ln PM concentrations and eczema, but not an association with wheezing history in pre-school children. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of the role of the microenvironment in mediating atopic dermatitis, which is one of the predictors of persistent asthma. Our findings also support the use of PIPER in its ability to model and sample the microenvironment of young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Asthma
  • Children
  • Eczema
  • Particulate matter
  • Robot


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