Traffic-Related Particulate Matter and Acute Respiratory Symptoms among New York City Area Adolescents

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 05/2010; 118(9):1338-43. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901499
Source: PubMed


Exposure to traffic-related particulate matter (PM) has been associated with adverse respiratory health outcomes in children. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) are a local driver of urban fine PM [aerodynamic diameter < or = 2.5 microm (PM(2.5))]; however, evidence linking ambient DEP exposure to acute respiratory symptoms is relatively sparse, and susceptibilities of urban and asthmatic children are inadequately characterized.
We examined associations of daily ambient black carbon (BC) concentrations, a DEP indicator, with daily respiratory symptoms among asthmatic and nonasthmatic adolescents in New York City (NYC) and a nearby suburban community.
BC and PM(2.5) were monitored continuously outside three NYC high schools and one suburban high school for 4-6 weeks, and daily symptom data were obtained from 249 subjects (57 asthmatics, 192 nonasthmatics) using diaries. Associations between pollutants and symptoms were characterized using multilevel generalized linear mixed models, and modification by urban residence and asthma status were examined.
Increases in BC were associated with increased wheeze, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Multiple lags of nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) exposure were associated with symptoms. For several symptoms, associations with BC and NO(2) were significantly larger in magnitude among urban subjects and asthmatics compared with suburban subjects and nonasthmatics, respectively. PM(2.5) was not consistently associated with increases in symptoms.
Acute exposures to traffic-related pollutants such as DEPs and/or NO(2) may contribute to increased respiratory morbidity among adolescents, and urban residents and asthmatics may be at increased risk. The findings provide support for developing additional strategies to reduce diesel emissions further, especially in populations susceptible because of environment or underlying respiratory disease.

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    • "hrough a spatio - temporal land - use regression model were associated with decre - ments in lung function measures in women living in East Boston ( Suglia et al . , 2008 ) . In NYC adolescents , increases in school levels of BC were associated with acute respiratory symptoms , including increased wheeze , chest tightness and shortness of breath ( Patel et al . , 2010 ) . Despite growing evidence linking BC exposure and respiratory illness , the mechanism through which BC may lead to these adverse respiratory effects has not been completely elucidated . One of the potential mechanisms is oxidative stress . 8 - isoprostane , which belongs to the family of F2 - isoprostanes and is a by - product of the"
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Exposure to airborne black carbon (BC) has been associated with asthma development, respiratory symptoms and decrements in lung function. However, the mechanism through which BC may lead to respiratory symptoms has not been completely elucidated. Oxidative stress has been suggested as a potential mechanism through which BC might lead to adverse health outcomes. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) allows for the non-invasive collection of airway lining fluid containing biomarkers of oxidative stress like 8-isoprostane, a stable by-product of lipid peroxidation. Therefore, we sought to characterize the association between domestic airborne BC concentrations and 8-isoprostane in EBC. Materials and methods: Seven- and eight-year-old children participated in an asthma case-control study in New York City. During home visits, air samples and EBC were collected. Seven day averages of domestic levels of particulate matter <2.5μm (PM2.5), BC and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) were measured. Urea and 8-isoprostane were measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) in EBC. Results: In univariate models, PM2.5 and BC, but not ETS, were significantly associated with increases in 8-isoprostane in the EBC (β=0.006 and β=0.106 respectively, p<0.05 for both). These associations remained statistically significant for both PM2.5 and BC after adjustment for covariates. In a co-pollutant model including PM2.5, BC and ETS, only BC remained a statistically significant predictor of 8-isoprostane (p<0.05). Conclusions: Our findings suggest the BC fraction of PM might contain exposure relevant to increased oxidative stress in the airways.
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    • "Studies evaluating respiratory symptoms in New York City have varied in the PM constituents or sources associated with health outcomes. For example, Patel et al. (2009) reported increased probability of wheeze in young children 0– 24 months of age in NYC to be associated with nickel and vanadium, while cough was associated with EC. Patel et al. (2010) found BC to be associated with a variety of respiratory symptoms, while Lall et al. (2011) observed hospital admissions for respiratory causes in Manhattan to be associated with a steel-metal works source factor that was enriched in manganese . Finally, Spira-Cohen et al. (2011) reported significant associations between personal EC and cough and wheeze in Bronx children with asthma; no significant associations were observed with PM 2.5 mass or sulfur. "
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