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Outdoor air pollution and children's health

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Abstract

Children spend almost 90% of their time indoors, though outside air can be a significant source of potential and actual exposure to outdoor air pollutants. Children are vulnerable to pollutants and toxins because of their size and developing organ systems. Young children have increased respiratory rates and inhale more toxins, and young children often ignore respiratory symptoms and continue play. Outdoor play and recreational activities expose children to outdoor air pollution from sources such as automobiles, power plants, industry, and other combustion sources, which can impact children. Outdoor air pollution has been linked to respiratory illness exacerbations, infant mortality, the development of asthma, and atopy and reduction in lung development in children. This article will examine outdoor air pollution and its impact on children's health, as well as implications for pediatric nursing clinical practice.

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... Long-term low-dose exposure can be equally damaging (Goodell 2007). Children living in close proximity to roadways with a large amount of traffic have a greater risk for respiratory disease, visit the emergency room more often, and have higher rates of hospitalization, wheezing, asthma, and bronchitis (Abelsohn and Stieb 2011;Brauer et al. 2002;Linares et al. 2010;McConnell et al. 2002;Ritz and Wilhelm 2008;Suwanwaiphatthana, Ruangdej, and Turner-Henson 2010;Wilhelm, Qian, and Ritz 2009). Higher pollution rates tend to be concentrated in poor and/or minority areas, which also correlate with higher prevalence of childhood asthma. ...
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Perhaps the best training for students to apply sociology is through hands-on community work. In this article, we write about the experience of a graduate-level qualitative research methods course in taking on an action research project over the course of a semester. We provide a detailed overview of the project along with practical tips for instructors who would like to replicate this pedagogy.
... Notably, the human behaviours that are contributing to climate change are also having a more immediate negative impact on health and wellbeing (Castro-Giner, et al., 2009;Suwanwaiphatthana, Ruangdej, & Turner-Henson, 2010). An increasing reliance on motorised transport, fuelled by the oil industry, has lead to reduced physical activity and poor air quality (Castro-Giner, et al., 2009;Sallis, Frank, Saelens, & Kraft, 2004). ...
... Clinical trials are rare in this population and unfeasible in many circumstances. Using an observational study design, researchers have examined the association between exposure to air pollution and a number of birth outcomes, including birth weight (Ballester et al., 2010;Gouveia et al., 2004), birth defects (Hansen et al., 2009;Ren et al., 2010), and post-neonatal infant mortality and morbidity (Suwanwaiphatthana et al., 2010;Woodruff et al., 1997). Unfortunately, these studies have produced inconsistent results, as detailed subsequently in the Literature Review Section of this thesis. ...
Article
Objective: In this retrospective cohort (1998 to 2007), 145,445 singleton live births in Hillsborough, Florida, were analyzed to elucidate the relationship between fetal morbidity and prenatal exposure to six criteria air pollutants. Methods: This study was based on three linked databases: Florida Hospital Discharge, vital statistics records, and air pollution meteorological data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The primary outcomes of interest were low birth weight, preterm births, and small for gestational age. This study used structural equation modeling and trimester groupings to evaluate the relationship between air pollution and birth outcomes of pregnant residents. Results: The latent variables of structural equation modeling yielded a significant B value of 0.35, indicating that exposure to the criteria pollutants in pregnancy may have a significant relationship to fetal morbidity. Conclusion: Exposure to criteria air pollutants in pregnancy is associated with fetal morbidity outcomes.
... One of the most important reasons is that children have a larger lung surface area per kilogram of body weight than adults and, under normal breathing, breathe in 50% more air per kilogram of body weight than adults. The other is that they have increased exposure to many air pollutants because of higher minute ventilation and higher levels of outdoor physical activity (16)(17)(18)(19)(20). A variety of pollutants can be found in the outdoor air, however one of the most important is particulate matter (PM) of 10 micrometres in diameter (PM 10 ). ...
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Aim: The aim of our study was to assess the temporal association between the number of consultations in the primary health care unit due to respiratory diseases in children and the level of particular matter of 10 micrometres in diameter (PM10) pollution in the Zasavje region. Methods: A time-trend ecological study was carried out for the period between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011. The daily number of first consultations for respiratory diseases among children in the Zasavje region was observed as the outcome. Poisson regression analysis was used to investigate the association between the observed outcome and the daily PM 10 concentrations, adjusted to other covariates. Results: The results showed that the daily number of first consultations were highly significantly associated with the daily concentrations of PM 10 in the Zagorje (p<0.001) and Trbovlje (p<0.001) municipalities. In the Hrastnik municipality, a significant association was not observed in all models. Conclusions: It can be concluded that evidence of association between the daily PM10 concentration and the daily number of first consultations for respiratory diseases among children exists, indicating that there is still a need for public health activities in the sense of reduction of harmful environmental factors in the region. Additionally, on the basis of these results, it can be assumed that with some improvements linkage of existing health and environmental data in Slovenia in general could be feasible in identifying a grounded need for future public health action.
... Children are more susceptible to them than adults due to many reasons. Firstly, more than eighty percent of alveoli are formed postpartum, and changes in the lung continue through adolescence (5)(6)(7)(8). Secondly, children have a larger lung surface area per kilogram of body weight than adults and, under normal breathing, they breathe 50 % more air per kilogram of body weight than adults. ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to estimate the population burden of respiratory diseases in the Zasavje region of Slovenia that can be attributed to outdoor air pollution in order to gain relevant grounds for evidencebased public health activities. In 2008, 981 schoolchildren (age 6 to 12 years) were observed in a prevalence study. The prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases (CRD) and frequent acute respiratory symptoms (FARS) was related to the level of outdoor air pollution in the local environment (low, moderate and high pollution areas). Logistic regression was used as a method for statistical analysis. The prevalence of CRD was 3.0 % in low pollution areas, 7.5 % in moderate pollution areas, and 9.7 % in high pollution areas (p=0.005). After adjustment for the effects of confounders, 2.91-times higher odds for CRD were registered in high pollution areas in comparison to low pollution areas (p=0.017). The prevalence of FARS was: 7.8 % in low pollution areas, 13.3 % in moderate pollution areas and 15.9 % in high pollution areas (p=0.010). After adjustment for the effects of confounders, 2.02-times higher odds for FARS were registered in high pollution areas in comparison to low pollution areas (p=0.023). The study confirmed a significantly higher prevalence of CRD and FARS in children living in high pollution areas of Zasavje. These results at least partially prompted mutual understanding and cross-sectoral cooperation - prerequisites for solving complex problems involving the impact of air pollution on health.
... Traffic exposures, it is suggested, act synergistically with other risk factors for wheeze and asthma and with parental stress (Islam et al. 2011;Ryan et al. 2009). Children are at increased risk due to stage of life and also from their activity level, such as on a playground, which increases the absorbed dose (Suwanwaiphatthana, Ruangdej, and Turner-Henson 2010). In addition, for children living in many border communities, the exposures from the border crossings add to the exposure from poor regional air quality. ...
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Delays and community traffic problems associated with US–Mexican border ports of entry have been criticized for causing economic losses and increasing social stressors. This paper draws attention to an overlooked issue, the potential for adverse health effects associated with being exposed to localized high levels of traffic pollutants on border crossers and nearby communities at ports of entry along the US–Mexican border. The literature on health effects of exposure to near-road traffic pollution is incorporated into an analysis of the situation along the US–Mexican border. This paper synthesizes the information available regarding excessive wait times at the border and describes preliminary studies linking these delays to elevated traffic pollution levels. We frame exposure to traffic pollutants at US–Mexican ports of entry as an environmental justice issue in that the burden of exposures and associated risks of health effects is borne by nearby low income minority communities. Mitigation strategies are explored and reduction of border crossing wait times is identified as the most feasible action. Adverse effects of exposure to near traffic pollution are likely applicable to congested borders throughout the world
... Exposure to air pollution has been proven to be associated with a variety of adverse health effects. There is a strong evidence that especially increased air pollution with particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5 ), and ozone (O 3 ), precipitates respiratory symptoms [1][2][3][4][5], and consequently emergency room visits and hospital admissions due to these symptoms [6][7][8][9][10]. Among the most susceptible population subgroups are children [3,7,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. ...
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Aiming at assessing the feasibility of linkage of existing health and environmental data in Slovenia in the case of the Koper Municipality in identifying the grounded need for public health action, the objective of the study was to assess the association between consultations on the primary health care level due to asthma and daily ozone concentrations. An ecological time-trend study with a single day as a unit of observation was performed in 2012. Periods from April 1 through October 31 were observed in 2010 and 2011. The study population was children, aged 0-12 years, who visited the Community Health Centre Koper for asthma. Logistic regression was used in analysis. The results showed statistically significant association between daily occurrence of at least one consultation for asthma and ozone daily maximum 8-hr average concentration 70 μg/m 3 or exceeded, lag 4 days (OR=4.77; p=0.042). There is an evidence of association between increased ozone levels and daily occurrence of any consultation for asthma in Koper Municipality. The study opened many challenges for future research. If they are resolved, evidence-based approach to public health activities in the field of environmental health in the region and in Slovenia would be strongly improved on this basis thereof.
... This has been reported in Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children, with boys being more affected than girls, likely due to longer daily outdoor activities and thus longer time of exposure[32]. Due to importance of physical activity in child's development and the benefits of associated outdoor spaces[33], elevated levels of air pollution present a direct challenge to maintaining both cardiovascular and healthy neurodevelopment of children, by allowing them to play outside and engage in physical activities otherwise beneficial for their health and development[34]. Clinically healthy children from MCMA selected by stringent criteria including the absence of known risk factors for cognitive or neurological deficits, exhibited structural, neurophysiological and cognitive detrimental effects compared to low pollution exposed children matched for SES, gender, age and mother's IQ[1,35]. ...
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The present review synthesizes lines of emerging evidence showing how several samples of children populations living in large cities around the world suffer to some degree neural, behavioral and cognitive changes associated with air pollution exposure. The breakdown of natural barriers warding against the entry of toxic particles, including the nasal, gut and lung epithelial barriers, as well as widespread breakdown of the blood-brain barrier facilitatethe passage of airborne pollutants into the body of young urban residents. Extensive neuroinflammation contributes to cell loss within the central nervous system, and likely is a crucial mechanism by which cognitive deficits may arise. Although subtle, neurocognitive effects of air pollution are substantial, apparent across all populations, and potentially clinically relevant as early evidence of evolving neurodegenerative changes. The diffuse nature of the neuroinflammation risk suggests an integrated neuroscientific approach incorporating current clinical, cognitive, neurophysiological, radiological and epidemiologic research. Neuropediatric air pollution research requires extensive multidisciplinary collaborations to accomplish the goal of protecting exposed children through multidimensional interventions having both broad impact and reach. While intervening by improving environmental quality at a global scale is imperative, we also need to devise efficient strategies on how the neurocognitive effects on local pediatric populations should be monitored.
... Air pollution has been demonstrated to exacerbate asthma but how much it does so and the strength of the evidence depends on the type of pollutant and extent of exposure [1,2]. Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects caused by air pollution because they spend more of their time outdoors (typically 50% more than adults), are more likely to participate in recreational activities that increase their ventilation and dose rates, and have a more a permeable respiratory epithelium [3,4,5]. ...
Article
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Criteria pollutants have been associated with exacerbation of children's asthma, but the role of air toxics in relation to asthma is less clear. Our objective was to evaluate whether exposure to outdoor air toxics in early childhood increased asthma risk or severity. Air toxics exposure was estimated using the 2002 National Air toxics Assessment (NATA) and linked to longitudinal data (n=6950) from a representative sample of US children born in 2001 and followed through kindergarten-age in the Early Child Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Overall, 17.7% of 5.5 year-olds had ever been told by a healthcare professional they had asthma, and 6.8% had been hospitalized or visited an emergency room for an asthma attack. Higher rates of asthma were observed among boys (20.1%), low-income (24.8%), and non-Hispanic black children (30.0%) (p≤0.05). Air toxics exposure was greater for minority race/ethnicity (p<0.0001), low income (p<0.0001), non-rural area (p<0.001). Across all analyses, greater air toxics exposure, as represented by total NATA respiratory hazard index, or when limited to respiratory hazard index from onroad mobile sources or diesel PM, was not associated with a greater prevalence of asthma or hospitalizations (p trend >0.05). In adjusted logistic regression models, children exposed to the highest respiratory hazard index were not more likely to have asthma compared to those exposed to the lowest respiratory hazard index of total, onroad sources, or diesel PM. Early childhood exposure to outdoor air toxics in a national sample has not previously been studied relative to children's asthma. Within the constraints of the study, we found no evidence that early childhood exposure to outdoor air toxics increased risk for asthma. As has been previously reported, it is evident that there are environmental justice and disparity concerns for exposure to air toxics and asthma prevalence in US children.
... Traffic exposures, it is suggested, act synergistically with other risk factors for wheeze and asthma and with parental stress (Islam et al. 2011;Ryan et al. 2009). Children are at increased risk due to stage of life and also from their activity level, such as on a playground, which increases the absorbed dose (Suwanwaiphatthana, Ruangdej, and Turner-Henson 2010). In addition, for children living in many border communities, the exposures from the border crossings add to the exposure from poor regional air quality. ...
Article
Full-text available
Delays and community traffic problems associated with US–Mexican border ports of entry have been criticized for causing economic losses and increasing social stressors. This paper draws attention to an overlooked issue, the potential for adverse health effects associated with being exposed to localized high levels of traffic pollutants on border crossers and nearby communities at ports of entry along the US–Mexican border. The literature on health effects of exposure to near-road traffic pollution is incorporated into an analysis of the situation along the US–Mexican border. This paper synthesizes the information available regarding excessive wait times at the border and describes preliminary studies linking these delays to elevated traffic pollution levels. We frame exposure to traffic pollutants at US–Mexican ports of entry as an environmental justice issue in that the burden of exposures and associated risks of health effects is borne by nearby low income minority communities. Mitigation strategies are explored and reduction of border crossing wait times is identified as the most feasible action. Adverse effects of exposure to near traffic pollution are likely applicable to congested borders throughout the world.
... Improving the availability of indoor exercise facilities has become a national policy, as highlighted in China's Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for the Sports Industry [11]. Outdoor air pollution has been linked to the exacerbation of respiratory illness, infant mortality, the development of asthma, atopy, and a reduction in lung development in children [12]. ...
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Objectives Adverse health effects due to air pollution have recently been recognized as a serious social problem in China. In this study, we investigated inter-city relationships between air pollution and physical fitness levels among Mongolian elementary school boys in five cities of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), China. Study design Retrospective cross-sectional cohort study. Methods Physical fitness measurements of 1443 male Mongolian sixth-grade children were obtained from an existing dataset from the year 2013–2016, and correlations were calculated between these measurements and the percentage of good air quality days for five different cities: Hohhot, Baotou, Chifeng, Bayannur, and Xilinhot. Results Significant differences in the percentage of good air quality days from 2013 to 2016 were observed among the five cities studied. Statistical analysis showed a significantly positive correlation between good days and students’ vital capacity, and a significantly negative correlation between good days and 50 m × 8 shuttle run time for the students included in this study. Differences in the extent of air pollution among the study cities might account for differences in lung function and cardiovascular endurance levels in these Mongolian children. Conclusions There is an urgent need for policy intervention to reduce air pollution levels in the IMAR. It is necessary to improve school physical education classes and physical training considering the current air pollution situation. Future research needs to replicate school year survey results from other cities, include longitudinal studies, and clarify the relationship between air pollution, physical exercise, and overall health.
... Exposure to ambient air pollutants (like particulate matter 2.5 and 10, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone) have also been associated with an increase in reports of wheeze and worsening of symptoms and hospitalizations for asthma (35)(36)(37). The potential impact of reduction in vehicle emissions and closure of industrial institutions may have, then, improved air quality (23,24,38,39) and resulted in the observed results. ...
Article
Background: Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) mitigation measures implemented to mitigate COVID-19 has brought unprecedented global impact. Changes in daily living routines, reduction in physical activities, and changes in environmental indicators were suggested to positively impact pediatric asthma indicators in western cultures. Little is known about such impact in developing countries. This study investigating the potential impact of COVID-19 NPI measures on pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions in Northern Jordan. Methods: Aggregate data from a pediatric hospital, Princess Rahma Pediatric Teaching Hospital, and King Abdulla University Teaching Hospital were utilized between 2018 and 2020. Number of pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions were calculated by week and compared by year, lockdown status, and weeks for lockdown (weeks 13 to 19). Stringency index was correlated with number of weekly pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions for 2020. Results: A total of 1,207 pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions were reported; 40.3%, 35.2%, and 24.5% in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. The number of weekly admissions ranged between 1 and 13 pediatric asthma cases (mean (SD) = 7.6 (2.7)). In 2018 and 2019, respectively, the mean weekly admissions was 9.2 (1.9) and 8.0 (2.0) pediatric asthma cases, while in 2020 the mean was 5.6 (2.7) cases. Significant differences in mean weekly pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions were detected by year, with mean weekly admissions for 2020 being significantly lower than that for 2018 and 2019. During the lockdown (March 22nd to May 1st 2020), mean weekly admissions (2.6 (1.4)) was significantly lower than that before the lockdown (8.6 (2.0)) and after the lockdown (5.2 (2.0)). For the lockdown weeks only, the mean admissions for year 2020 was significantly lower than that for years 2019 and 2018. Stringency index negatively correlated with number of weekly admissions. Conclusion: NPI measures in Jordan seems to have positively impacted pediatric asthma exacerbation admissions. Further studies are needed to draw public health policies and fine-tune environmental and community policies.
... Increased ambient ozone levels pose serious health hazards, especially for young children who spend a considerable amount of time playing outdoors (11). It has been reported that young children, with their lung development still underway, are more vulnerable to environmental toxicants because of their higher respiratory rates that allow them to rapidly inhale toxicants (12,13). However, the superimposed effect of ozone on the progression of impending mucoinflammatory lung disease in developing lungs has never been tested, thus further experimentation is warranted. ...
Article
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Increased levels of ambient ozone, one of the six criteria air pollutants, result in respiratory tract injury and worsening of ongoing lung diseases. However, the effect of ozone exposure on the respiratory tract undergoing active lung development and simultaneously experiencing mucoinflammatory lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, remains unclear. To address these questions, we exposed Scnn1b transgenic (Scnn1b-Tg+) mice, a mouse model of cystic fibrosis–like lung disease, and littermate wild-type (WT) mice to ozone from postnatal days (PND) 3–20 and examined the lung phenotypes at PND21. As compared with filtered air (FA)–exposed WT mice, the ozone-exposed WT mice exhibited marked alveolar space enlargement, in addition to significant eosinophilic infiltration, type 2 inflammation, and mucous cell metaplasia. Ozone-exposed Scnn1b-Tg+ mice also exhibited significantly increased alveolar space enlargement, which was also accompanied by exaggerated granulocytic infiltration, type 2 inflammation, and a greater degree of mucus obstruction. The alveolar space enlargement in ozone-exposed WT, FA-exposed Scnn1b-Tg+, and ozone-exposed Scnn1b-Tg+ mice was accompanied by elevated levels of MMP12 protein in macrophages and Mmp12 mRNA in the lung homogenates. Finally, although bacterial burden was largely resolved by PND21 in FA-exposed Scnn1b-Tg+ mice, ozone-exposed Scnn1b-Tg+ mice exhibited compromised bacterial clearance, which was also associated with increased levels of IL-10, an immunosuppressive cytokine, and marked mucus obstruction. Taken together, our data show that ozone exposure results in alveolar space remodeling during active phases of lung development and markedly exaggerates the mucoinflammatory outcomes of pediatric-onset lung disease, including bacterial infections, granulocytic inflammation, mucus obstruction, and alveolar space enlargement.
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No overarching federal agencies or policies are responsible for ensuring environmental health at schools in the United States, potentially allowing many inequities for low-income and minority communities to persist. This article examines emergent research, policy, and practice-based efforts that may be used to identify and address environmental justice at school. A brief literature review was conducted to understand (1) major mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes associated with environmental risk for school-aged children and (2) current research methods for assessing these relationships. Documents prepared by government agencies, school districts, and advocacy groups were also collected and synthesized to improve understanding of the state of planning and policies for maintaining or improving school environments. Environmental risk can manifest in diverse ways such as mold, poor air quality, poor community design, or contaminated playgrounds. Deeply rooted in national and state structures of school funding and planning, such risks can lead to outcomes including respiratory illness, poor performance in school, and reduced levels of physical activity. With growing attention to these concerns, methods for measuring environmental risks and underlying disparities have advanced tremendously in the last few decades, yet development of innovative research approaches may be necessary to further advance and evaluate appropriate interventions. Environmental injustice is generally unacknowledged during decision-making in US school districts. Continued dialogue reflective of translatable science is necessary to support school districts with limited funding in ensuring safe, healthy environments for learning.
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The prevalence and burden of childhood asthma remain high and are increasing. Asthma hot spot neighborhoods around the country face particular challenges in controlling the effects of the condition. Increasing attention is being paid to developing interventions that recognize the child and family as the primary managers of disease and to introducing assistance that reaches beyond the clinical care setting into the places where families live and work. A range of types of community-focused interventions has been assessed in the past decade in schools, homes, and community health clinics, and programs using electronic media and phone links have been evaluated. Stronger evidence for all these approaches is needed. However, school-based programs and community coalitions designed to bring about policy and systems changes show particular promise for achieving sustainable improvements in asthma control. Research is needed that emphasizes comparisons among proven asthma control interventions, translation of effective approaches to new settings and communities, and institutionalization of effective strategies.
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We sought to assess the association between air particulate pollutants and feto-infant morbidity outcomes across racial/ethnic subgroups. This is a retrospective cohort study from 2000 through 2007 based on three linked databases: (1) The Florida Hospital Discharge database; (2) The vital statistics records of singleton live births in Florida; (3) Air pollution and meteorological data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Using computerized mathematical modeling, we assigned exposure values of the air pollutants of interest (PM(2.5), PM(10) and the PM coarse fraction [PM(10) - PM(2.5)]) to mothers over the period of pregnancy based on Euclidean minimum distance from the air pollution monitoring sites. The primary outcomes of interest were: low birth weight, very low birth weight, preterm birth, very preterm birth, and small for gestational age (SGA). We used adjusted odds ratios to approximate relative risks. We observed increased risk for overall feto-infant morbidity outcome in women exposed to any of the three particulate pollutants (values above the median). Exposed women had increased odds for low birth weight, very low birth weight and preterm birth with the greatest risk being that for very low birth weight (AOR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.08-1.49). Black women exposed to any particulate pollutant had the greatest odds for all the morbidity outcomes, most pronounced for very low birth weight (AOR = 3.32, 95% CI = 2.56-4.30). Environmental particulate pollutants are associated with adverse feto-infant outcomes among exposed women, especially blacks. Black-white disparity in adverse fetal outcomes is widened in the presence of these pollutants, which provide a target for intervention.
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The present study aims to investigate the sources of particulate pollution in indoor and outdoor environments, with focus on determining their contribution to the exposure of children to airborne particulate matter (PM). To this end, parallel indoor and outdoor measurements were carried out for a selection of 40 homes and 5 schools between September 2017 and October 2018. PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 samples were collected during five days in each microenvironment (ME) and analysed by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), for the determination of elements, and by a thermal-optical technique, for the measurement of organic and elemental carbon. The source apportionment analysis of the PM composition data, by means of the receptor model SoFi (Source Finder) 8 Pro, resulted in the identification of nine sources: exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from traffic, secondary particles, heavy oil combustion, industry, sea salt, soil, city dust, and an indoor source characterized by high levels of organic carbon. Integrated daily exposure to PM2.5 was on average 21 μg/m³. The organic matter, resulting from cleaning, cooking, smoking and biological material, was the major source contributing by 31% to the PM2.5 exposure. The source city dust, which was highly influenced by the resuspension of dust in classrooms, was the second main source (26%), followed by traffic (24%). The major sources affecting the integrated exposure to PM10, which was on average 33 μg/m³, were the city dust (39%), indoor organics (24%) and traffic (16%). This study provides important information for the design of measures to reduce the exposure of children to PM.
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Increasing traffic density and a changing car fleet on the one hand as well as various reduction measures on the other hand may influence the composition of the particle population and, hence, the health risks for residents of megacities like Beijing. A suitable tool for identification and quantification of source group-related particle exposure compositions is desirable in order to derive optimal adaptation and reduction strategies and therefore, is presented in this paper. Particle number concentrations have been measured in high time- and space-resolution at an urban background monitoring site in Beijing, China, during 2004–2008. In this study a new pattern recognition procedure based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) was introduced to extract characteristic diurnal air pollution patterns of particle number and volume size distributions for the study period. Initialization and weighting strategies for NMF applications were carefully considered and a scaling procedure for ranking of obtained patterns was implemented. In order to account for varying particle sizes in the full diameter range [3 nm; 10 μm] two separate NMF applications (a) for diurnal particle number concentration data (NMF-N) and (b) volume concentration data (NMF-V) have been performed. Five particle number concentration-related NMF-N factors were assigned to patterns mainly describing the development of ultrafine (particle diameter Dp
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We performed benchmark exposure (BME) calculations for particulate matter when multiple dichotomous outcome variables are involved using latent class modeling techniques and generated separate results for both the extra risk and additional risk. The use of latent class models in this study is advantageous because it combined several outcomes into just two classes (namely, a high-risk class and a low-risk class) and compared these two classes to obtain the BME levels. This novel approach addresses a key problem in risk estimation—namely, the multiple comparisons problem, where separate regression models are fitted for each outcome variable and the reference exposure will rely on the results of the best-fitting model. Because of the complex nature of the estimation process, the bootstrap approach was used to estimate the reference exposure level, thereby reducing uncertainty in the obtained values. The methodology developed in this article was applied to environmental data by identifying unmeasured class membership (e.g., morbidity vs. no morbidity class) among infants in utero using observed characteristics that included low birth weight, preterm birth, and small for gestational age.
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CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Exposure to air pollutants is one of the factors responsible for hospitalizations due to pneumonia among children. This has considerable financial cost, along with social cost. A study to identify the role of this exposure in relation to hospital admissions due to pneumonia among children up to 10 years of age was conducted. DESIGN AND SETTING: Ecological time series study using data from São José dos Campos, Brazil. METHODS: Daily data on hospitalizations due to pneumonia and on the pollutants CO, O3, PM10 and SO2, temperature and humidity in São José dos Campos, in 2012, were analyzed. A generalized additive model of Poisson's regression was used. Relative risks for hospitalizations due to pneumonia, according to lags of 0-5 days, were estimated. The population-attributable fraction, number of avoidable hospitalizations and cost savings from avoidable hospitalizations were calculated. RESULTS: There were 539 admissions. Exposure to CO and O3 was seen to be associated with hospitalizations, with risks of 1.10 and 1.15 on the third day after exposure to increased CO concentration of 200 ppb and ozone concentration of 20 µg/m³. Exposure to the pollutants of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide were not shown to be associated with hospitalizations. Decreases in CO and ozone concentrations could lead to 49 fewer hospitalizations and cost reductions of R$ 39,000.00. CONCLUSION: Exposure to certain air pollutants produces harmful effects on children's health, even in a medium-sized city. Public policies to reduce emissions of these pollutants need to be implemented.
Article
Background: Slovenia is increasingly facing population health problems due to environmental pollution. Koper Municipality (KM), located in the south-west coastal region of Slovenia is considered as one of more polluted parts of the country. Especially residents of its northern parts have been for several years concerned about the high rate of respiratory diseases. They warned of episodes of heavy environment pollution. Methods: In early winter 2002/2003, 1059 schoolchildren (age 6-11 years) from KM and 718 from the control Smarje-pri-Jelsah Administrative Unit (SJAU) were observed in the prevalence study. Two areas of KM: the higher pollution area and the lower pollution area were compared to the control SJAU area. Logistic regression was used as a method of statistical analysis. Results: The global prevalence of asthma/ chronic bronchitis was: 5.8% in the control SJAU area, 7.4% in the lower pollution area, and 9.8% in the higher pollution area (p=0.038). After adjustment for the effects of confounders, significantly highest odds for asthma/chronic bronchitis were, in comparison to the control SJAU area, registered in the higher pollution area (OR=1.72; p=0.018) but not in the lower pollution area (OR=1.19; p=0.455) of KM. Conclusion: The study confirmed significantly higher prevalence of respiratory diseases in children residing the higher pollution area of KM. The situation regarding air pollution in this area is very complex and not limited only to Slovenia. It is important to find the solutions how to ensure effective and sustainable cross-country cooperation to reduce the environmental problems harmful for people's health.
Chapter
Early life exposure to air pollution is a pressing public health concern due to well-known respiratory effects and the increasing weight of evidence demonstrating the negative consequences on the developing brain. Air pollution is composed of aerosols and particles produced by vehicle emissions, energy production, and manufacturing and other combustion processes. Fine and ultrafine particles, which contain adsorbed metals and toxic compounds, have the ability to reach the brain to cause damage, as well as generate systemic oxidative stress. Collectively, this chapter highlights current epidemiological and mechanistic studies linking childhood air pollution exposure to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, including intellectual, academic, neuropsychological, and behavioral functioning changes. In summary, the accumulating evidence suggests a causative relationship and regulations for prevention should be considered.
Thesis
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Mobile personal air monitors that give individuals feedback as to the quality of the air they are breathing in different locations are new and potentially important tools to improve public health. CitiSense, developed at the University of California at San Diego, is a novel personal air quality monitor based on a cell phone than can sample ambient air and display pollution levels to the user. The device currently measures pollutants associated with traffic exhaust, carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), as well as ozone (O3). Exposure to traffic related air pollutants has been associated with respiratory and cardiovascular impairment as well as increases in asthma rates and cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine how well traffic pollutants measured by CitiSense with inexpensive monitors, CO and NO2, correlated with other established pollutants associated with traffic, ultra fine particulates (UFP) and black carbon (BC), that were measured with higher cost monitors not as suitable for personal use. Samples were taken in the city of San Ysidro, California for two to three times per week between December 11th, 2012 and March 15th, 2013, for a total of 18 sampling days. At each site samples taken included NO2, CO, O3, UFPs, BC as well as temperature and humidity readings. UFP levels were sampled using a condensation particle counter (TSI model 3007) and BC with a microaethalometer (MicroAeth model AE51). Simultaneous border wait time and wind speed and direction data was collected. Sampling locations included the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE), regarded as the busiest internal land border crossing in the United States as well as a location directly adjacent to the POE, 6 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 school office in the community of San Ysidro. The Tijuana River Estuary Visitor Center in the city of Imperial Beach, California was chosen as a control location. Elevated levels of UFP were found at the POE (mean 42,811 pt/cc) compared to the control location (mean 8,707 pt/cc) Black carbon levels were also seen to be elevated at the POE compared to the control location (mean 4,152 ng/m3 compared to a mean of 1,324 ng/m3 respectively. Poor correlations, r<0.3, were observed between the CitiSense readings and the UFP and BC readings over all sampling days. However, when examined within one day at a time, correlations were often markedly improved, suggesting that baseline drift and calibration are important factors for the CitiSense devices. The results presented in this study will help further the development of the CitiSense device for field deployment. Furthermore, the results of this study illustrate the high levels of UFP and BC in the city of San Ysidro in relation to the POE and provide further evidence that the POE is a source of pollution for this community
Article
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What food is produced, and how, can have a critical impact on human nutrition and the environment, which in turn are key drivers of healthy human reproduction and development. The US food production system yields a large volume of food that is relatively low in cost for consumers but is often high in calories and low in nutritional value. In this article we examine the evidence that intensive use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and fossil fuel in food production, as well as chemicals in food packaging, are potentially harmful to human reproductive and developmental health. We conclude that policies to advance a healthy food system are necessary to prevent adverse reproductive health effects and avoid associated health costs among current and future generations. These policies include changes to the Farm Bill and the Toxic Substances Control Act, and greater involvement by the health care sector in supporting and sourcing food from urban agriculture programs, farmers' markets, and local food outlets, as well as increasing understanding by clinicians of the links between reproductive health and industrialized food production.
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