This review synthesizes current knowledge of the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke on the respiratory health of children. A Medline database search was conducted for 1966 through October 2000. Limited evidence was found that exposure in pregnancy influences fetal growth, increases the risk of preterm delivery, and predicts the development of asthma and reduced lung function later in life. Both occupational and home environments contribute to the exposure of pregnant women and thus indirectly to adverse effects on children. There is strong and consistent evidence that exposure in childhood causes chronic respiratory symptoms (eg, cough, phlegm, and wheezing) and induces asthma. Limited evidence supports the role of childhood exposure in the poor overall control of established disease. Postnatal exposure is likely to have a small adverse impact on lung function growth. Prenatal and postnatal exposures have an important impact on children's respiratory health. These effects are preventable if pregnant women and children are protected from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
We studied housing characteristics, parental factors, and respiratory health conditions in Russian children.
We studied a population of 5951 children from 9 Russian cities, whose parents answered a questionnaire on their children's respiratory health, home environment, and housing characteristics. The health outcomes were asthma conditions, current wheeze, dry cough, bronchitis, and respiratory allergy.
Respiratory allergy and dry cough increased in association with the home being adjacent to traffic. Consistent positive associations were observed between some health conditions and maternal smoking during pregnancy, many health conditions and lifetime exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and nearly all health conditions and water damage and molds in the home.
Vicinity to traffic, dampness, mold, and ETS are important determinants of children's respiratory health in Russia.
There is little information on potential differences in smoking behaviour of parents between Finland and Russia and on the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure on allergic and respiratory diseases among Finnish and Russian children. The aim of the study was to compare the smoking behaviour of parents and school children and to assess the relations of tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy and childhood with occurrence of allergic diseases and respiratory infections among school children.
We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study in the neighbour towns across the border of Imatra in Finland and Svetogorsk in Russia. The study population consisted of 512 Finnish and 581 Russian school children aged 7-16 years (response rate 79%).
Children's tobacco smoke exposure differed markedly between Finland and Russia. The risk of asthma was particularly related to high maternal smoking exposure during pregnancy (adjusted OR 3.51, 95% CI 1.00-12.3), infancy (3.34, 1.23-9.07) and currently (3.27, 1.26-8.48), and the risk of common cold was related to high combined parental smoking during infancy (1.83, 1.06-3.17) in Finnish children. Among Russian children allergic conjunctivitis was related to maternal smoking during infancy (4.53, 1.49-13.8) and currently (2.82, 1.07-7.44).
Smoking behaviour of parents and ETS exposure during childhood differed markedly between Finland and Russia. Asthma was particularly increased in relation to high exposure to maternal smoking in Finland. The results suggest that more efforts should be directed to reducing tobacco smoke exposure of children in both Finland and Russia. (250 words).
Only few studies have assessed the relative impact of prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke on the child's later asthma or chronic respiratory symptoms and to our knowledge no studies have elaborated respiratory infections and allergies in this context.
To assess the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke on respiratory health of Russian school children.
We studied a population of 5951 children (8 to 12 years old) from 9 Russian cities, whose parents answered a questionnaire on their children's respiratory health, home environment, and housing characteristics. The main health outcomes were asthma, allergies, chronic respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections. We used adjusted odds ratios (ORs) from logistic regression analyses as measures of effect.
Prenatal exposure due to maternal smoking had the strongest effects on asthma (adjusted OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.19-5.08), chronic bronchitis (adjusted OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.08-1.96) and respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing (adjusted OR 1.30, 95% CI 0.90-1.89). The associations were weaker for exposure during early-life (adjusted ORs 1.38/1.27/1.15 respectively) and after 2 years of age (adjusted ORs 1.45/1.34/1.18) compared to prenatal exposure and the weakest or non-existent for current exposure (adjusted ORs 1.05/1.09/1.06). Upper respiratory infections were associated more strongly with early-life exposure (adjusted OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.09-1.42) than with prenatal (adjusted OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.54-1.01) or current exposure (adjusted OR1.05, 95% CI 0.92-1.20). The risk of allergies was also related to early life exposure to tobacco smoke (adjusted OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13-1.42).
Adverse effects of tobacco smoke on asthma, chronic bronchitis, and chronic respiratory symptoms are strongest when smoking takes place during pregnancy. The relations are weaker for exposure during early-life and after 2 years of age and weakest or non-existent for current exposure.
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Jul;108(7):589-9410903609
Epidemiologic studies have linked exposure to traffic-generated air and noise pollution with a wide range of adverse health effects in children. Children spend a large portion of time at school, and both air pollution and noise are elevated in close proximity to roads, so school location may be an important determinant of exposure. No studies have yet examined the proximity of schools to major roads in Canadian cities.
Data on public elementary schools in Canada's 10 most populous cities were obtained from online databases. School addresses were geocoded and proximity to the nearest major road, defined using a standardized national road classification scheme, was calculated for each school. Based on measurements of nitrogen oxide concentrations, ultrafine particle counts, and noise levels in three Canadian cities we conservatively defined distances
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In order to estimate the spatial variation within well-defined study areas, nitrogen dioxide was measured with diffusion samplers (Palmes tube) in 40-42 sites each in Germany (Munich), the Netherlands and Sweden (Stockholm County). Each site was measured over four 2-week periods during 1 year (spring 1999 to summer 2000). In each country, one reference site was measured during all periods and the results were used to adjust for seasonal variability, to improve the estimates of the annual average. Comparisons between the chemiluminescence method (European reference method) and Palmes tube measurement indicated a good agreement in Germany (with a ratio of 1.0 for Palmes tube/chemiluminescence) but underestimation for Palmes tube measurement in the Netherlands and Sweden (0.8 for both countries). The r2 values were between 0.86 and 0.90 for all three countries. The annual average values for NO2 for different sampling sites were between 15.9 and 50.6 (mean 28.8 microg/m3) in Germany, between 12.1 and 50.8 (mean 28.9 microg/m3) in the Netherlands and between 6.1 and 44.7 (mean 18.5 microg/m3) in Sweden. Comparing spatial variation between similar sites in the three countries, we did not find any significant differences between annual average levels for urban traffic sites. In Sweden, annual average levels in urban background and suburban backgrounds sites were about 8 microg/m3 lower than comparable sites in Germany and the Netherlands. Comparing site types within each country only urban traffic sites and suburban background sites differed in Germany. In the Netherlands and Sweden, the urban traffic sites differed from all other sites and in Sweden also the urban background sites differed from the other background sites. The observed contribution from local traffic was similar in the Netherlands and Sweden (10 and 8 microg/m3, corresponding to 26-27% of the NO2 concentration found in the urban traffic sites). In Germany, the contribution from local traffic was only 3 microg/m3, corresponding to 9% of the NO2 concentration found in the urban traffic sites. The spatial variation was substantially larger for NO2 than the variation for PM2.5 and similar to PM2.5 absorbance, measured in the same locations.
During the summer of 2003 numerous fires burned in British Columbia, Canada.
We examined the associations between respiratory and cardiovascular physician visits and hospital admissions, and three measures of smoke exposure over a 92-day study period (1 July to 30 September 2003).
A population-based cohort of 281,711 residents was identified from administrative data. Spatially specific daily exposure estimates were assigned to each subject based on total measurements of particulate matter (PM) = 10 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) from six regulatory tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) air quality monitors, smoke-related PM10 from a CALPUFF dispersion model run for the study, and a SMOKE exposure metric for plumes visible in satellite images. Logistic regression with repeated measures was used to estimate associations with each outcome.
The mean (± SD) exposure based on TEOM-measured PM10 was 29 ± 31 µg/m3, with an interquartile range of 14-31 µg/m3. Correlations between the TEOM, smoke, and CALPUFF metrics were moderate (0.37-0.76). Odds ratios (ORs) for a 30-µg/m3 increase in TEOM-based PM10 were 1.05 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03-1.06] for all respiratory physician visits, 1.16 (95% CI, 1.09-1.23) for asthma-specific visits, and 1.15 (95% CI, 1.00-1.29) for respiratory hospital admissions. Associations with cardiovascular outcomes were largely null.
Overall we found that increases in TEOM-measured PM10 were associated with increased odds of respiratory physician visits and hospital admissions, but not with cardiovascular health outcomes. Results indicating effects of fire smoke on respiratory outcomes are consistent with previous studies, as are the null results for cardiovascular outcomes. Some agreement between TEOM and the other metrics suggests that exposure assessment tools that are independent of air quality monitoring may be useful with further refinement.
Cites: Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2005;208(1-2):75-8515881981
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