The weekly changes in ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and temperature were compared with the figures for respiratory infection in children and adults and for absenteeism from day-care centers (DCC), schools, and workplaces during a 1-year period in Helsinki. The annual average level of sulfur dioxide was 21 micrograms/m3 and of nitrogen dioxide 47 micrograms/m3; the average temperature was +3.1 degrees C. The levels of these pollutants and the temperature were significantly correlated with the number of upper respiratory infections reported from health centers. Low temperature also correlated with increased frequency of acute tonsillitis, of lower respiratory tract infection among DCC children, and of absenteeism from day-care centers, schools and workplaces. Furthermore, a significant association was found between levels of sulfur dioxide and absenteeism. After statistical standardization for temperature, no other correlations were observed apart from that between high levels of sulfur dioxide and numbers of upper respiratory tract infections diagnosed at health centers (P = 0.04). When the concentrations of sulfur dioxide were above the mean, the frequency of the upper respiratory tract infections was 15% higher than that during the periods of low concentration. The relative importance of the effects of low-level air pollution and low temperature on health is difficult to assess.
The article contains data on monitoring the atmospheric air pollution in Moscow. Thus, the below figures are presented: beta ranges from 2.6 E-0.5 to 5.7 E-0.04 Bk/m3, airborne pollutants amount to 3-80 mkg/m3, sulfates--0.002-1.58 mkg(S)/m3, nitrates--0.05-0.75 mkg(N2)/m3 ammonium ions--0.12-1.20 mkg (N2)/m3, sulfuric dioxides--0.11-1.20 mkg (S)/m3. nitric dioxides--0.05-0.5 mlg (N2)/m3 and nitric acid--0.01-0.08 mkg (N2)/m3. The concentration of airborne pollutants exceeds the regional European level (22 mkg/m3) and that of Russia's European part (12 ... 28 mkg/m3) approximately by 1.5 times. It is noteworthy that it reaches 50 ... 70 mkg/m3 in large industrial centers of Europe. The share of sulfuric and nitric acids in the total concentration of airborne pollutants is (by weight) 13%. 0.8 g of sulfur per m2/year and 0.34 g of nitrogen per m2/year fall in the area of Sport-and-Recreation Complex No. 3 with precipitations; the average total beta-activity of atmospheric precipitations amounts to 1.2 Bk/m2 per day. An analysis of relationships between the air dustiness, the ashes samples' weight (of the air) and cuvette (precipitations) is indicative of their direct and tense correlation: the correlation coefficient between dust and ashes samples is 0.716, and between dust and ashes samples of cuvettes--0.559. At the same time, an extremely weak correlation should be pointed out between air dustiness and the total beta-activity of samples--the correlation coefficient is 0.184 (during a warm year season), as well as between dustiness and the beta-activity of cuvettes--0.346.
Overall 50 children suffering from infectious-allergic bronchial asthma who live in ecologically contrasting regions were examined. Those children residing in unfavourable, in terms of ecological conditions, regions demonstrated diminution of the peripheral blood T-lymphocytes together with a decrease in their functional activity as well as in the activity of interleukin 2. It is in this group of children that immunomodulating effect of thymalin is less apparent. It is suggested that the relevant immune correction in such cases might be achieved through repeated courses of treatment with immunomodulating agents and rehabilitation of patients in favourable ecological conditions together with prescribing of other immunostimulators of selective action in respect of the T-link of the immunity system.
Little attention has been devoted to the effects on children's respiratory health of exposure to sulphur dioxide (SO2) in ambient air from local industrial emissions. Most studies on the effects of SO(2) have assessed its impact as part of the regional ambient air pollutant mix.
To examine the association between exposure to stack emissions of SO(2) from petroleum refineries located in Montreal's (Quebec) east-end industrial complex and the prevalence of active asthma and poor asthma control among children living nearby.
The present cross-sectional study used data from a respiratory health survey of Montreal children six months to 12 years of age conducted in 2006. Of 7964 eligible households that completed the survey, 842 children between six months and 12 years of age lived in an area impacted by refinery emissions. Ambient SO(2) exposure levels were estimated using dispersion modelling. Log-binomial regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% CIs for the association between yearly school and residential SO(2) exposure estimates and asthma outcomes. Adjustments were made for child's age, sex, parental history of atopy and tobacco smoke exposure at home.
The adjusted PR for the association between active asthma and SO(2) levels was 1.14 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.39) per interquartile range increase in modelled annual SO(2). The effect on poor asthma control was greater (PR=1.39 per interquartile range increase in modelled SO(2) [95% CI 1.00 to 1.94]).
Results of the present study suggest a relationship between exposure to refinery stack emissions of SO(2) and the prevalence of active and poor asthma control in children who live and attend school in proximity to refineries.
The APHEA 2 project investigated short-term health effects of particles in eight European cities. In each city associations between particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microm (PM(10)) and black smoke and daily counts of emergency hospital admissions for asthma (0-14 and 15-64 yr), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and all-respiratory disease (65+ yr) controlling for environmental factors and temporal patterns were investigated. Summary PM(10) effect estimates (percentage change in mean number of daily admissions per 10 microg/m(3) increase) were asthma (0-14 yr) 1.2% (95% CI: 0.2, 2.3), asthma (15-64 yr) 1.1% (0.3, 1.8), and COPD plus asthma and all-respiratory (65+ yr) 1.0% (0.4, 1.5) and 0.9% (0.6, 1.3). The combined estimates for Black Smoke tended to be smaller and less precisely estimated than for PM(10). Variability in the sizes of the PM(10) effect estimates between cities was also investigated. In the 65+ groups PM(10) estimates were positively associated with annual mean concentrations of ozone in the cities. For asthma admissions (0-14 yr) a number of city-specific factors, including smoking prevalence, explained some of their variability. This study confirms that particle concentrations in European cities are positively associated with increased numbers of admissions for respiratory diseases and that some of the variation in PM(10) effect estimates between cities can be explained by city characteristics.
Acute intestinal infections were clinically and epidemiologically studied in children residing in the towns with different quantitative and qualitative composition of ambient air pollutants and in the districts of a town, which differ in the level of technogenic ambient air pollution. Six hundred and eighty patients with different types of shigellosis and 421 patients with salmonellosis admitted to the infection hospitals of the towns of Angarsk (an intensively polluted locality) and Irkutsk (a better ecological area) were examined in 1995 to 2000. The technogenic ambient air pollution was found to exert a noticeable impact on the incidence with S. sonnei dysentery. In poor environmental areas, all the infections under study are characterized by a great burden, duration, more severe clinical symptoms, and poor laboratory changes in the presence of a decreased responsiveness.
Adaptive capacities were studied in 6-7-year-ol apparently healthy children in relation to the number of congenital morphogenetic variants (CMVs). The most markedly reduced adaptive capacities were revealed in children with 5 CMVs or more.
Among multiple and various functions of the body, motor activity is essential. But it is little studied in schoolchildren. The present study was undertaken to investigate the impact of industrial pollution of the ambient air on the motor activity in old schoolchildren. At school, the motor activity of 8th-, 10th-, and 11th-form schoolchildren was found to decrease with age, the dynamics of its decrease was determined by not only sexual differences of pupils, but also by the technogenic ambient air pollutions.
Time series of daily administrative cardio-respiratory health and environmental information have been extensively used to assess the potential public health impact of ambient air pollution. Both series are subject to strong but unrelated temporal cycles. These cycles must be removed from the time series prior to examining the role air pollution plays in exacerbating cardio-respiratory disease. In this paper, we examine a number of methods of temporal filtering that have been proposed to eliminate such temporal effects. The techniques are illustrated by linking the number of daily admissions to hospital for respiratory diseases in Toronto, Canada for the 11 year period 1981 to 1991 with daily concentrations of ambient ozone. The ozone-hospitalization relationship was found to be highly sensitive to the length of temporal cycle removed from the admission time series, and to day of the week effects, ranging from a relative risk of 0.874 if long wave cycles were not removed at all to 1.020 for models which removed at least cycles greater than or equal to one month based on the interquartile pollutant range. The specific statistical method of adjustment was not a critical factor. The association was not as sensitive to removal of cycles less than one month, except that negative autocorrelation increased for series in which cycles of one week or less were removed. We recommend three criteria in selecting the degree of smoothing in the outcome: removal of temporal cycles, minimizing autocorrelation and optimizing goodness of fit. The association between ambient ozone levels and hospital admissions for respiratory diseases was also sensitive to the season of examination, with weaker associations observed outside the summer months.