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.
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.
This paper presents an analysis of airborne biogenic particles (1 mkm-1 mm) found in the snow in several cities of the Russian Far East during 2010-2013. The most common was vegetational terraneous detritus (fragments of tree and grass leaves) followed by animal hair, small insects and their fragments, microorganisms of aeroplankton, and equivocal biological garbage. Specific components were found in samples from locations close to bodies of water such as fragments of algae and mollusc shells and, marine invertebrates (needles of sea urchins and shell debris of arthropods). In most locations across the Far East (Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, and Ussuriysk), the content of biogenic particles collected in the winter did not exceed 10% of the total particulate matter, with the exception of Birobidzhan and the nature reserve Bastak, where it made up to 20%. Most of all biogenic compounds should be allergic: hair, fragments of tree and grass leaves, insects, and microorganisms.
Cites: Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995 Oct;75(4):325-307583847
Endotoxin is a cell wall component from Gram-negative bacteria, and inhaled endotoxin contributes significantly to the induction of airway inflammation and dysfunction. Background levels of endotoxin have not yet been extensively described. In this study, airborne endotoxin was measured with a standardized protocol in 5 types of background environment (169 samples) in Denmark from October to May. Endotoxin levels in a greenhouse (median = 13.2 EU/m3) were significantly higher than in the other environments. The air from biofuel plants (median = 5.3 EU/m3), the air on congested streets (median = 4.4 EU/m3) and on an agricultural field (median = 2.9 EU/m3) had higher endotoxin contents than the air in industrial areas (median = 1.3 EU/m3) or in towns (median = 0.33 EU/m3). Levels in industrial areas were significantly higher than in towns. A literature study revealed background levels of endotoxin on different continents between 0.063-410 EU/m3, with median or mean values between 0.063-3.6 EU/m3. Endotoxin concentrations in towns and industrial areas were higher in April and May than in autumn and winter, and were higher in October than in winter. These data of exposure in background environments and of seasonal variation are helpful for public health practitioners, epidemiologists and industrial hygienists.
Existing studies of the association between air pollution, aeroallergens and emergency department (ED) visits have generally examined the effects of a few pollutants or aeroallergens on individual conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this study, we considered a wide variety of respiratory and cardiac conditions and an extensive set of pollutants and aeroallergens, and utilized prospectively collected information on possible effect modifiers which would not normally be available from purely administrative data. The association between air pollution, aeroallergens and cardiorespiratory ED visits (n = 19,821) was examined for the period 1992 to 1996 using generalized additive models. ED visit, air pollution and aeroallergen time series were prefiltered using LOESS smoothers to minimize temporal confounding, and a parsimonious model was constructed to control for confounding by weather and day of week. Multipollutant and multi-aeroallergen models were constructed using stepwise procedures and sensitivity analyses were conducted by season, diagnosis, and selected individual characteristics or effect modifiers. In single-pollutant models, positive effects of all pollutants but NO2 and COH were observed on asthma visits, and positive effects on all respiratory diagnosis groups were observed for O3, SO2, PM10, PM2.5, and SO4(2-). Among cardiac conditions, only dysrhythmia visits were positively associated with all measures of particulate matter. In the final year-round multipollutant models, a 20.9% increase in cardiac ED visits was attributed to the combination of O3 (16.0%, 95% CI 2.8-30.9) and SO2 (4.9%, 95%CI 1.7-8.2) at the mean concentration of each pollutant. In the final multipollutant model for respiratory visits, O3 accounted for 3.9% of visits (95% CI 0.8-7.2), and SO2 for 3.7% (95% CI 1.5-6.0), whereas a weak, negative association was observed with NO2. In multi-aeroallergen models of warm season asthma ED visits, Ascomycetes, Alternaria and small round fungal spores accounted for 4.5% (95% CI 1.8-7.4), 4.7% (95% CI 1.0-8.6) and 3.0% (95% CI 0.8-5.1), respectively, of visits at their mean concentrations, and these effects were not sensitive to adjustment for air pollution effects. In conclusion, we observed a significant influence of the air pollution mix on cardiac and respiratory ED visits. Although in single-pollutant models, positive associations were noted between ED visits and some measures of particulate matter, in multipollutant models, pollutant gases, particularly ozone, exhibited more consistent effects. Aeroallergens were also significantly associated with warm season asthma ED visits.
A variety of environmental factors have been identified as possible triggers for migraine and other headache syndromes.
We analyzed associations between air pollution and emergency department (ED) visits for migraine and headache.
Analysis was based on 56,241 ED visits for migraine and 48,022 ED visits for headache to Edmonton hospitals between 1992 and 2002. A Poisson model of counts hierarchically clustered by day of week, month, and year was applied using generalized linear mixed models. Temperature and relative humidity were included as covariates.
Females accounted for 78.5% of migraine visits and 56.3% of headache visits. An interquartile range (IQR) increase (6.2 microg/m3) in daily average particulate matter of median aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microm (PM2.5) was associated with increases in visits of 3.3% for migraine (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6-6.0), lagged 2 days, and 3.4% for headache (95% CI: 0.3-6.6), lagged 0 days, among females in the cold season (October-March). PM2.5 was also associated with cold season migraine visits among females at lag 0 and 1 day (P
The city of Windsor is recognized to have poor air quality in comparison with other Canadian cities. However, relatively few studies have evaluated associations between day-to-day fluctuations in air pollution levels and respiratory health in Windsor. In this study, we examined associations between short-term changes in ambient air pollution and emergency department (ED) visits for asthma in Windsor.
A time-stratified case-crossover design was applied to 3,728 ED visits for asthma that occurred in Windsor area hospitals between 2002 and 2009. Daily air pollution levels for the region were estimated using Environment Canada's network of fixed-site monitors. ED visits were identified through the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS). Odds ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals were estimated using conditional logistic regression, and were adjusted for the confounding influence of daily number of influenza ED visits and weather variables using natural spline functions.
Statistically significant associations were observed between ambient air pollution levels and ED visits for asthma in Windsor. Effects were particularly pronounced among children 2 to 14 years of age between April and September. Namely, increases in the interquartile range with 1-day lagged exposure to SO2, NO2 and CO levels were associated with increased risks of an asthma visit of 19%, 25% and 36%, respectively.
Exposure in Windsor to ambient air pollution increases the risk of ED visits for asthma, particularly among children.
This report provides the methodology and findings from the project: Air Pollution and Health: a European and North American Approach (APHENA). The principal purpose of the project was to provide an understanding of the degree of consistency among findings of multicity time-series studies on the effects of air pollution on mortality and hospitalization in several North American and European cities. The project included parallel and combined analyses of existing data. The investigators sought to understand how methodological differences might contribute to variation in effect estimates from different studies, to characterize the extent of heterogeneity in effect estimates, and to evaluate determinants of heterogeneity. The APHENA project was based on data collected by three groups of investigators for three earlier studies: (1) Air Pollution and Health: A European Approach (APHEA), which comprised two multicity projects in Europe. (Phase 1 [APHEA1] involving 15 cities, and Phase 2 [APHEA2] involving 32 cities); (2) the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS), conducted in the 90 largest U.S. cities; and (3) multicity research on the health effects of air pollution in 12 Canadian cities.
The project involved the initial development of analytic approaches for first-stage and second-stage analyses of the time-series data and the subsequent application of the resulting methods to the time-series data. With regard to the first-stage analysis, the various investigative groups had used conceptually similar approaches to the key issues of controlling for temporal confounding and temperature; however, specific methods differed. Consequently, the investigators needed to establish a standard protocol, but one that would be linked to prior approaches. Based on exploratory analyses and simulation studies, a first-stage analysis protocol was developed that used generalized linear models (GLM) with either penalized splines (PS) or natural splines (NS) to adjust for seasonality, with 3, 8, or 12 degrees of freedom (df) per year and also the number of degrees of freedom chosen by minimizing the partial autocorrelation function (PACF) of the model's residuals. For hospitalization data, the approach for model specification followed that used for mortality, accounting for seasonal patterns, but also, for weekend and vacation effects, and for epidemics of respiratory disease. The data were also analyzed to detect potential thresholds in the concentration-response relationships. The second-stage analysis used pooling approaches and assessed potential effect modification by sociodemographic characteristics and indicators of the pollution mixture across study regions. Specific quality control exercises were also undertaken. Risks were estimated for two pollutants: particulate matter - 10 pm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and ozone (O3).
The first-stage analysis yielded estimates that were relatively robust to the underlying smoothing approach and to the number of degrees of freedom. The first-stage APHENA results generally replicated the previous independent analyses performed by the three groups of investigators. PM10 effects on mortality risk estimates from the APHEA2 and NMMAPS databases were quite close, while estimates from the Canadian studies were substantially higher. For hospitalization, results were more variable without discernable patterns of variation among the three data sets. PM10 effect-modification patterns, explored only for cities with daily pollution data (i.e., 22 in Europe and 15 in the U.S.), were not entirely consistent across centers. Thus, the levels of pollutants modified the effects differently in Europe than in the United States. Climatic variables were important only in Europe. In both Europe and the United States, a higher proportion of older persons in the study population was associated with increased PM10 risk estimates, as was a higher rate of unemployment - the sole indicator of socioeconomic status uniformly available across the data sets. APHENA study results on the effects of O3 on mortality were less comprehensive than for PM10 because the studies from the three regions varied in whether they analyzed data for the full year or only for the summer months. The effects tended to be larger for summer in Europe and the United States. In the United States they were lower when controlled for PM10. The estimated effect of O3 varied by degrees of freedom and across the three geographic regions. The effects of O3 on mortality were larger in Canada, and there was little consistent indication of effect modification in any location.
APHENA has shown that mortality findings obtained with the new standardized analysis were generally comparable to those obtained in the earlier studies, and that they were relatively robust to the data analysis method used. For PM10, the effect-modification patterns observed were not entirely consistent between Europe and the United States. For O3, there was no indication of strong effect modification in any of the three data sets.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) affects approximately 1 in 1000 live births and is the most common cause of infant death after the perinatal period.
To determine the influence of air pollution on the incidence of SIDS.
Time-series analyses were performed to compare the daily mortality rates for SIDS and the daily air pollution concentrations in each of 12 Canadian cities during the period of 1984-1999. Serial autocorrelation was controlled for by city, and then the city-specific estimates were pooled. Increased daily rates of SIDS were associated with increases, on the previous day, in the levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide but not ozone or fine particles measured every sixth day. Effects persisted despite adjustments for season alone or the combination of daily mean temperature, relative humidity, and changes in barometric pressure for NO2 and SO2 but not carbon monoxide.
Increases in both SO2 and NO2, equivalent to their interquartile ranges, were associated with a 17.72% increase in SIDS incidence.
Ambient SO2 and NO2 may be important risk factors for SIDS.