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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
To examine the role that ambient air pollution plays in exacerbating cardiovascular disease hospitalization in Windsor, Ontario.
The number of daily cardiac hospital admissions was obtained from all Windsor hospitals from April 1, 1995 to December 31, 2000 and linked to concentrations of ambient air pollutants and weather variables. The logarithm of daily counts of hospitalization was regressed on the levels of pollutants, after adjusting for seasonal, weekly cycles, and weather variables using time series analysis with natural splines as smoothing functions.
Of all the pollutants considered, sulphur dioxide (SO2) had the strongest effect on cardiac hospitalization among the > or = 65 age group. The percentage increase in daily admission was 2.6% for current day sulphur dioxide level (95% CI: 0.5-6.4), 4.0% for 2-day mean level (95% CI: 0.1-6.9), and 5.6% (95% CI: 1.5-9.9) for 3-day mean level for an increase in interquartile range of 19.3 ppb. When particulate PM10 was included in the model, the contributing effect of sulphur dioxide remained significant for the > or = 65 age group for all three levels.
Short-term effects of sulphur dioxide are associated significantly to daily cardiac hospital admissions for people > or = 65 years of age living in Windsor. Since Windsor is a border city, additional monitoring and assessment is recommended to determine if air quality and resultant health effects have deteriorated since traffic congestion at the border has increased following the events of September 11, 2001.
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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.