Although increases in inhalable particle (PM10) concentrations have been associated with acute reductions in the level of lung function and increased symptom reporting in children, including children with asthma, it is not clear whether these effects occur largely in asthmatic children, or even whether asthmatic children are more likely to experience these effects than children without asthma. To address these points, the following subgroups of children were selected from a survey population of all 2,200 elementary school children (6 to 13 yr of age) in a pulp mill community on the west coast of Vancouver Island: (1) all children with physician-diagnosed asthma (n = 75 participated), (2) all children with an exercise-induced fall in FEV1 without diagnosed asthma (n = 57), (3) all children with airway obstruction (FEV1/FVC
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.
Human exposure to contaminated soils drives clean up criteria at many urban brownfields. Current risk assessment guidelines assume that humans ingest some fraction of soil smaller than 4 mm but have no estimates of what fraction of soil is ingested by humans. Here, we evaluated soil adherence to human hands for 13 agricultural soils from Saskatchewan, Canada and 17 different soils from a brownfield located in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. In addition, we estimated average particle size adhering to human hands for residents of a northern urban setting. Further, we estimated how metal concentrations differed between the adhered and bulk (
BACKGROUND: The overall aim of this study was to investigate how airborne house dust particles may contribute to an allergic immune response, and thereby also to asthma and allergic diseases. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using transmission electron microscopy, we quantified and characterized airborne house dust particles, with regard to elemental and size distribution. Furthermore, an immunogold labelling technique was used to study whether some common allergens were present on the surface of airborne house dust particles. Finally, a mouse model was used to study the adjuvant activity of airborne house dust on the IgE antibody response. RESULTS: A vast majority of the airborne particles samples from homes in Oslo were found to be less than 2.5 microns in diameter, thus they are liable to penetrate deep into the respiratory tree. This PM2.5 fraction contained, in addition to sulphur aerosols and silicates, many soot particles, most of them being less than 1 micron in diameter. These soot particles were found to carry allergens on their surface. We also found that diesel exhaust particles, which is probably a main soot component of airborne house dust, absorbed several wellknown allergens in vitro. Furthermore, the airborne house dust particles were found to elicit a local lymph node response, and to have an adjuvant activity on the production of IgE antibodies to ovalbumin as a model allergen. INTERPRETATION: These results show that indoor suspended particulate matter contains a lot of potential allergen carriers, i.e. soot particles (carbon aggregates), most of them being less that 1 micron in diameter and thereby able to transport allergens deep into the airways. In addition, our results indicate that suspended particulate matter may have an adjuvant effect on the production of IgE to common environmental allergens, and also may provoke a local inflammatory response.
Morphology of silicon carbide (SiC) fibres from the Norwegian SiC industry has been studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The fibres are an unwanted side-product in SiC production. They represent a probable cause of the observed increased occurrence of lung diseases among SiC workers. The main aim of this work is to give a detailed description of the morphological variation of the fibres. Furthermore, it is important to study the occurrence of various morphological types with respect to job types and process parameters. SiC fibres accounted for >90% of all fibres observed. Eight categories of SiC fibres are described based on their morphology. The most frequent fibre category had a smooth surface and accounted for more than half of the observed SiC fibres. The diameter distributions of the eight fibre types were significantly different except for two of the categories. More than 99% of the SiC fibres observed were
Fungi grown in pure cultures produce DNA- or RNA-containing particles smaller than spore size ( 3)-beta-D-glucans. In the 29 PM(1) samples, cultivable fungi were found in six samples and with a median concentration below detection level. Using microscopy, fungal spores were identified in 22 samples. The components NAGase and (1 --> 3)-beta-D-glucans, which are mainly associated with fungi, were present in all PM(1) samples. Thermophilic actinomycetes were present in 23 of the 29 PM(1) samples [average = 739 colony-forming units (CFU) m(-3)]. Cultivable and 'total bacteria' were found in average concentrations of, respectively, 249 CFU m(-3) and 1.8 x 10(5) m(-3). DNA- and RNA-containing particles of different lengths were counted by microscopy and revealed a high concentration of particles with a length of 0.5-1.5 microm and only few particles >1.5 microm. The number of cultivable fungi and beta-glucan in the total dust correlated significantly with the number of DNA/RNA-containing particles with lengths of between 1.0 and 1.5 microm, with DNA/RNA-containing particles >1.5 microm, and with other fungal components in PM(1) dust. Airborne beta-glucan and NAGase were found in PM(1) samples where no cultivable fungi were present, and beta-glucan and NAGase were found in higher concentrations per fungal spore in PM(1) dust than in total dust. This indicates that fungal particles smaller than fungal spore size are present in the air at the plants. Furthermore, many bacteria, including actinomycetes, were present in PM(1) dust. Only 0.2% of the bacteria in PM(1) dust were cultivable.
Cites: Eur Respir J. 2000 Jul;16(1):140-510933100
Cites: Scand J Work Environ Health. 2008 Aug;34(4):278-718820821
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2001 Mar;58(3):154-911171927
The primary objectives of this study were (a) to measure potential exposures of applicators and assistants to airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), (b) to measure airborne concentrations of MDI at various distances from the spray foam application, and (c) to measure airborne MDI concentrations as a function of time elapsed since application. Other study objectives were, (a) to compare the results from filter and impinger samples; (b) to determine the particle size distribution in the spray foam aerosol; (c) to determine potential exposures to dichlorofluoroethane; and (d) to measure any off-gassing of MDI after the foam had fully cured. This study was conducted during application of spray polyurethane foam inside five single-family homes under construction in the United States and Canada. Spray foam applicators and assistants may be exposed to airborne MDI concentrations above the OSHA permissible exposure limit. At these concentrations, OSHA recommends appropriate respiratory protection during spray foam application to prevent airborne MDI exposures above established limits and to protect against exposure to dichlorofluoroethane (HCFC-141b). Airborne MDI concentrations decrease rapidly after foam application ceases. The highest airborne concentrations measured after 15 min and 45 min were 0.019 mg/m3 and 0.003 mg/m3, respectively. After 45 min, airborne concentrations were below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 0.036-microg per sample. For samples taken 24 hours after completion of foaming, results were also below the LOQ. Approximately two-thirds of the total mass of the airborne particles in the spray foam aerosol was greater than 3.5 microns in diameter. Airborne MDI concentrations determined by filter sampling methods were 6% to 40% lower than those determined by impinger methods.
Airborne particulate matter from primarily geologic, non-industrial sources at levels below National Ambient Air Quality Standards is associated with outpatient visits for asthma and quick-relief medication prescriptions among children less than 20 years old enrolled in Medicaid in Anchorage, Alaska.
In Anchorage, Alaska, particulates with aerodynamic diameter or = 34 micro g/m(3). A significant 18.1% increase (RR: 1.181, 95% CI: 1.010-1.381) in the rate of quick-relief medication prescriptions occurred during days with PM(10) of 34-60 micro g/m(3), and a 28.8% increase (RR: 1.288, 95% CI: 1.026-1.619) occurred during days with PM(10) > or = 61 micro g/m(3). Similar results for outpatient asthma visits and quick-relief medication occurred in weekly models. There were no significant associations with PM(2.5) in either daily or weekly models. These subtle but statistically significant associations suggest that non-industrial, geologic sources of PM(10) may have measurable health effects at levels below current national standards.
There is some evidence linking air pollution to cardiovascular morbidity. Our aim was to examine whether there is a correlation between air pollution and cardiovascular morbidity in the city of Trondheim, Norway.
We compared the mean daily number of admissions for cardiovascular disease to the St. Olav University hospital on days with relatively low and high levels of PM10 (1993-2001), PM2,5, NO, NO2, SO2, O3, toluene and paraxylene (1998-2001). A time series analysis was carried out to see how day-to-day variations in concentrations of air pollutants correlated with the number of hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease.
In the bivariate analysis, the mean daily number of hospitalizations was found to be significantly higher (p