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
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.
Tobacco smoke exposure increases the risk of cancer in the liver, but little is known about the possible risk associated with exposure to ambient air pollution.
We evaluated the association between residential exposure to air pollution and primary liver cancer incidence.
We obtained data from four cohorts with enrolment during 1985-2005 in Denmark, Austria and Italy. Exposure to nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOX), particulate matter (PM) with diameter of less than 10µm (PM10), less than 2.5µm (PM2.5), between 2.5 and 10µm (PM2.5-10) and PM2.5 absorbance (soot) at baseline home addresses were estimated using land-use regression models from the ESCAPE project. We also investigated traffic density on the nearest road. We used Cox proportional-hazards models with adjustment for potential confounders for cohort-specific analyses and random-effects meta-analyses to estimate summary hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Out of 174,770 included participants, 279 liver cancer cases were diagnosed during a mean follow-up of 17 years. In each cohort, HRs above one were observed for all exposures with exception of PM2.5 absorbance and traffic density. In the meta-analysis, all exposures were associated with elevated HRs, but none of the associations reached statistical significance. The summary HR associated with a 10-µg/m(3) increase in NO2 was 1.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93, 1.30) and 1.34 (95% CI: 0.76, 2.35) for a 5-µg/m(3) increase in PM2.5.
The results provide suggestive evidence that ambient air pollution may increase the risk of liver cancer. Confidence intervals for associations with NO2 and NOX were narrower than for the other exposures.
The eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull (2010) and Grímsvötn (2011), Iceland, triggered immediate, international consideration of the respiratory health hazard of inhaling volcanic ash, and prompted the need to estimate the potential hazard posed by future eruptions of Iceland's volcanoes to Icelandic and Northern European populations.
A physicochemical characterization and toxicological assessment was conducted on a suite of archived ash samples spanning the spectrum of past eruptions (basaltic to rhyolitic magmatic composition) of Icelandic volcanoes following a protocol specifically designed by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network.
Icelandic ash can be of a respirable size (up to 11.3 vol.%
Cites: Science. 1999 Feb 19;283(5405):1142-510024235
Cites: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Dec 10;10(12):6909-1924336019
There is highly suggestive evidence for an effect of air pollution exposure on dementia-related outcomes, but evidence is not yet present to clearly pinpoint which pollutants are the probable causal agents. The aims of this study was to assess the longitudinal association between exposures of fine ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) from residential wood burning, and vehicle exhaust, with dementia.
We used data from the Betula study, a longitudinal study of dementia in Umeå, Northern Sweden. The study size was 1 806 and the participants were followed from study entry (1993-1995) to 2010. Modelled levels of source-specific fine particulate matter at the residential address were combined with information on wood stoves or wood boilers, and with validated data on dementia diagnosis and individual-level characteristics from the Betula study. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate Hazard Ratios (HRs) and their 95% CIs for dementia incidence (vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease), adjusted for individual-level characteristics.
The emission of PM2.5 from local residential wood burning was associated with dementia incidence with a hazard ratio of 1.55 for a 1 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00-2.41, p-value 0.05). Study participants with an address in an area with the highest quartile of PM2.5 from residential wood burning and who also had a wood-burning stove were more likely to develop dementia than those in the lower three quartiles without a wood-burning stove with hazard ratios of 1.74 (CI: 1.10-2.75, p-value 0.018). Particulate matter from traffic exhaust seemed to be associated with dementia incidence with hazard ratios of 1.66, (CI: 1.16-2.39), p-value 0.006, and 1.41 (CI: 0.97-2.23), p-value 0.07, in the third and fourth quartiles, respectively.
If the associations we observed are causal, then air pollution from residential wood burning, and air pollution from traffic, might be independent important risk factors for dementia.
Short-term exposure to air pollution can trigger hospital admissions for asthma in children, but it is not known which components of air pollution are most important. There are no available studies on the particular effect of ultrafine particles (UFPs) on paediatric admissions for asthma.
To study whether short-term exposure to air pollution is associated with hospital admissions for asthma in children. It is hypothesised that (1) the association between asthma admissions and air pollution is stronger with UFPs than with coarse (PM10) and fine (PM2.5) particles, nitrogen oxides (NOx) or nitrogen dioxide (NO2); and (2) infants are more susceptible to the effects of exposure to air pollution than older children.
Daily counts of admissions for asthma in children aged 0-18 years to hospitals located within a 15 km radius of the central fixed background urban air pollution measurement station in Copenhagen between 2001 and 2008 were extracted from the Danish National Patient Registry. A time-stratified case crossover design was applied and data were analysed using conditional logistic regression to estimate the effect of air pollution on asthma admissions.
A significant association was found between hospital admissions for asthma in children aged 0-18 years and NOx (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.17), NO2 (1.10; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.16), PM10 (1.07; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.12) and PM2.5 (1.09; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.13); there was no association with UFPs. The association was stronger in infants than in older children for all pollutants, but no statistically significant interaction was detected.
Short-term exposure to air pollution can trigger hospital admission for asthma in children, with infants possibly being most susceptible. These effects seemed to be mediated by larger particles and traffic-related gases, whereas UFPs showed no effect.
Coarse particle matter, PMcoarse, is associated with increased respiratory morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between short-term changes in PMcoarse and sub-clininal airway inflammation in children. Healthy children aged 11 years from two northern Swedish elementary schools underwent fraction of exhaled nitrogen oxide (FENO) measurements to determine levels of airway inflammation twice weekly during the study period from 11 April-6 June 2011. Daily exposure to PMcoarse, PM2.5, NO2, NOx, NO and O3 and birch pollen was estimated. Multiple linear regression was used. Personal covariates were included as fixed effects and subjects were included as a random effect. In total, 95 children participated in the study, and in all 493 FENO measurements were made. The mean level of PMcoarse was 16.1 µg/m³ (range 4.1-42.3), and that of O3 was 75.0 µg/m³ (range: 51.3-106.3). That of NO2 was 17.0 µg/m³ (range: 4.7-31.3), NOx was 82.1 µg/m³ (range: 13.3-165.3), and NO was 65 µg/m³ (range: 8.7-138.4) during the study period. In multi-pollutant models an interquartile range increase in 24 h PMcoarse was associated with increases in FENO by between 6.9 ppb (95% confidence interval 0.0-14) and 7.3 ppb (95% confidence interval 0.4-14.9). PMcoarse was associated with an increase in FENO, indicating sub-clinical airway inflammation in healthy children.
Cites: Environ Health. 2013 Apr 20;12:3623602059
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2011 Aug;68(8):551-621045215
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2015 Apr;72(4):284-9325475111
Cites: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Feb 15;181(4):324-720007926
In recent years, the prevalence of work-related asthma has increased. Therefore, more attention needs to be paid to occupational allergens and their avoidance and control in workplaces. However, risk assessment of occupational allergen exposure is difficult because the relationship between exposure concentration, sensitization, and symptoms has not been fully established. This paper introduces a systematic and comprehensive approach to assessing and managing allergen risks at workplaces.
This approach relies on the cooperation and active communication during the whole process between management, employees, and health care personnel, with the assistance of experts when needed. In addition to gathering background information, including allergic symptoms, through questionnaires addressed to the management and employees, hazard identification is also processed in the workplace through observations and measurements. The methods generally recommended to reduce allergen exposure are compared with those used in the workplace. The process is to be carefully planned and documented to allow later follow-up and re-evaluation.
The multi-faceted approach encompasses several risk assessment techniques, and reveals the prevalence of work-related allergic symptoms. The process effectively focuses on the potential means for controlling allergen exposure.
Based on this approach, the synopsis on the critical points that require implementation of effective control measures can be presented.
Long-term air pollution effects on stroke incidence have not been examined extensively. We investigated the associations between ambient pollution and the incidence of stroke, as well as stroke subtypes, in a northern Canadian city surrounded by energy-sector pollution sources.
Stroke data from an administrative database from 2003 through 2007 were used to estimate annual incidence rates within small geographic regions within Edmonton, Canada. Air pollution levels for each region were estimated from continuous fixed-site monitoring stations in and around Edmonton. We fit models estimating stroke risk in relation to pollution levels; risks were adjusted for age, sex, income, social deprivation, and other factors.
Between 2003 and 2007, the average 5-year concentration of NO(2) and CO was positively associated with the incidence of stroke, particularly for hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic stroke subtypes (NO(2): hemorrhagic stroke relative risk=1.46; 95% CI, 1.19-1.80; nonhemorrhagic stroke relative risk=1.36; 95% CI, 1.19-1.56). However, these estimates of risk diminished after controlling for the ecological measures of income and deprivation. Adjustment for ecologically derived indices of smoking, hypertension, and body mass index did not alter the estimates of risk in any meaningful way.
Although long-term NO(2) and CO levels were positively associated with a higher incidence of stroke in the entire study area, the risk estimates were strongly attenuated by household income levels. Further research that incorporates individual-level risk factor data would improve our understanding of the relation of longer-term exposures to ambient air pollution and stroke outcomes.