Daily symptom rates in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in other subjects with presumed high sensitivity to air pollution who lived near a coal-fired plant were compared with 24-hr ambient air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, soot, and suspended particles as well as with emissions from the plant. The mean concentrations of each of the pollutants during the 4-month study period were below 30 micrograms/m3, and no single 24-hr concentration exceeded 100 micrograms/m3. There were no consistent associations between plant emissions and pollutant levels or between these two variables and daily symptom rates. The results indicate that the coal-fired plant was not of major importance for the occurrence of acute respiratory symptoms in the surrounding population.
The concentration-response relationship between daily ambient inhalable particle (particulate matter less than or equal to 10 micro m; PM(10)) concentrations and daily mortality typically shows no evidence of a threshold concentration below which no relationship is observed. However, the power to assess a relationship at very low concentrations of PM(10) has been limited in studies to date. The concentrations of PM(10) and other air pollutants in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from January 1994 through December 1996 were very low: the 50th and 90th percentiles of daily average PM(10) concentrations were 13 and 23 micro g/m(3), respectively, and 27 and 39 ppb, respectively, for 1-hr maximum ozone. Analyses of 3 years of daily pollution (PM(10), ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide) concentrations and mortality counts showed that the dominant associations were between ozone and total mortality and respiratory and cardiovascular mortality in the summer, and between nitrogen dioxide and total mortality in the winter, although some association with PM(10) may also have been present. We conclude that increases in low concentrations of air pollution are associated with increased daily mortality. These findings may support the notion that no threshold pollutant concentrations are present, but they also raise concern that these effects may not be effects of the measured pollutants themselves, but rather of some other factor(s) present in the air pollution-meteorology mix.
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Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common early childhood infections, resulting in an enormous economic burden to the health care system through unscheduled doctor visits and antibiotic prescriptions.
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential association between ambient air pollution exposure and emergency department (ED) visits for OM.
Ten years of ED data were obtained from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and linked to levels of air pollution: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) of median aerometric diameter
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Health impacts of poor environmental quality have been identified in studies around the world and in Canada. While many of the studies have identified associations between air pollution and mortality or morbidity, few have focused on the role of health care as a potential moderator of impacts. This study assessed the determinants of health care access and utilization in the context of ambient air pollution in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
Residents of Sarnia participated in a Community Health Study administered by phone, while several ambient air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and the volatile organic compounds benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, mp- and o-xylene (BTEX) were monitored across the city. Land Use Regression models were used to estimate individual exposures to the measured pollutants and logistic regression models were utilized to assess the relative influence of environmental, socioeconomic and health related covariates on general practitioner access and utilization outcomes.
The results show that general practitioner use increased with levels of exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2- Odds Ratio [OR]: 1.16, p 0.05).
This study provides evidence for inequitable health care access and utilization in Sarnia, with particular relevance to its situation as a sentinel high exposure environment. Levels of exposure to pollution appears to influence utilization of health care services, but poor access to primary health care services additionally burden certain groups in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
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A health study was conducted in three communities in the greater Montreal region; the first two were characterized by relatively high particulate and sulfur dioxide levels, respectively, and a third community without major industrial pollution. In each community, 300 men and women 45 to 64 yr of age were studied. Residents of the two more polluted communities exhibited a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and mean lung function evaluated by various tests was lower than in residents of the less polluted community. When intercity differences in age and smoking were accounted for, no statistically significant intercity differences in health status could be shown. Given the limitations of this study, the results provide no evidence to suggest that current Canadian standards for sulfur dioxide adequately protect human health as measured by the indices used in the study, for adults in the age range of 45 to 64 yr.
Previous analyses of continuously measured compounds in Fort McKay, an indigenous community in the Athabasca Oil Sands, have detected increasing concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and total hydrocarbons (THC), but not of sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), total reduced sulfur compounds (TRS), or particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter
Environmental factors may play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We examined whether long-term exposures to air pollution were associated with the risk of RA in the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis Study.
We studied 1497 incident RA cases and 2536 controls. Local levels of particulate matter (PM10) and gaseous pollutants (sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) from traffic and home heating were predicted for all residential addresses. We examined the association of an IQR increase (2 µg/m3 for PM10, 8 µg/m3 for SO2 and 9 µg/m3 for NO2) in each pollutant at different time points before symptom onset and average exposure with the risk of all RA and the risk of the rheumatoid factor and anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) RA phenotypes.
There was no evidence of an increased risk of RA with PM10. Total RA risks were modestly elevated for the gaseous pollutants, but were not statistically significant after adjustment for smoking and education (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.43 and OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.19 for SO2 and NO2 in the 10th year before onset). Stronger elevated risks were observed for individuals with less than a university education and with the ACPA-negative RA phenotype.
No consistent overall associations between air pollution in the Stockholm area and the risk of RA were observed. However, there was a suggestion of increased risks of RA incidence with increases in NO2 from local traffic and SO2 from home heating sources with stronger associations for the ACPA-negative phenotype.
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The incidence of acute respiratory diseases (ARD) in two districts of the Orenburg Region which have different levels of environmental pollution was comparatively analyzed. The higher incidence of ARD in the more polluted district (Kuvandyksky) than in the control one (Belyaevsky). The incidence rate (41.8%) of ARD correlated with the level of the ambient air pollution by dust, CO, NO2, NF and fluoride aerosols in the Kuvandyksky district.
Self-reported data on the municipality of residence were used to assess long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution from 1980 to 2002 in the longitudinal Canadian National Population Health Survey. Exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter was determined using data obtained from fixed-site air pollution monitors operated principally in urban areas. Four different methods of attributing pollution exposure were used based on residence in (1) 1980, (2) 1994, (3) 1980 and 1994, and (4) at all locations between 1980 and 2002. Between 1,693 and 4,274 of 10,515 members of the cohort could be assigned exposures to individual pollutants using these methods. On average, subjects spent 71.4% of the 1980-2002 period in the census subdivision where they lived in 1980. A single exposure measure in 1980 or 1994 or a mean of the two measures was highly correlated (r>0.7, P