Background & Objectives:
This study was conducted to investigate and assess children’s lung function decrement in association with exposure to ambient fine particles in Seoul.
The study group consisted of the fourth grade children in a primary school located in Seongbuk-district, Seoul. We monitored ninety two children for PEFR three times a day by peak expiratory flow meter from 25 June to 19 July, 2007. However, each student’s lung function, FVC and FEV1, were measured on the first day. In addition, mass concentrations of PM10, PM2.5 and number concentration of particles (PNC) were measured everyday for 25 days.
The values showed 1.97 ± 0.30L in FVC, 1.81 ± 0.25L in FEV1 and 327.25 ± 43.91L/min in PEFR. The mean concentrations of PM10, Coarse (coarse particle mass, PM10-PM2.5), PM2.5 and PNC were 42.41, 15.45, 26.96 ug/m3 and 7,672 ± 3,498 particles/cm3.
PEFR was decreased 7.028 L/min in PM10, 4.628 L/min in coarse and 6.040 L/min at one day before exposure (Lag 1) to daily IQR(Inter quartile range) increases of ambient fine particles (P < 0.05). According to the distance from a main street to residential areas, we classified this study group into three; A (more than 100M), B (50–100M) and C (near within 50M) group. Daily mean PEFR was 330.63 ± 35.82 L/min in group A, 331.14 ± 42.21 L/min in group B and 313.72 ± 38.82 L/min in group C. Group C showed lower value than group A and B in daily PEFR (P < 0.05).
In the study for the investigation of the relationship between pulmonary function and ambient fine particles, it showed a significant decrease of the next day’s PEFR (Lag1) by the increase of PM10, Coarse and PM2.5.
Daily mean PEFR was lower in students living nearby the roadside, which can be affected by particulates from traffics easily than in students in residential areas far from the roadside.