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Respiratory Effects in Schoolchildren Exposed to Industrial Sources of Particulate Material (PM)

Filigrana, Paola; Luna, Mónica; Méndez, Fabián

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362649.77630.50
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

Universidad del Valle, Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.


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Background and Objective:

Northern Cali, Colombia, limits has a large industrial zone producing steel, batteries and metals. According to previous reports, high levels of PM10 (96.07 μg/m3) and lead (1.77 μg/m3) may reach population living in the area. The aim is to assess effects of air pollutants from industrial sources in respiratory health of schoolchildren, 6–14 years old, in northern Cali.

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A cross-sectional study was conducted in an area likely to be exposed to industrial pollutants in northern Cali (i.e., distance and wind direction) and in a control area. We simultaneously measured daily atmospheric concentrations of PM2.5 in two schools of corresponding study areas during three months and determined the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function in children. In addition, we characterized daily variations in PM2.5 concentrations and, using regression models, assessed the association with health effects.

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The maximum levels of PM2.5 during the monitoring were presented in the exposed area with a maximum of 69.95 μg/m3. Mean concentrations of PM2.5 were higher in the exposed area when compare with the control area (43.5 μg/m3 vs. 30.4 μg/m3). Correspondingly, we found a higher prevalence of runny nose, nasal itching, cold, shortness of breath with exercise and wheezing in children of the exposed area. A positive association was found between exposure and respiratory symptoms like runny nose (OR: 3.01; CI 95%: 1.46–6.22), nasal itching (OR: 3.59; CI 95%: 1.75–7.36), shortness of breath with exercise (OR: 1.47; CI 95%: 0.44–4.89) and wheezing (OR: 1.64; CI 95% 0.79–3.39). Consistently, we found objective evidence of lung function effects in children.

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Residence in the northern urban area of Cali exposed to pollutants of an industrial zone is associated to a higher risk of upper airway and bronco-obstructive respiratory symptoms.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.