In recent decades, the adverse impacts of sandstorm or sand-dust weather on human health were more and more concerned by the governments and the public in the world, especially for China, Mongolia, and also Korea and Japan, as well as other east Asian countries.
A series of studies on the health effects of dust storm (Asian dust) have been conducted in China in recent years. The fields for study were mostly located in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Guansu provinces in northwestern part of China, where from the dust sources come. The research approaches used in these studies included cross-sectional, time-series analysis, case-control, and panel study for the subject children, high exposure subpopulation in the community and in/outpatients in the hospitals by generalized additive model, Poisson regression, Linear mixed-effect models as data analysis, as well as health questionnaire interview and ambient monitoring for the level of PM10 and PM2.5 during dust storm seasons of the year.
The results show that a sharp increased levels of PM2.5 and PM10 were observed and the most prevalent diseases among the study subjects were faucitis, tracheitis, keratitis, arthritis, and rhinitis in the community during the dust storm. The dust events were significantly associated with respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalization after adjusted the effect of SO2 and/or NO2. The mean peak expiratory flow rate of the exposed schoolchildren in dusty days was much lower than that in the control days (P < 0.01).
It suggests that PM10 and PM2.5 derived from the dust events could adversely impact on the respiratory and cardiovascular health of the exposed schoolchildren and sensitive population in China.