Impact of Pollution Exposures on Respiratory Health While Commuting to School
B. K. Padhi (1), P.K. Padhy (2), A Konar (3), S Mondal (3), A Prakash (1), V.K. Jain (1), R Ghosh (4)
(1) School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Neheru University, New Delhi-110067, India, (2) Centre for Environmental Studies, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan-731235, India, (3) Department Of Physical Education, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan – 731235, India, (4) DTCD (Kol.), MD (Chest), Paschim Pally, Santiniketan-731235, India
Abstract Number: 171
Preference: Platform Presentation
Last modified: November 7, 2009
Working Group: sq1
Road transport is globally recognized as a significant and increasing source of air pollution. Research on the impact of pollution exposures during commuting to school on respiratory health of children is scarce. This study was designed to evaluate the relationship of in-vehicle air pollutants exposures and its impact on respiratory health of school going children. We followed three hundred fifty five subjects who were 8–15 years of age and commuting daily to school in public vehicles in Durgapur an industrial city in India. The concentration of in-vehicle pollutants monitored are suspended particulate matter (SPM), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) including temperature and relative humidity. A questionnaire developed on the pattern of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) with some modifications were used for evaluation of respiratory health. The lung function parameters, namely, PEF, FVC, FEV1, FEF, and SVC were examined on an electronic Spiro meter. An adjusted odds ratio was used to estimate the risk of developing respiratory health symptoms for children’s exposed to multiple air pollutants while commuting to school after controlling for confounding factors. The study revealed that the children commuting more than two hours in public vehicle to school exposed a higher concentration of air pollutants and had an adjusted odds ratio of lower respiratory infections (OR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.35-2.43) than the children commuting less than half an hour to school (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 0.97-1.68). It is hoped that this study will provide crucial information to decision makers in understanding the policy implications for air quality regulation and urban transportation policy.