Increased asthma and respiratory symptoms in children exposed to petrochemical pollution

Wichmann, Fernando A., Muller, Andrea, Busi, Luciano E., Cianni, Natalia, Massolo, Laura, Schlink, Uwe, Porta, Andres and Sly, Peter D. (2009) Increased asthma and respiratory symptoms in children exposed to petrochemical pollution. Journal of Allergy And Clinical Immunology, 123 3: 632-638. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.09.052

Author Wichmann, Fernando A.
Muller, Andrea
Busi, Luciano E.
Cianni, Natalia
Massolo, Laura
Schlink, Uwe
Porta, Andres
Sly, Peter D.
Title Increased asthma and respiratory symptoms in children exposed to petrochemical pollution
Journal name Journal of Allergy And Clinical Immunology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-6749
Publication date 2009-03-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.09.052
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 123
Issue 3
Start page 632
End page 638
Total pages 7
Place of publication Milwaukee, WI, United States
Publisher Mosby
Language eng
Abstract Background: Epidemiologic studies show statistical associations between levels of air pollutants and respiratory outcomes. Objective: We sought to determine the effects of exposure to petrochemical pollution on the respiratory health of children. Methods: Children aged 6 to 12 years living close to the petrochemical plants in La Plata, Argentina (n = 282), were compared with those living in a region with exposure to heavy traffic (n = 270) or in 2 relatively nonpolluted areas (n = 639). Parents answered a validated questionnaire providing health and demographic data. A random sample (n = 181) had lung function measured. Particulate matter and outdoor and indoor volatile organic compound levels were measured during 4-week study periods and reported as overall means for each study area. Results: Children living near the petrochemical plant had more asthma (24.8% vs 10.1% to 11.5%), more asthma exacerbations (6.7 vs 2.9-3.6 per year), more respiratory symptoms (current wheeze, dyspnea, nocturnal cough, and rhinitis), and lower lung function (>13% decrease in FEV1 percent predicted) than those living in other regions. Length of residence in the area was a significant risk factor, but age, sex, body mass index, proximity to busy roads and other nonpetrochemical industries, length of breast-feeding, and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of children or their families were not. Conclusion: Exposure to particulate matter and volatile organic compounds arising from petrochemical plants but not from high traffic density was associated ith worse respiratory health in children.
Keyword Air pollution
lung function testing
particulate matter
volatile organic compounds
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences -- Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 56 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 21:57:59 EST