How Does Traffic Related Air Pollution Affect Children’s Health?

Blood Pressure and Same-Day Exposure to Air Pollution at School: Associations with Nano-Sized to Coarse PM in Children (6 page pdf, Nicky Pieters, Gudrun Koppen, Martine Van Poppel, Sofie De Prins, Bianca Cox, Evi Dons, Vera Nelen, Luc Int Panis, Michelle Plusquin, Greet Schoeters, and Tim S. Nawrot, Environmental Health Perspectives, Jul. 2015)
Today we review research into the links between short term exposure to particulate matter of various sizes and impacts on blood pressure of school-age children who are particularly vulnerable because their higher breathing rate, as well as their generally greater activity than older people. Results indicate a clear association with Ultra Fine Particulates (diameter 20-30 nm) and higher blood pressure. In addition, repeated exposure to particulates may result in long-term chronically elevated pressures, as well as a chronic increase in arterial stiffness in children due to traffic-related air pollution.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

English: Southern end of the High Street, Keyn...
English: Southern end of the High Street, Keynsham, on a busy Saturday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Links between Air Pollution and Premature Deaths in the Netherlands

Air Pollution and Mortality in Seven Million Adults: The Dutch Environmental Longitudinal Study (DUELS) (8 page pdf, Paul H. Fischer, Marten Marra, Caroline B. Ameling, Gerard Hoek, Rob Beelen, Kees de Hoogh, Oscar Breugelmans, Hanneke Kruize, Nicole A.H. Janssen, and Danny Houthuijs, Environmental Health Perspectives, Jul. 2015)

Today we review research into the links between mortality of the adult Dutch population and exposure to NO2 and PM10 that establishes a new basis for that country. Results indicate a higher general mortality association with PM10 than previously estimated and with NO2 for all mortality except circulatory disease.

netherlands no2 pm

Key Quotes:

“In this large Dutch nationwide population cohort of > 7 million adults we observed positive significant associations between estimated long-term exposure to air pollution (PM10 and NO2) at the home address and nonaccidental, circulatory disease, respiratory disease, and lung cancer mortality”

“the median PM10 concentration was 29 μg/m3 [5th–95th percentile, 24 μg/m3–32 μg/m3; interquartile range (IQR) = 2.4]; the median NO2 concentration was 31 μg/m3 (5th–95th percentile, 19 μg/m3–44 μg/m3; IQR = 10.0 μg/m3). We estimated HRs per 10-μg/m3 increase in the pollutant concentration..the range (and IQR) in NO2 concentrations is larger than the range in PM10 concentrations, because NO2 is more influenced by local (traffic) emissions than PM10, which is more affected by long-range transport.”
“we found particulate matter to be associated with all outcome measures that we have analyzed. Our relative risk estimate for PM10 on total mortality is higher than the relative risk estimate from a recent published study based on 19 European cohorts”
“For NO2 we found statistically significant associations with all outcomes except for circulatory disease mortality”
“Our estimates for lung cancer mortality for PM10 and NO2 are higher than those published recently in the national cohorts”

How do Fireworks Affect Local Air Quality?

Effects of Independence Day fireworks on atmospheric concentrations of fine particulate matter in the United States (7 page pdf, Dian J. Seidel, Abigail N. Birnbaum, Atmospheric Environment, May 30, 2015)
Also discussed here: July 4 fireworks spark astonishing spike in air pollution, NOAA study finds (Jason Samenow, Washington Post, Jun. 30, 2015)

Today we review a nation-wide assessment of the impact of fireworks on local air quality in the USA. Results indicate tht the particulates emitted during these displays increased particulate pollution by 42% on average, although individual cities had increases of 400% temporarily and other venues such as the International Fireworks Competition in Montreal and New Years Eve in Germany showed increases of 40 to 50 times more. As the particulate emissions from these eruptions last only for a few hours, the higher pollution levels are not counted in either the national air quality regulations (such as National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5 in the USA or European Union PM10 air quality standard). Clearly short term air quality forecasts could be improved using the results from this study. In addition, spectators would be well advised to stay upwind from the fireworks to avoid polluted air and the health impacts that may result from breathing it.

fireworks for july 4

Key Quotes:

“Every July 4, the 14,000-plus dazzling fireworks displays across the nation have a toxic effect on our atmosphere…they temporarily increase particulate pollution by an average of 42 percent.

“PM2.5 concentrations peaked around 9-10 p.m. on July 4 at more than twice their average concentration before dropping back to background levels by around noon on July 5.”

“[in Washington DC] Between about 8 and 10 p.m., PM2.5 levels surged by over 400 percent compared to average before gradually returning to background levels the next day”

“At one site adjacent to fireworks, hourly PM2.5 levels climb to ~500 mg/m3, and 24-hr average concentrations increase by 48 mg/m3 (370%).”
“Increase in PM2.5 by up to a factor of 50 within the fireworks plume and within 2 km of the launch site during the 2007 Montreal International Fireworks Competition”

“Increase in sub-micron particle mass concentration by a factor of 10 or greater for about an hour following the 2005 New Year’s celebration fireworks in Mainz, Germany, and a daily average concentration on January 1 exceeding the European Union PM10 air quality standard of 50 mg/m3”

“Designated exceptional events are not included in determining compliance. Some fireworks events have been allowed exceptional event Designation..While the EPA does not regulate fireworks, the agency does recommend that people who are considered sensitive to particle pollution try to limit their exposure by watching fireworks from upwind – or as far away as possible,”

“Current air quality prediction efforts in the US address PM2.5, but the national prediction models do not currently include fireworks as source of
particulate emissions … although local forecasters may account for fireworks effects in communications with the public.”

Short-Term Impacts on Health from Multiple Pollutants in an Urban Environment

Exploring associations between multipollutant day types and asthma morbidity: epidemiologic applications of self-organizing map ambient air quality classifications (13 page pdf, John L. Pearce, Lance A. Waller, James A. Mulholland, Stefanie E. Sarnat, Matthew J. Strickland, Howard H. Chang and Paige E. Tolbert, Environmental Health, Jun. 23, 2015)
Today we review research conducted in Atlanta on the relationship between exposure to groups of up to 10 pollutants and the health impacts brought on by asthma. Results indicate the same high relationship between adverse health impacts and higher levels of pollution that has been seen in examining the impacts of a single pollutant. When groups of pollutants were examined, the highest asthma morbidity was seen on days that were warm and dry with emissions from vehicles one of the three highest classes. This shows the value of looking at the combined impacts of several pollutants.


To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

How Do Electric Fields under High Voltage Power Lines Compare to Those Near Highways?

Comparison of charged nanoparticle concentrations near busy roads and overhead high-voltage power lines (Abstract, E.R. Jayaratne, X. Ling, L. Morawska, May 28, 2015)

Also discussed here: Roadside air can be more charged than under a high-voltage power line (Science Daily, May 28, 2015)
Today we review research from Brisbane, Australia, comparing the number of charged particles emitted by vehicles near highways to what is found under power lines. Results indicate more than twice as many charged vehicles near roads. The charges alone do not present a health hazard but the fact that the particulates are charged means that they adhere more closely to the lungs when they are breathed in – and this as earlier research has shown presents a number of health impacts which would be increased by the electrical charging.

freeway electric field

To see Key Quotes and Links to those in key reports, click HERE


Can Vitamin E Reduce the Impact of Particulate Matter on the Lungs?

Circulating Levels of Antioxidant Vitamins Correlate with Better Lung Function and Reduced Exposure to Ambient Pollution (Abstract, Cristina Menni, Sarah J. Metrustry, Robert P. Mohney, Sean Beevers, Ben Barratt, Tim D. Spector, Frank J. Kelly, and Ana M. Valdes, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, May 15, 2015)

Also discussed here: Link between vitamin E, exposure to air pollution (ScienceDaily, May 15, 2015)

And here: Can vitamin E protect lungs from air pollution? (Indo-Asian News Service, May 15, 2015)

Today we review research into the role that vitamins plays in lessening the damage to the lungs that particulate matter plays through oxidative attacks. Results indicate that higher exposure to PM 2.5 and PM10 had lower levels of vitamin E and lower levels of lung function.


To see Key Quotes and Links to key report about this post, click HERE

Exposure of New Born Babies to Traffic-Related Air Pollution

Perinatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Atopy at 1 Year of Age in a Multi-Center Canadian Birth Cohort Study (32 pge pdf, Hind Sbihi, Ryan W. Allen, Allan Becker, Jeffrey R. Brook, Piush Mandhane, James A. Scott, Malcolm R. Sears, Padmaja Subbarao, Tim K. Takaro, Stuart E. Turvey, and Michael Brauer, Environmental Health Perspectives, Mar. 31, 2015)

Also discussed here: Exposure to air pollution in the first year of life increases risk for allergies (ScienceDaily, May 4, 2015)

Today we review research into the impact of short and longer term exposure to traffic related pollution on one year old babies. Results indicate a greater risk of allergies, especially for those who did not attend daycares with older children who seem to offer protection.

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies ...

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies such as pollen allergy are related to the antibody known as IgE. Like other antibodies, each IgE antibody is specific; one acts against oak pollen, another against ragweed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE


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