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Environmental Health Perspectives





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air pollution, area of concern, Ontario, respiratory disease, Windsor

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This study is part of a larger research program to examine the relationship between ambient air quality and health in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. We assessed the association between air pollution and daily respiratory hospitalization for different age and sex groups from 1995 to 2000. The pollutants included were nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter 10 microm in diameter (PM10), coefficient of haze (COH), and total reduced sulfur (TRS). We calculated relative risk (RR) estimates using both time-series and case-crossover methods after controlling for appropriate confounders (temperature, humidity, and change in barometric pressure). The results of both analyses were consistent. We found associations between NO2, SO2, CO, COH, or PM10 and daily hospital admission of respiratory diseases especially among females. For females 0-14 years of age, there was 1-day delayed effect of NO2 (RR = 1.19, case-crossover method), a current-day SO2 (RR = 1.11, time series), and current-day and 1- and 2-day delayed effects for CO by case crossover (RR = 1.15, 1.19, 1.22, respectively). Time-series analysis showed that 1-day delayed effect of PM10 on respiratory admissions of adult males (15-64 years of age), with an RR of 1.18. COH had significant effects on female respiratory hospitalization, especially for 2-day delayed effects on adult females, with RRs of 1.15 and 1.29 using time-series and case-crossover analysis, respectively. There were no significant associations between O3 and TRS with respiratory admissions. These findings provide policy makers with current risks estimates of respiratory hospitalization as a result of poor ambient air quality in a government designated "area of concern."


This article was first published in Environmental Health Perspectives and is available here: with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives.