Healthy Living, Children’s Respiratory Health, and Traffic-Related Air Pollution in an Underserved Community

This study characterizes the effects of traffic-related criteria air pollutants (particulate matter [PM]₂.₅, PM₁₀, ozone [O₃], nitrogen dioxide [NO₂]) on children with asthma living in near-road communities. The authors utilized portable air quality monitors to characterize air pollutants in near-road schools and conducted a concurrently panel-based respiratory health outcome study on a cohort of 23 asthmatic children aged between 6 and 12. Linear mixed effect models were used between air pollutant metric and effect estimates per interquartile range, 95 percent confidence intervals, and p-values. Effect modifications by significant factors were assessed for exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in 1-second responses. The near-road monitors exhibited strong correlations for all pollutants, especially among PM. At a 1-hour time resolution, moderate to high spatial heterogeneity was observed for all measured pollutants. At 24-hour time averages, O₃ and NO₂ were more ubiquitous than PM. Heterogeneity in PM was observed at both time resolutions. Short-term (daily maximum hour, 24-, 48-, 72-, and 96-hour averages) changes in traffic-related criteria pollutants were weakly associated with pulmonary inflammation and lung function in asthmatic children. The only statistically positive association between pollutant concentrations and eNO was observed at one school between eNO and 72-hour O₃, implying that an eNO increase might be more related to gaseous pollutants. Subjects’ lung functions decreased with increased 24-hour PM (PM₂.₅ or PM₁₀) concentration. Health insurance and cooking fuel were both significant factors in modifying the PM effect on decreased lung function. The authors found that a threshold of pollutant concentration for PM and other gaseous pollutants may exist such that a measurable response in eNO or lung functions can be observed. Furthermore, measurements could be highly obscured by the different chemical constituents of PM and medical control of asthmatic symptoms. Parents of asthmatic children tend to believe that exercise is not good for children with asthma. However, levels and durations of physical activities do not seem to have a direct relationship on airway inflammation or lung function in asthmatic children. In the short term, placement of natural barriers (e.g., shade trees, shrubs) at schools can mitigate the effects of air pollutants. In the long term, policy changes should integrate air monitoring into the consideration of where to locate elementary schools.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 223p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764524
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CARTEEH Project 4
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747128
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2021 10:10AM