This study assessed the association between ambient PM(10) pollution and daily hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Reno-Sparks, Nevada, for the period 1990-1994. All three hospitals in the region were included. There was a total of 3115 admissions for COPD during this period. Daily ambient PM(10) values were available from one of seven air monitoring stations in this region. Weather variables including temperature and wind speed were also collected from this station. The daily average concentration of PM(10) was 36.55 microg/m(3). The generalized additive model (GAM) was used in the whole analysis. After adjusting for the effects of weather variables, day of week, seasons, and time trend, the results show that PM(10) is a statistically significant predictor for daily hospital admissions for COPD. The relative risk (RR) of hospital admissions for COPD for an interquartile increase (26.6 microg/m(3)) of the 24-h average level of PM(10) is 1.049 (95% CI 1.011-1.087).