Measurement of offline exhaled nitric oxide in a study of community exposure to air pollution

Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Oct;111(13):1625-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.6160.


As part of a large panel study in Seattle, Washington, we measured levels of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) in children's homes and fixed-site particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters of 2.5 micro m or less (PM(2.5)) outside and inside the homes as well as personal PM(2.5) during winter and spring sessions of 2000-2001. Nineteen subjects 6-13 years of age participated; 9 of the 19 were on inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy. Exhaled breath measurements were collected offline into a Mylar balloon for up to 10 consecutive days. Mean eNO values were 19.1 (SD +/- 11.4) ppb in winter sessions and 12.5 +/- 6.6 ppb in spring sessions. Fixed-site PM(2.5) mean concentrations were 10.1 +/- 5.7 microg/m(3) outside homes and 13.3 +/- 1.4 inside homes; the personal PM(2.5) mean was 13.4 +/- 3.2 microg/m(3). We used a linear mixed-effects model with random intercept and an interaction term for medications to test for within-subject-within-session associations between eNO and various PM(2.5) values. We found a 10 microg/m(3) increase in PM(2.5) from the outdoor, indoor, personal, and central-site measurements that was associated with increases in eNO in all subjects at lag day zero. The effect was 4.3 ppb [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4-7.29] with the outdoor monitor, 4.2 ppb (95% CI, 1.02-7.4) for the indoor monitor, 4.5 ppb (95% CI, 1.02-7.9) with the personal monitor, and 3.8 ppb (95% CI, 1.2-6.4) for the central monitors. The interaction term for medication category (ICS users vs. nonusers) was significant in all analyses. These findings suggest that eNO can be used as an assessment tool in epidemiologic studies of health effects of air pollution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Child
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Free Radical Scavengers / analysis*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Respiration


  • Air Pollutants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Nitric Oxide