Gaseous Pollutants and Particulate Matter (PM) in Ambient Air and the Number of New Cases of Type 1 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Biomed Res Int. 2020 Feb 11;2020:1648264. doi: 10.1155/2020/1648264. eCollection 2020.


The increase in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) incidence in children is worrying and not yet fully explored. It is suggested that probably air pollution exposure could contribute to the development of T1DM. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between the concentration of gaseous pollutants including, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM) in the air, and the number of new cases of T1DM in children. The number of new cases of T1DM was obtained from the Clinic of Paediatrics, Diabetology, and Endocrinology, Medical University of Gdańsk. The number of children of 0-18 years old in Pomeranian Voivodeship was acquired from the Statistical Yearbook. The concentrations of PM10 absorbance, NO2, NOx, SO2, and CO were measured at 41 measuring posts, between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016. It was detected that the average annual concentration of PM10 was higher than the value acceptable to the WHO. Furthermore, the average 24-hour concentration of PM10 was 92 μg/m3 and was higher compared to the acceptable value of 50 μg/m3 (acc. to EU and WHO). Moreover, the number of new cases of T1DM showed a correlation with the annual average concentration of PM10 (β = 2.396, p < 0.001), SO2 (β = 2.294, p < 0.001), and CO (β = 2.452, p < 0.001). High exposure to gaseous pollutants and particulate matter in ambient air may be one of the factors contributing to the risk of developing T1DM in children. Therefore, it is important to take action to decrease air pollutant emissions in Poland. It is crucial to gradually but consistently eliminate the use of solid fuels, such as coal and wood in households, in favour of natural gas and electricity. The development of new technologies to improve air quality, such as "best available techniques" (BAT) or renewable energy sources (water, wind, and solar generation) is of critical importance as well.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Particulate Matter / administration & dosage*
  • Poland / epidemiology


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter