Traffic-related air pollution: exposure and health effects in Copenhagen street cleaners and cemetery workers

Arch Environ Health. May-Jun 1995;50(3):207-13. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1995.9940389.

Abstract

This questionnaire-based study found a significantly higher prevalence of chronic bronchitis, asthma, and several other symptoms in 116 Copenhagen street cleaners who were exposed to traffic-related air pollution at levels that were slightly lower than the 1987 World Health Organization-recommended threshold values, compared with 115 Copenhagen cemetery workers exposed to lower pollution levels. Logistic regression analysis, controlling for age and smoking, was conducted, and odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to be 2.5 for chronic bronchitis (95% confidence interval = 1.2-5.1), 2.3 for asthma (95% confidence interval = 1.0-5.1), and 1.8-7.9 for other symptoms (95% confidence interval = 1.0-28.2). Except for exposure to air pollution, the two groups were comparable, i.e., they had similar terms of employment and working conditions. The exposure ranges during an 8-h work day, averaged from readings taken at five monitored street positions, were: 41-257 ppb nitric oxide (1-h max: 865 ppb); 23-43 ppb nitrogen dioxide (1-h max: 208 ppb); 1.0-4.3 ppm carbon monoxide (8-h max: 7.1 ppm); 14-28 ppb sulfur dioxide (1-h max: 112 ppb); and 10-38 ppb ozone (1-h max: 72 ppb).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Bronchitis / chemically induced
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cough / chemically induced
  • Denmark
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ozone / analysis
  • Smoking
  • Sulfur Dioxide / analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vehicle Emissions / toxicity*

Substances

  • Air Pollutants
  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Ozone
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide