Respiratory conditions among schoolchildren and their relationship to environmental tobacco smoke and other combustion products

Arch Environ Health. Mar-Apr 1995;50(2):112-8. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1995.9940888.


The purpose of this study was to examine possible links between respiratory conditions among schoolchildren and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and other home and community exposures. More than 8,000 second- and fifth-grade schoolchildren who lived in three towns along the Israeli coast were administered pulmonary function tests, and their parents completed standardized health questionnaires. The prevalence of the most reported respiratory conditions was found to be higher, some of them significantly so, among children whose fathers or mothers were smokers, compared with children of non-smoking parents. Most respiratory conditions were reported significantly more often for children who were growing up in medium- and highly polluted communities than for children from low-polluted areas. House heating with kerosene or gas was seldom associated with higher prevalence of respiratory conditions among children. No consistent r trend of reduced pulmonary function tests was associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, with community pollution, or with house heating pollution. In conclusion, exposure of schoolchildren to their parents' cigarette smoke and to community air pollution is associated with higher prevalence of respiratory conditions, whereas house heating does not appear to be a public health problem in Israel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Heating / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution