Estimated long-term ambient concentrations of PM10 and development of respiratory symptoms in a nonsmoking population

Arch Environ Health. Mar-Apr 1995;50(2):139-52. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1995.9940891.


Site- and season-specific regressions of particulates less than 10 mu in diameter (PM10) on total suspended particulates (TSPs) were formed throughout California during years when both were monitored. The regressions were then applied to monitored TSPs for the years 1973 to 1987, and indirect estimates of PM10 were formed. These estimates of PM10 were validated by interpolating them to other monitoring stations. The split-halves correlation between the estimated and monitored mean concentrations, obtained when both were first cumulated for a 2-y period, was .86. Indirect estimates of PM10 at monitoring stations were interpolated, by month, to zip code centroids of home and work location and were cumulated for a cohort of 3,914 California Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) nonsmokers. Multivariate analyses, adjusted for several covariates, showed statistically significant (p < .05), but small, positive associations between PM10 and development of (a) definite symptoms of overall airway obstructive disease, (b) chronic productive cough, and (c) increased severity of airway obstructive disease and asthma. The relative risk (RR) associated with 1,000 h/y (42 d) exposure to concentrations of PM10 that exceeded 100 micrograms/m3 for development of airway obstructive disease was 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02, 1.33); for development of productive cough, the RR was 1.21 (CI 1.02, 1.44); and for development of asthma, the RR was 1.30 (CI, 0.97, 1.73). Stronger associations were observed for those who were exposed occupationally to dusts and fumes. The RR of developing airway obstructive disease as an adult for those who had airway obstructive disease as a child was 1.66 (CI 1.15, 2.33).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Christianity
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk


  • Air Pollutants