Acute effects of summer air pollution on respiratory symptom reporting in children

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Nov;150(5 Pt 1):1234-42. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.150.5.7952546.


A daily diary of respiratory symptoms was collected from the parents of 1,844 school children in six U.S. cities to study the association between ambient air pollution exposures and respiratory illness. A cohort of approximately 300 elementary school children in each of six communities were asked to keep a daily log of the study child's respiratory symptoms for one year. Daily measurements of ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, inhalable particles (PM10), respirable particles (PM2.5), light scattering, and sulfate particles were made, along with integrated 24-h measures of aerosol strong acidity. The analyses were limited to the five warm season months between April and August. Significant associations were found between incidence of coughing symptoms and incidence of lower respiratory symptoms and PM10, and a marginally significant association between upper respiratory symptoms and PM10. There was no evidence that other measures of particulate pollution including aerosol acidity were preferable to PM10 in predicting incidence of respiratory symptoms. Significant associations in single pollutant models were also found between sulfur dioxide or ozone and incidence of cough, and between sulfur dioxide and incidence of lower respiratory symptoms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cough / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ozone / adverse effects
  • Ozone / analysis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Seasons*
  • Sulfur Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Sulfur Dioxide / analysis
  • Temperature


  • Air Pollutants
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen Dioxide