Effects of low-level winter air pollution concentrations on respiratory health of Dutch children

Environ Res. 1994 Feb;64(2):136-50. doi: 10.1006/enrs.1994.1012.


During three consecutive winters acute effects of air pollution on respiratory health of more than 1000 children living in four nonindustrial communities in the Netherlands have been investigated. Each child performed between 6 and 10 pulmonary function tests on predetermined days. The occurrence of acute respiratory symptoms in the children was registered in a daily diary filled out by the parents of the children for periods of 3 months. Exposure to air pollution was characterized by the ambient concentration of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, PM10, fine particle sulfate, fine particle nitrate, and nitrous acid. No major winter air pollution episode occurred during these winters. Concentrations of acid aerosol were low. A weak negative association between the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, PM10, aerosol sulfate, aerosol nitrate, nitrous acid, and pulmonary function was found. Sulfur dioxide concentration was not associated with pulmonary function. No association of the concentration of the measured pollutants with daily incidence and prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms was found.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Nitrates / adverse effects
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Nitrous Acid / adverse effects
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory System / drug effects
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Seasons
  • Sulfates / adverse effects
  • Sulfur Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Temperature


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Nitrates
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Nitrous Acid