Respiratory symptoms in children and indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide and gas stoves

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Sep;158(3):891-5. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.158.3.9701084.


Nitrogen dioxide levels were measured in 80 homes in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia, using passive samplers. Some 148 children between 7 and 14 yr of age were recruited as study participants, 53 of whom had asthma. Health outcomes for the children were studied using a respiratory questionnaire, skin prick tests, and peak flow measurements. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations were low, with an indoor median of 11.6 microgram/m3 (6.0 ppb), and a maximum of 246 microgram/m3 (128 ppb). Respiratory symptoms were more common in children exposed to a gas stove (odds ratio 2.3 [95% CI 1. 0-5.2], adjusted for parental allergy, parental asthma, and sex). Nitrogen dioxide exposure was a marginal risk factor for respiratory symptoms, with a dose-response association present (p = 0.09). Gas stove exposure was a significant risk factor for respiratory symptoms even after adjusting for nitrogen dioxide levels (odds ratio 2.2 [1.0-4.8]), suggesting an additional risk apart from the average nitrogen dioxide exposure associated with gas stove use. Atopic children tended to have a greater risk of respiratory symptoms compared with nonatopic children with exposure to gas stoves or nitrogen dioxide, but the difference was not significant.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cough / etiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Female
  • Fossil Fuels* / adverse effects
  • Household Articles*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Male
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / adverse effects*
  • Parents
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate / physiology
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology*
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Air Pollutants
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Nitrogen Dioxide