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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(12), 1246; doi:10.3390/ijerph13121246

Fine Particulate Matter in Urban Environments: A Trigger of Respiratory Symptoms in Sensitive Children

1
Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Food Science, Valahia University of Targoviste, Aleea Sinaia No.13, RO-130004 Targoviste, jud. Dambovita, Romania
2
Faculty of Sciences and Arts, Valahia University of Targoviste, Bd. Unirii No.18-24, RO-130082 Targoviste, jud. Dambovita, Romania
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kim Natasha Dirks and Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3792 KB, uploaded 15 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

The overall objective of this research was to study children’s respiratory illness levels in Targoviste (Romania) in relationship to the outdoor concentrations of airborne particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter below 2.5 µm (PM2.5). We monitored and analysed the PM2.5 concentrations according to a complex experimental protocol. The health trial was conducted over three months (October–December 2015) and required the active cooperation of the children’s parents to monitor carefully the respiratory symptoms of the child, i.e., coughing, rhinorrhoea, wheezing, and fever, as well as their outdoor program. We selected the most sensitive children (n = 25; age: 2–10 years) with perturbed respiratory health, i.e., wheezing, asthma, and associated symptoms. The estimated average PM2.5 doses were 0.8–14.5 µg·day−1 for weekdays, and 0.4–6.6 µg·day−1 for the weekend. The frequency and duration of the symptoms decreased with increasing age. The 4- to 5-year old children recorded the longest duration of symptoms, except for rhinorrhoea, which suggested that this age interval is the most vulnerable to exogenous trigger agents (p < 0.01) compared to the other age groups. PM2.5 air pollution was found to have a direct positive correlation with the number of wheezing episodes (r = 0.87; p < 0.01) in November 2015. Monitoring of wheezing occurrences in the absence of fever can provide a reliable assessment of the air pollution effect on the exacerbation of asthma and respiratory disorders in sensitive children. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; multi-criteria approach; estimated dose; respiratory health; wheezing; fever; outdoor air quality PM2.5; multi-criteria approach; estimated dose; respiratory health; wheezing; fever; outdoor air quality
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dunea, D.; Iordache, S.; Pohoata, A. Fine Particulate Matter in Urban Environments: A Trigger of Respiratory Symptoms in Sensitive Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1246.

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