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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 557; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060557

Increased Risk of Respiratory Mortality Associated with the High-Tech Manufacturing Industry: A 26-Year Study

1
Takemi Program in International Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
5
Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
6
Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County 35053, Taiwan
7
Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
8
Global Health Center, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1759 KB, uploaded 16 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Global high-tech manufacturers are mainly located in newly industrialized countries, raising concerns about adverse health consequences from industrial pollution for people living nearby. We investigated the ecological association between respiratory mortality and the development of Taiwan’s high-tech manufacturing, taking into account industrialization and socioeconomic development, for 19 cities and counties—6 in the science park group and 13 in the control group—from 1982 to 2007. We applied a linear mixed-effects model to analyze how science park development over time is associated with age-adjusted and sex-specific mortality rates for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma and female COPD mortality rates decreased in both groups, but they decreased 9%–16% slower in the science park group. Male COPD mortality rates increased in both groups, but the rate increased 10% faster in the science park group. Science park development over time was a significant predictor of death from asthma (p ≤ 0.0001) and COPD (p = 0.0212). The long-term development of clustered high-tech manufacturing may negatively affect nearby populations, constraining health advantages that were anticipated, given overall progress in living standards, knowledge, and health services. National governments should incorporate the long-term health effects on local populations into environmental impact assessments. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment and public health; economic development; industrial development; socioeconomic factors; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease environment and public health; economic development; industrial development; socioeconomic factors; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
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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

Lin, R.-T.; Christiani, D.C.; Kawachi, I.; Chan, T.-C.; Chiang, P.-H.; Chan, C.-C. Increased Risk of Respiratory Mortality Associated with the High-Tech Manufacturing Industry: A 26-Year Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 557.

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