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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 613; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060613

Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Emergency Room Visits for Respiratory Diseases in Spring Dust Storm Season in Lanzhou, China

College of Atmospheric Sciences, Key Laboratory of Semi-Arid Climate Change, Ministry of Education, Center for Meteorological Environment and Human Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract

Background: Air pollution has become a major global public health problem. A number of studies have confirmed the association between air pollutants and emergency room (ER) visits for respiratory diseases in developed countries and some Asian countries, but little evidence has been seen in Western China. This study aims to concentrate on this region. Methods: A time-series analysis was used to examine the specific effects of major air pollutants (PM10, SO2 and NO2) on ER visits for respiratory diseases from 2007 to 2011 in the severely polluted city of Lanzhou. We examined the effects of air pollutants for stratified groups by age and gender, accounting for the modifying effect of dust storms in spring to test the possible interaction. Results: Significant associations were found between outdoor air pollution concentrations and respiratory diseases, as expressed by daily ER visits in Lanzhou in the spring dust season. The association between air pollution and ER visits appeared to be more evident on dust days than non-dust days. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs per 10 µg/m3 increase in 3-day PM10 (L3), 5-day SO2 (L5), and the average of current and previous 2-day NO2 (L01) were 1.140 (1.071–1.214), 1.080 (0.967–1.205), and 1.298 (1.158–1.454), respectively, on dust days. More significant associations between PM10, SO2 and NO2 and ER visits were found on dust days for elderly females, elderly males and adult males, respectively. Conclusions: This study strengthens the evidence of dust-exacerbated ER visits for respiratory diseases in Lanzhou. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollutants; emergency room visits; respiratory system diseases; time-series; spring dust storm air pollutants; emergency room visits; respiratory system diseases; time-series; spring dust storm
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

Ma, Y.; Xiao, B.; Liu, C.; Zhao, Y.; Zheng, X. Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Emergency Room Visits for Respiratory Diseases in Spring Dust Storm Season in Lanzhou, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 613.

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