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Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 32047

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LEPABE—Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente, Biotecnologia e Energia, Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: impact of air quality on public health; assessment and management of air quality; atmospheric emissions from shipping; indoor air quality and its impact on childhood asthma – epidemiology; low-cost sensors for air quality measurements; air quality modelling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution is responsible for approximately 6 million deaths per year, accounting for ambient and indoor air pollution. Children are especially vulnerable to environmental hazards, namely, regarding lung development, making them a risk group. Protecting the health of children and the environment is an essential objective for the health policies of any modern society and is also crucial for a sustainable development. Recent studies conducted around the world have been showing effects for very vulnerable periods of development, namely, intrauterine, perinatal, and early childhood. Air pollution is related to numerous diseases in children including low birth weight, asthma, cancer, and neurodevelopmental disorders, which are becoming more widespread. The full impact of air pollution is still not known, and most certainly is underdiagnosed, because exposure is still not well considered, and pollutants toxicity is yet not fully understood. This Special Issue will focus on the impact of air pollution on children’s health, especially on the early stages of their development, contributing to the advancement of this field of knowledge.

Dr. Sofia Sousa
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1957 KiB  
Article
Health and Economic Burden of the 2017 Portuguese Extreme Wildland Fires on Children
by Joana V. Barbosa, Rafael A. O. Nunes, Maria C. M. Alvim-Ferraz, Fernando G. Martins and Sofia I. V. Sousa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010593 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
Wildland fires release substantial amounts of hazardous contaminants, contributing to a decline in air quality and leading to serious health risks. Thus, this study aimed to understand the contributions of the 2017 extreme wildland fires in Portugal on children health, compared to 2016 [...] Read more.
Wildland fires release substantial amounts of hazardous contaminants, contributing to a decline in air quality and leading to serious health risks. Thus, this study aimed to understand the contributions of the 2017 extreme wildland fires in Portugal on children health, compared to 2016 (with burned area, in accordance with the average of the previous 15 years). The impact of long-term exposure to PM10 and NO2 concentrations, associated with wildland fires, on postneonatal mortality, bronchitis prevalence, and bronchitis symptoms in asthmatic children was estimated, as well as the associated costs. The excess health burden in children attributable to exposure to PM10 and NO2, was calculated based on WHO HRAPIE relative risks. Fire emissions were obtained from the Fire INventory from NCAR (FINN). The results obtained indicate that the smoke from wildfires negatively impacts children’s lung function (PM10 exposure: increase of 320 and 648 cases of bronchitis in 2016 and 2017; NO2 exposure: 24 and 40 cases of bronchitis symptoms in asthmatic children in 2016 and 2017) and postneonatal mortality (PM10 exposure: 0.2 and 0.4 deaths in 2016 and 2017). Associated costs were increased in 2017 by around 1 million € for all the evaluated health endpoints, compared to 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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8 pages, 520 KiB  
Article
The Combined Effects of Fine Particulate Matter and Temperature on Preterm Birth in Seoul, 2010–2016
by Youngrin Kwag, Min-ho Kim, Shinhee Ye, Jongmin Oh, Gyeyoon Yim, Young Ju Kim, Eunji Kim, Semi Lee, Tai Kyung Koh and Eunhee Ha
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041463 - 4 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2299
Abstract
Background: Preterm birth contributes to the morbidity and mortality of newborns and infants. Recent studies have shown that maternal exposure to particulate matter and extreme temperatures results in immune dysfunction, which can induce preterm birth. This study aimed to evaluate the association between [...] Read more.
Background: Preterm birth contributes to the morbidity and mortality of newborns and infants. Recent studies have shown that maternal exposure to particulate matter and extreme temperatures results in immune dysfunction, which can induce preterm birth. This study aimed to evaluate the association between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure, temperature, and preterm birth in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Methods: We used 2010–2016 birth data from Seoul, obtained from the Korea National Statistical Office Microdata. PM2.5 concentration data from Seoul were generated through the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. Seoul temperature data were collected from the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). The exposure period of PM2.5 and temperature were divided into the first (TR1), second (TR2), and third (TR3) trimesters of pregnancy. The mean PM2.5 concentration was used in units of ×10 µg/m3 and the mean temperature was divided into four categories based on quartiles. Logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between PM2.5 exposure and preterm birth, as well as the combined effects of PM2.5 exposure and temperature on preterm birth. Result: In a model that includes three trimesters of PM2.5 and temperature data as exposures, which assumes an interaction between PM2.5 and temperature in each trimester, the risk of preterm birth was positively associated with TR1 PM2.5 exposure among pregnant women exposed to relatively low mean temperatures (<3.4 °C) during TR1 (OR 1.134, 95% CI 1.061–1.213, p < 0.001). Conclusions: When we assumed the interaction between PM2.5 exposure and temperature exposure, PM2.5 exposure during TR1 increased the risk of preterm birth among pregnant women exposed to low temperatures during TR1. Pregnant women should be aware of the risk associated with combined exposure to particulate matter and low temperatures during TR1 to prevent preterm birth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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11 pages, 748 KiB  
Article
Is Short-Term Exposure to PM2.5 Relevant to Childhood Kawasaki Disease?
by Jongmin Oh, Ji Hyen Lee, Eunji Kim, Soontae Kim, Hae Soon Kim and Eunhee Ha
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030924 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
Background: Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute febrile vascular disease of unknown cause that affects the whole body. KD typically occurs in infants under the age of five and is found mainly in East Asian countries. Few studies have reported on the relationship [...] Read more.
Background: Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute febrile vascular disease of unknown cause that affects the whole body. KD typically occurs in infants under the age of five and is found mainly in East Asian countries. Few studies have reported on the relationship between the pollutant PM2.5 and KD, and the evidence remains irrelevant or insufficient. Objectives: We investigated the relationship between short-term exposure to PM2.5 and KD hospitalizations using data from Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, 2006 to 2016. Methods: We obtained data from the hospital EMR (electronic medical records) system. We evaluated the relationship between short-term exposure to PM2.5 and KD hospitalizations using a case-crossover design. We considered exposures to PM2.5 two weeks before the date of KD hospitalization. We analyzed the data using a conditional logistic regression adjusted for temperature and humidity. The effect size was calculated as a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration. We performed a subgroup analysis by sex, season, age group, and region. In the two-pollutants model, we adjusted SO2, NO2, CO, and O3, but the effect size did not change. Results: A total of 771 KD cases were included in this study. We did not find any statistically significant relationship between PM2.5 and children’s KD hospitalization (two-day moving average: odds ratio (OR) = 1.01, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.95, 1.06; seven-day moving average: OR = 0.98, CI = 0.91, 1.06; 14-day moving average: OR = 0.93, CI = 0.82, 1.05). A subgroup analysis and two pollutant analysis also found no significant results. Conclusion: We did not find a statistically significant relationship between PM2.5 and children’s KD hospitalizations. More research is needed to clarify the association between air pollution, including PM2.5, and KD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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21 pages, 5465 KiB  
Article
Effects of PM2.5 on Third Grade Students’ Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
by Casey Mullen, Sara E. Grineski, Timothy W. Collins and Daniel L. Mendoza
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186931 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 6933
Abstract
Fine particulate air pollution is harmful to children in myriad ways. While evidence is mounting that chronic exposures are associated with reduced academic proficiency, no research has examined the frequency of peak exposures. It is also unknown if pollution exposures influence academic proficiency [...] Read more.
Fine particulate air pollution is harmful to children in myriad ways. While evidence is mounting that chronic exposures are associated with reduced academic proficiency, no research has examined the frequency of peak exposures. It is also unknown if pollution exposures influence academic proficiency to the same degree in all schools or if the level of children’s social disadvantage in schools modifies the effects, such that some schools’ academic proficiency levels are more sensitive to exposures. We address these gaps by examining the percentage of third grade students who tested below the grade level in math and English language arts (ELA) in Salt Lake County, Utah primary schools (n = 156), where fine particulate pollution is a serious health threat. More frequent peak exposures were associated with reduced math and ELA proficiency, as was greater school disadvantage. High frequency peak exposures were more strongly linked to lower math proficiency in more advantaged schools. Findings highlight the need for policies to reduce the number of days with peak air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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12 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Passive Smoking Exposure and Perceived Health Status in Children Seeking Pediatric Care Services at a Vietnamese Tertiary Hospital
by Chau Quy Ngo, Giap Van Vu, Phuong Thu Phan, Hanh Thi Chu, Lan Phuong Thi Doan, Anh Tu Duong, Quan-Hoang Vuong, Manh-Tung Ho, Minh-Hoang Nguyen, Hong-Kong T. Nguyen, Hai Thanh Phan, Giang Hai Ha, Giang Thu Vu, Kiet Tuan Huy Pham, Tung Hoang Tran, Bach Xuan Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Cyrus S. H. Ho and Roger C. M. Ho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041188 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3858
Abstract
Understanding the predictors of health conditions and exposure to secondhand smoke among children is necessary to determine the severity of the issues and identify effective solutions. Despite the significant prevalence in smoking and child exposure to secondhand smoke, there have been only a [...] Read more.
Understanding the predictors of health conditions and exposure to secondhand smoke among children is necessary to determine the severity of the issues and identify effective solutions. Despite the significant prevalence in smoking and child exposure to secondhand smoke, there have been only a few studies focusing on this area in Vietnam, and thus the current study aims to fill in this gap. The questionnaires of 435 children aged between 0 and 6 and their caregivers, who agreed to participate in the research, were collected at the Pediatric Department of Bach Mai hospital, Hanoi, in 2016. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to identify factors associated with perceived health status and exposure to secondhand smoke among children in the last 24 h and the last 7 days from the date of the survey. Our study found that 43% of the respondents had smokers in the family, and 46.4% of children were exposed to passive smoking in the last 7 days. Urban children were most frequently exposed to passive smoking at home and in public, whereas in the rural area, the home and relatives’ houses were the most common places for exposure. Compared to children whose caregivers were farmers, children of non-government workers were more likely to be exposed to passive smoking in the last 7 days. Moreover, children in a family having smoking rules and no smokers were less likely to be exposed to passive smoking in the last 24 h and 7 days than those living in a family allowing smoking and having smokers. In conclusion, our study shows that the government needs to implement better public smoking monitoring and encourage caregivers to implement smoke-free households or smoking rules in their houses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
10 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
Nexus between Air Pollution and Neonatal Deaths: A Case of Asian Countries
by Asim Anwar, Muhammad Ayub, Noman Khan and Antoine Flahault
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214148 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3020
Abstract
The rapid economic growth in Asian countries has witnessed a persistent increase in air pollution complementing adverse health challenges for children in these countries. Quantification of health effects attributable to air pollution (PM2.5) is important in policy implications to tackle air [...] Read more.
The rapid economic growth in Asian countries has witnessed a persistent increase in air pollution complementing adverse health challenges for children in these countries. Quantification of health effects attributable to air pollution (PM2.5) is important in policy implications to tackle air pollution and associated health problems. This study aims to explore the nexus between air pollution and neonates’ deaths embedded in acute respiratory infection. We collected panel data from the 12 most vulnerable Asian countries over the period of 2000–2017 and analyzed through the fixed-effect model. Empirical results show a positive relation between air pollution, temperature, and neonates’ deaths in the studied Asian countries. The results have attested negative impacts of income and education while positive effect of population density on neonates’ deaths due to acute respiratory infection. Diagnostic and prognostic measures have checked the pace of the respiratory diseases caused by PM2.5 and resultant deaths in Asian countries; yet alarming factors, like mounting industrial air pollution and rapid expansion of industrial zones in urban areas, need to be addressed in policy implications for long term sustainable solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
12 pages, 1110 KiB  
Article
Ambient Air Pollution and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Korea: A Time-Stratified Case-Crossover Study
by Myung-Jae Hwang, Hae-Kwan Cheong and Jong-Hun Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183273 - 6 Sep 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4440
Abstract
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is an occasional cause of unexpected mortality in infancy. While various etiological factors have been hypothesized, air pollution has been consistently presented as an environmental factor. In this study, we aimed to estimate the risk of SIDS in [...] Read more.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is an occasional cause of unexpected mortality in infancy. While various etiological factors have been hypothesized, air pollution has been consistently presented as an environmental factor. In this study, we aimed to estimate the risk of SIDS in relation to exposure to air pollution and the effects of its modifying factors. A mortality dataset with supplementary infant mortality survey data from Statistics Korea was used and combined the concentration of ambient air pollution data from AirKorea based on the date of death and residential addresses of the SIDS cases. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated according to birthweight, gestational age, maternal age, and infant age using a time-stratified case-crossover study design. The risk of exposure to particulate matter of less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide was estimated. The number of deaths due to SIDS was 454 (253 males and 201 females). The OR per 27.8 µg/m3 increment of PM10 was 1.14 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03–1.25) and that per 215.8 ppb of CO was 1.20 (95% CI: 1.03–1.40) in all infants. In females, an increase in NO2 and CO levels was associated with a higher risk of SIDS in low-birthweight and preterm infants. The OR per 15.7 ppb increment in NO2 was highest among preterm infants, with a value of 5.12 (95% CI: 1.27–20.63), and low-birthweight individuals, with a value of 4.11 (95% CI: 1.74–9.72), at a moving average of 0 to 3 days. In males, however, no significant association was found. In the present study, exposure to air pollution was associated with an increased risk of SIDS. This association was more evident in susceptible infants with a low-birthweight or in cases of preterm birth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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10 pages, 1670 KiB  
Article
Bisphenol A, Tobacco Smoke, and Age as Predictors of Oxidative Stress in Children and Adolescents
by Roberto Bono, Valeria Bellisario, Roberta Tassinari, Giulia Squillacioti, Tilde Manetta, Massimiliano Bugiani, Enrica Migliore and Pavilio Piccioni
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112025 - 6 Jun 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3014
Abstract
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate bisphenol A (BPA) and its role in the induction of oxidative stress and confirm the same for tobacco smoke. Methods. A total of 223 young, healthy students (7–19 years old) were recruited in Chivasso, [...] Read more.
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate bisphenol A (BPA) and its role in the induction of oxidative stress and confirm the same for tobacco smoke. Methods. A total of 223 young, healthy students (7–19 years old) were recruited in Chivasso, Italy. A spot of urine of each subject was analyzed to quantify BPA, cotinine, and 15F2t-isoprostane. Results. BPA showed a slight increase of concentration proportional with increasing age, even though the 11–14 years age group had slightly lower results, inducing a V-shape. The same trend was observed for 15F2t-isoprostane and cotinine. The result of piecewise linear robust regression shows a break point of the effect of BPA on 15F2t-isoprostane at 6 ng/mg CREA (p < 0.001). At higher levels, 15F2t-isoprostane shows an exponential increase by more than threefold for each one-log unit of BPA. An increase of oxidative stress due to BPA was observed, but only from 6 ng/mg of CREA up. Passive tobacco smoke is also able to induce an increase in oxidative stress. Conclusion. Prevention against BPA and passive tobacco smoke represents an important tool for promoting the highest health standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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10 pages, 1102 KiB  
Article
Maternal Exposure to Particulate Matter during Pregnancy and Adverse Birth Outcomes in the Republic of Korea
by Yu Jin Kim, In Gyu Song, Kyoung-Nam Kim, Min Sun Kim, Sung-Hoon Chung, Yong-Sung Choi and Chong-Woo Bae
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040633 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3349
Abstract
Air pollution has become a global concern due to its association with numerous health effects. We aimed to assess associations between birth outcomes in Korea, such as preterm births and birth weight in term infants, and particulate matter < 10 µm (PM10 [...] Read more.
Air pollution has become a global concern due to its association with numerous health effects. We aimed to assess associations between birth outcomes in Korea, such as preterm births and birth weight in term infants, and particulate matter < 10 µm (PM10). Records from 1,742,183 single births in 2010–2013 were evaluated. Mean PM10 concentrations during pregnancy were calculated and matched to birth data by registered regions. We analyzed the frequency of birth outcomes between groups using WHO criteria for PM10 concentrations with effect sizes estimated using multivariate logistic regression. Women exposed to PM10 > 70 µg/m3 during pregnancy had a higher rate of preterm births than women exposed to PM10 ≤ 70 µg/m3 (7.4% vs. 4.7%, P < 0.001; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.570; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.487–1.656). The rate of low birth weight in term infants increased when women were exposed to PM10 > 70 µg/m3 (1.9% vs. 1.7%, P = 0.278), but this difference was not statistically significant (aOR 1.060, 95% CI: 0.953–1.178). In conclusion, PM10 exposure > 70 µg/m3 was associated with preterm births. Further studies are needed to explore the pathophysiologic mechanisms and guide policy development to prevent future adverse effects on birth outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Impact on Children’s Health)
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