Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 95–102

Effects of air pollution on the respiratory health of children: a study in the capital city of India


DOI: 10.1007/s11869-010-0079-2

Cite this article as:
Siddique, S., Ray, M.R. & Lahiri, T. Air Qual Atmos Health (2011) 4: 95. doi:10.1007/s11869-010-0079-2


Urban air pollutants cause a wide range of acute and chronic effects on the respiratory system of children that can be devastating. In this study, the respiratory health of children was assessed in the capital city of India where the level of air pollution is much above the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The study was carried out in Delhi, and the findings were compared with those of rural West Bengal and Uttaranchal. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was determined through a structured respiratory symptomlogy questionnaire and personal interviews. Air quality data were collected from Central and State Pollution Control Boards and also obtained by direct measurements using a portable aerosol monitor. Based on the data collected on the cohort of children participating in this study, 32.1% of children in Delhi suffered from respiratory problems in contrast to 18.2% of rural children (control). The respiratory symptoms were more prevalent in girls than in boys. A strong, statistically significant positive association was observed between PM10 level in Delhi’s air and the prevalence of lower respiratory tract symptoms.


Air pollutionChildrenDelhiPM10Respiratory health

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shabana Siddique
    • 1
  • Manas R. Ray
    • 2
  • Twisha Lahiri
    • 3
  1. 1.Air Contaminants Lab, Exposure and Biomonitoring Division, Environmental Health, Science & Research BureauHealth Canada (AL-0800C)OttawaCanada
  2. 2.Chittaranjan National Cancer InstituteKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Nature, Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)KolkataIndia