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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 4831–4846 | Cite as

Analysis of the association between air pollution and allergic diseases exposure from nearby sources of ambient air pollution within elementary school zones in four Korean cities

  • H.-H. Kim
  • C.-S. Lee
  • J.-M. Jeon
  • S.-D. Yu
  • C.-W. Lee
  • J.-H. Park
  • D.-C. Shin
  • Y.-W. LimEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to survey elementary school students regarding the environmental conditions of their elementary schools and to assess the relationship between air pollution and allergic disease using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. Therefore, this study was designed as a cross-sectional study. In this study, seven elementary schools were selected and they were classified into three categories. The selection included one school with no traffic-related or other pollutants, three with traffic-related pollutants, and three with traffic-related and other pollutants from industrial and filling station sources. The ISAAC questionnaire survey was given to all of the students except to those in the 1st grade who were presumed to be less likely to be exposed to the school environment than the remainder of the students attending those seven schools. The assessment of allergic disease was conducted on a total of 4,545 students. Three school zones with critical exposure were selected within each school and they were evaluated based on the levels of black carbon (BC), PM10, SO2, NO2, and O3. There was a significant increase in the risks based on the odds ratios of treatment experiences (within 1 year) for allergy-related diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis (a) in the school group with traffic-related pollutants and the school group with complex pollutants were 2.12 (1.41–3.19) and 1.59 (1.06–2.37), respectively, in comparison to the school groups with no exposure to pollutants. This was determined based on the odds ratio of symptoms and treatment experiences for allergy-related diseases by group based on the home town zone as a reference. Also, in the case of atopic dermatitis, the odds ratio of treatment experiences (within 1 year) was 1.42 (1.02–1.97), which indicated elevated risks compared to the students in the S1 school. A regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between the substances and the symptomatic experiences within the last year. There were significant increases in the odds ratio of the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis and the BC and SO2 in the complex pollution areas. The results of the assessment of the relationship between atopic dermatitis-associated symptoms and O3 showed that the odds ratio increased with statistical significance.

Keywords

Air pollution Elementary school Allergic diseases ISAAC Traffic Complex source 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was carried out with the support of “Research of Air Pollution at School Zone (2011)” of the National Institute of Environmental Research, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-H. Kim
    • 1
  • C.-S. Lee
    • 1
  • J.-M. Jeon
    • 2
  • S.-D. Yu
    • 4
  • C.-W. Lee
    • 4
  • J.-H. Park
    • 1
  • D.-C. Shin
    • 3
  • Y.-W. Lim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Environmental ResearchYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringSuncheon First CollegeSuncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Preventive MedicineYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Environmental Health Research Division, Environmental Health Research Department, Ministry of EnvironmentNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonSouth Korea

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