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Air pollution morbidity along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The rapid increase in population near highways and roads along the United States-Mexico border has raised concerns about the health impact or urban air pollution on children with asthma. Sarnat et al. (p. 437) studied 58 asthmatic children from two schools in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and two schools in El Paso, Texas. Health outcomes (exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), a marker of airway inflammation, and respiratory symptom surveys] and pollutant measurements (indoor and outdoor 48-hr size-fractionated particulate matter, 48-hr black carbon, and 96-hr nitrogen dioxide) were collected at each school for 16 weeks. Small associations were observed between eNO and pollutants, with estimated increases in eNO of 1--3% per interquartile range increase in pollutant concentrations. Effect estimates from models using school-based concentrations were generally stronger than were corresponding estimates based on concentrations from ambient air monitors. Traffic-related and non--traffic-related particles were typically more robust predictors of eNO than was nitrogen dioxide. Associations differed significantly across the four school-based cohorts, consistent with heterogeneity in pollutant concentrations and cohort characteristics. The authors conclude that air pollution exposure has adverse effects on the subclinical respiratory health of children with asthma and suggest that using air pollution monitors near schools might be beneficial in tracking exposure and potential health risks in this susceptible population.
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Title Annotation:CHILDREN'S HEALTH
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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