Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIEHS-funded researchers find low-level ozone increases respiratory risk of asthmatic children

09.10.2003


New evidence gathered in a study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences suggests that asthmatic children who use maintenance medication are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ground-level ozone, even at levels well below the federal standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency.



Their research results were published Oct. 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was conducted at the Yale University School of Medicine. NIEHS is one of the federal National Institute of Health.

"Although the 1-hour average ozone levels in our study were well below the federal standard, statistical analysis revealed that for every 50 parts per billion increase in ozone, the likelihood of asthma symptoms the following day increased by more than 35 percent among asthmatic children on maintenance medication," said Brian Leaderer, Ph.D., the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University and principal investigator for the study.


Asthma, an inflammatory disorder of the airways that is characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing, can be triggered by inhaled allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, molds or pollens. But researchers have also shown that air pollutants such as ground-level ozone, an active form of oxygen that is the prime ingredient of urban smog, and fine particulate matter, which includes dust, dirt, smoke and soot from a variety of natural and man-made sources, can significantly aggravate asthma symptoms.

Repeated exposures to ozone and fine particles at or above the federal standards can irritate or damage sensitive tissue in the airways and lungs, making breathing even more difficult for asthmatics and causing more attacks, increased use of medication, and more visits to hospital emergency clinics. Children are particularly vulnerable to these exposures because their respiratory systems are still developing, and they tend to spend more time in outdoor activities than do adults.

Earlier studies of children with asthma living in highly polluted regions, such as Mexico City and Los Angeles, all concluded that exposure to ozone and fine particles in excess of 120 parts per billion (ppb) and 65 micrograms per cubic meter ( g/m3), respectively, greatly increased the risk for respiratory symptoms. "We wanted to design a study that examined the effects of air pollution on a particularly vulnerable population - children with active asthma - in regions where pollution levels were somewhat lower than those in major metropolitan areas," said Leaderer.

Study participants included 271 asthmatic children living in Connecticut and the Springfield area of Massachusetts during the spring and summer of 2001. The investigators conducted monthly interviews with the mothers to obtain information on each child’s daily wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and asthma medication use. Daily measurements of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter were provided by the Departments of Environmental Protection of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Although mean 1-hr average ozone concentrations measured only 59 ppb, variations in daily levels had a profound effect on the respiratory symptoms of those who used maintenance medication. A 50 ppb increase in 1-hr ozone was associated with a 35 percent increase in wheezing, and a 47 percent increase in chest tightness. The highest ozone levels were associated with increased shortness of breath and rescue medication use.

However, the investigators did not find a significant relationship between the children’s exposure to fine particulate matter and daily respiratory symptoms or rescue medication use. Furthermore, no exposure-dependent outcomes were observed for either pollutant category among children who did not use maintenance medication.

"Our results suggest that ground-level ozone is strongly associated with adverse health effects in children with asthma, even at levels below the current federal standards," said Leaderer.

Other co-investigators from Yale University include Janneane Gent, Ph.D., Elizabeth Triche, Ph.D., Theodore Holford, Ph.D., Kathleen Belanger, Ph.D., and Michael Bracken, Ph.D., along with William Beckett, M.D., at the University of Rochester.

John Peterson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>