Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Association between [PM.Sub.10] and Respiratory Hospital Admissions in Different Seasons in Heavily Polluted Lanzhou City

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Association between [PM.Sub.10] and Respiratory Hospital Admissions in Different Seasons in Heavily Polluted Lanzhou City

Article excerpt

Introduction

Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed the associations between air pollutants, especially particulate matter, and human health (Dominici et al., 2006; Schwartz, 1994; Schwartz et al., 1996; Tecer, Alagha, Karaca, Tuncel, & Eldes, 2008; Zanobetti, Schwartz, & Dockery, 2000). For example, Schwartz has shown that in the U.S., the number of hospital admissions increased 2.48% per day (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.82%-3.15%) subject to an interquartile range (IQR) determined by particulate matter less than 10 [micro]m in diameter ([PM.sub.10]) concentrations (Schwartz, 1999). Lee and co-authors (2000) found that in seven major cities across South Korea, total suspended particulate (TSP) and sulfur dioxide (S[O.sub.2]) were significantly related to the all-cause mortality. If these two pollutants increased per 100 [micro]g/[m.sup.3] and 50 parts per billion (ppb), the mortality would increase 0.5%-4% and 1%-12%, respectively. It was also reported that when the daily concentration of the fine particulate matter ([PM.sub.2.5]) increased per 10 [micro]g/[m.sup.3], total mortality and cardiopulmonary mortality would increase 13% (95% Cl: 4.4%-23%) and 17% (95% CI: 5.8%-42%), respectively (Dockery et al., 1993). Similar results have also been summarized by an American Cancer Society project, which concluded that total mortality and cardiopulmonary mortality increased 4%-13% induced by an increase of daily [PM.sub.2.5] at 10 [micro]g/[m.sup.3] (Pope et al., 1995; Pope et al., 2002). Meng and co-authors (2006, 2007, 2008) investigated the relationship between the atmospheric particles from sand-dust weather and daily number of outpatients with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in China and found that atmospheric particles from sand-dust weather may increase the number of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

As primary air pollutants, atmospheric particles have been significantly affecting China's urban air quality, especially in cities in northern China. Located in northwest China and characterized by extensive petrochemical, metallurgy, and machinery industries, Lanzhou has been ranked one of most polluted cities in China and the world, and a top [PM.sub.10]--contaminated city in China (World Health Organization, 2011). Heavy air pollution in Lanzhou has been also attributed to its typical mountain-valley topography, which forces a very stable atmospheric stratification, weak winds, and strong inversions. Concern has been raised about the impact of [PM.sub.10] pollution on the health of local residents. To address this concern, our study quantitatively assessed the relationship between the change in inhalation of daily averaging concentration of atmospheric particles and the number of respiratory hospital admissions for different seasons in Lanzhou, aiming also to provide insight into how reducing environmental pollution would help protect people from respiratory disease.

Methods

Materials

Disease Data

Disease data from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2005, were collected from four major general hospitals in Lanzhou whose locations are illustrated in Figure 1. These data have been coded by the International Classification of Diseases 10th revision (ICD-10) for the respiratory diseases (ICD-10: J00-99). The data excluded those diseases caused by unintentional injuries or surgeries as well as those caused primarily by other human activities. In general, over 60% of local residents mainly choose these hospitals for diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases.

Air Pollutant Data

The daily averaged concentrations for three major pollutants ([PM.sub.10], S[O.sub.2], and nitrogen dioxide [N[O.sub.2]]) from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2005, in Lanzhou were collected from the Lanzhou Environmental Monitoring Stations. These stations are part of a national network that conducts regular measurements of criteria air pollutants and reports daily monitored data to the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency. …

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