Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Indoor Environmental Factors and Occurrence of Lung Function Decline in Adult Residents in Summer in Southwest China

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Indoor Environmental Factors and Occurrence of Lung Function Decline in Adult Residents in Summer in Southwest China

Article excerpt


Concern over the part of indoor air pollution in the damaging of human health has recently increased. People spend more than 80%-90% of their time indoors, especially at home; therefore, a good indoor air quality (IAQ) is crucial. There are conflicting reports on the respiratory health effects of indoor risk factor exposure, including fuel combustion, environmental tobacco smoke and allergen. Some studies reported adverse outcomes of exposure to indoor environment risk factors (1, 2), whereas, few studies reported absence of any association between adverse health effect and the similar exposure (3).

Biological or chemical exposure to biomass smoke, cooking oil fumes, mold, dampness, cockroach, rodent and dust mite allergens, and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) can have adverse health effects on the adult lung function level. To illustrate, previous studies have linked exposure to mold to worse lung function in asthmatic patients (4). Dampness in the home has been linked to lung function decline (5). Allergic sensitization via cockroach and mouse al- lergens can be triggering mechanisms for a decrease in lung function among atopic individuals (6). Other potential indoor risk factors include active and passive smoking, positively correlated with a decline in lung function among susceptible populations (7).

Zunyi has rich reservation of coal, with high levels of air pollution. There is a large demand for coal for cooking and baking in households in summer. The combustion of coal and natural gas in poorly ventilated homes exposes children and adults to high levels of particulate matter and other aero contaminants. In addition, Zunyi is one of China's least sunny cities with relative humidity of above 80% in summer season. Its summer has a wet, hot and gloomy climate, predisposed to indoor mold (or fungi) growth. For many people, the risks to respiratory health may be greater due to exposure to excessively high indoor pollutants from poorly ventilated household stoves. A better understanding of seasonal exposure in urban China and the relative contribution of behavioral and household structural factors to personal exposure is important for estimating the global disease burden attributable to indoor air pollution.

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between indoor environmental risk factors and occurrence of lung function decline in adult residents in summer in Zunyi City of Southwest China.

Materials and Methods

Study Design and Location

A cross-sectional investigation was conducted for lung function level among adult residents in Zunyi, the largest city in the north of Guizhou Province, that has 11 inner-city areas, including Laocheng (LC) Road, Wangli (WL) Road, Zhonghua (ZH) Road, Nanmenguan (NMG) Road, Yanan (YA) Road, Zhoushuiqiao (ZSQ) Road, Zhongshan (ZS) Road, Beijing (BJ) Road, Shanghai (SH) Road, Xima (XM) Road, and Dalian (DL) Road, covering an area of approximately 105 km2, with a population of about 900000. Eleven communities in 11 inner-city areas in Zunyi were randomly selected and investigated.

The first family was selected by simple random sampling of the residential address number in each community. All adult family members present at the residence who met the inclusion criteria were selected. After that, neighbors living in a residence next door who met the inclusion criteria were recruited and interviewed. If no one was at home, the interviewer returned up to three times before moving to another family next door. If the selected family refused to participate or could not be found, neighbors living in the next residence who met the inclusion criteria were recruited. This procedure was repeated for every house among the selected houses until the targeted number of participants was recruited. The residents were asked to complete the consent form and questionnaire at home.

Inclusion criteria for the studied community were no factories/plants within the selected community. …

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