Vegetation fires, particulate air pollution and asthma: A panel study in the Australian monsoon tropics

F JOHNSTON, R Webby, Louis Pilotto, Ross Stewart Bailie, David Parry, S HALPIN

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We examined the relationship between particulate matter (PM) <10 and <2.5 microns in diameter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) generated by vegetation fires and daily health outcomes in 251 adults and children with asthma over a 7-month period. Data were analysed using generalized estimating equations adjusted for potential environmental confounders, autocorrelation, weekends and holidays. PM 10 ranged from 2.6 - 43.3 ?g m -3and was significantly associated with onset of asthma symptoms, commencing oral steroid medication, the mean daily symptom count and the mean daily dose of reliever medication. Similar results were found for PM 2.5. No associations were found with the more severe outcomes of asthma attacks, increased health care attendances or missed school/work days. These results help fill a gap in the evidence about the population health impacts of lower levels of pollution characteristic of deliberate landscape burning to control fuel loads versus the better documented risks of more intense and severely polluting wildfires. � 2006 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-404
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
    Volume16
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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