Respiratory symptoms in children and indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide and gas stoves

Maria H. Garrett, Martin A. Hooper, Beverley M. Hooper, Michael J. Abramson

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Nitrogen dioxide levels were measured in 80 homes in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia, using passive samplers. Some 148 children between 7 and 14 yr of age were recruited as study participants, 53 of whom had asthma. Health outcomes for the children were studied using a respiratory questionnaire, skin prick tests, and peak flow measurements. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations were low, with an indoor median of 11.6 μg/m3 (6.0 ppb), and a maximum of 246 μg/m3 (128 ppb). Respiratory symptoms were more common in children exposed to a gas stove (odds ratio 2.3 [95% Cl 1.0-5.2], adjusted for parental allergy, parental asthma, and sex). Nitrogen dioxide exposure was a marginal risk factor for respiratory symptoms, with a dose-response association present (p = 0.09). Gas stove exposure was a significant risk factor for respiratory symptoms even after adjusting for nitrogen dioxide levels (odds ratio 2.2 [1.0-4.8]), suggesting an additional risk apart from the average nitrogen dioxide exposure associated with gas stove use. Atopic children tended to have a greater risk of respiratory symptoms compared with nonatopic children with exposure to gas stoves or nitrogen dioxide, but the difference was not significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-895
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998

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