Air pollution exposure and the health impact on school children in Asian cities

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Air pollution exposure and the health impact on school children in Asian cities

 

Author: Lee, Sin Hang
Title: Air pollution exposure and the health impact on school children in Asian cities
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2015
Subject: School children -- Health and hygiene -- Asia.
Air -- Pollution -- Health aspects -- Asia.
Transportation -- Environmental aspects -- Asia.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Pages: xiii, 155 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2827232
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8281
Abstract: This study relates the pulmonary function of school children to the air quality they are exposed to inside and outside classrooms as well as on route to school using various public transport modes and walking in three Asian cities. The study focuses on primary Grades 5 and 6 pupils from schools in Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Nepal and Hanoi, Vietnam. A health record questionnaire was distributed to the schools and completed by the parents of sampled pupils. Each sampled pupil also had to fill in the daily travelling activity logbook for a week. They were also required to take a pulmonary function test. The living style in the three sampled cities is very different. Most of the sampled students travelled to school on foot in Hong Kong and Nepal; however, 70% of the sampled students cycled to school in Vietnam. Beside the mode of transport to and from school, there are also large differences in the percentage of children keeping pets at home between the cities. In Hong Kong, only 13% of sampled students reported keeping pets at home, which is the lowest percentage of the three cities. Kathmandu, Nepal reported the highest percentage with 42.6% of sampled students keeping pets at home and Vietnam reported 37.5%. Statistical ANCOVA analyses were applied for testing the significance of the differences. The results showed that boys had a significantly better pulmonary function value than girls. The result is similar to previous researches. The pulmonary function values of the three sampled cities were further compared by ANCOVA. The result shows that Nepal has the poorest performance for children's lung function. In Hong Kong, the ANCOVA results showed that there is a significant difference in the pupil's lung function according to mode of transportation. Therefore, the air sampling was carried out inside the vehicles along the routes to school in the morning and returning home in the evening. The air sampling results revealed that those pupils who travelled by school buses had the poorest pulmonary function. This may well be explained by the poor air quality in school buses. The best air quality was found on trains. Children who travelled by rail to school had the best pulmonary function performance. Stepwise regression was further applied to identify the significant contributors to pulmonary function. The parameters "family member smokes inside home", "height", "gender" and "weight" were shown to have significant contributions to the lung function value. Examining the change of R-square, we identified that “family member smokes inside home has the major contribution to the model, representing around 1325% information of the model. Finally a statistical regression model was developed to quantify the effect of each factor influencing pulmonary function. "Family member smoking inside home" is great effect on allergic rhinitis. In Nepal, 326 students were sampled in ten schools. Statistical ANCOVA showed that there was a significant difference in children's pulmonary function among sampled schools and gender. A negative correlation between CO concentration and children's pulmonary function was identified. In Vietnam, 511 students were sampled in ten schools. The results were similar to the Nepal study in that a significant difference was found in pulmonary function (FEV1) among the sampled schools and children keeping furry pet at home in the last 12 months. The correlation between pulmonary function and indoor air quality showed negatively for all indoor sampled air pollutants (PM10, CO and TVOC), indicating the air quality had significant impacts on children's pulmonary function.

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