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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


QUIROZ-ARCENTALES, Leonardo et al. PM10 exposure-related respiratory symptoms and disease in children living in and near five coal-mining areas in the Cesar department of Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.66-79. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objectives Establishing the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and disease in children aged less than 12 years-old living within the Cesar department's coal-mining area and possible associated factors. Methods This was a cross-sectional study of 1,627 children aged less than 10 years-old living in and near coal-mining areas in the Cesar department who were exposed to different levels of PM10 from 2008-2010; their PM10 exposure-related symptoms and respiratory diseases were measured, seeking an association with living in areas exposed to particulate material. Results Children living in areas close to coal-mining activity which also had high traffic volume had a higher rate of probable cases of asthma; those living in areas with traffic (not no coal-mining) were absent from school for more days due to acute respiratory disease. Respiratory symptoms were most commonly found in children experiencing living conditions which exposed them to cigarette or firewood smoke indoors, living in houses made with wattle and daub or adobe walls, living where animals were kept, living in damp housing and diesel-powered dump trucks operating within 100 m or less of their housing. Living in areas having high traffic volume increased the risk of respiratory symptoms, acute respiratory disease and being absent from school. Discussion All the effects studied were associated with intramural conditions, individual factors or those associated with the immediate surroundings thereby coinciding with results found in similar studies regarding air pollution and health. It is thus suggested that regional strategies and policy be created for controlling and monitoring the air quality and health of people living in the Cesar department.

Keywords : Air quality; coal-mining; environmental health.

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