Background: Due to the complex interplay among different urban-related exposures, a comprehensive approach is advisable to estimate the health effects. We simultaneously assessed the effect of “green”, “grey” and air pollution exposure on respiratory/allergic conditions and general symptoms in schoolchildren. Methods: This study involved 219 schoolchildren (8–10 years) of the Municipality of Palermo, Italy. Data were collected through questionnaires self-administered by parents and children. Exposures to greenness and greyness at the home addresses were measured using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), residential surrounding greyness (RSG) and the CORINE land-cover classes (CLC). RSG was defined as the percentage of buffer covered by either industrial, commercial and transport units, or dump and construction sites, or urban fabric related features. Two specific categories of CLC, namely “discontinuous urban fabric - DUF” - and “continuous urban fabric - CUF” - areas were found. Exposure to traffic-related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was assessed using a Land-Use Regression model. A symptom score ranging from 0 to 22 was built by summing affirmative answers to twenty-two questions on symptoms. To avoid multicollinearity, multiple Logistic and Poisson ridge regression models were applied to assess the relationships between environmental factors and self-reported symptoms. Results: A very low exposure to NDVI ≤0.15 (1st quartile) had a higher odds of nasal symptoms (OR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.07–2.03]). Children living in CUF areas had higher odds of ocular symptoms (OR = 1.49, 95% CI [1.10–2.03]) and general symptoms (OR = 1.18, 95% CI [1.00–1.48]) than children living in DUF areas. Children living in proximity (≤200 m) to High Traffic Roads (HTRs) had increased odds of ocular (OR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.31–2.17]) and nasal symptoms (OR = 1.49, 95% CI [1.12–1.98]). A very high exposure to NO2 ≥ 60 μg/m3 (4th quartile) was associated with a higher odds of general symptoms (OR = 1.28, 95% CI [1.10–1.48]). No associations were found with RGS. A Poisson ridge regression model on the symptom score showed that children living in proximity to HTRs (≤200 m) had a higher symptoms score (RR = 1.09, 95% CI [1.02–1.17]) than children living > 200 m from HTRs. Children living in CUF areas had a higher symptoms score (RR = 1.11, 95% CI [1.03–1.19]) than children living in DUF areas. Conclusions: Multiple exposures related to greenness, greyness (measured by CORINE) and air pollution within the urban environment are associated with respiratory/allergic and general symptoms in schoolchildren. No associations were found when considering the individual exposure to greyness measured using the RSG indicator.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis