Levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5 and Respiratory Health Impacts on School-Going Children in Kenya
Were, Faridah H
Wafula, Godfrey A
Lukorito, Cromwel B
Kamanu, Timothy K K
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Background: The respiratory system of children is vulnerable to exposure to particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of less than 2.5 and 10 μm (PM2.5 and PM10) or even lower. Objective: This study assessed PM10 and PM2.5 levels and respiratory health impacts on children in schools located in an industrialized suburb in Kenya. Method: The PM10 and PM2.5 levels were sampled from five public primary schools in Athi River Township and a control school during the wet and dry seasons. Outdoor and classroom samples were collected concurrently on an 8-hour mean during school hours on two consecutive days in each school and analyzed using gravimetric techniques. Five hundred and seventy-eight (n = 578) pupils aged 9-14 years from these schools were also evaluated for symptoms of respiratory illnesses and lung function using a questionnaire and spirometric method, respectively, during the same periods. Results: Indoor median PM10 levels (μg/m3) ranged from 60.8-269.1 and 52.8-232.3 and PM2.5 values (μg/m3) of 17.7-52.4 and 28.5-75.5 during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. The control classrooms had significantly (p <0.05) lower median PM10 levels (μg/m3) of 5.2 and 4.2, and PM2.5 levels (μg/m3) of 3.5 and 3.0 during the respective seasons. Nearly all the classrooms in Athi River schools had PM2.5 and PM10 median levels that exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels. The indoor-to-outdoor ratios varied from 0.35-1.40 and 0.80-2.40 for PM10 and 0.30-0.80 and 0.80-1.40 for PM2.5 during the dry and wet seasons, respectively, suggesting higher levels in the classrooms during the wet season. The relative risk (RR) and odds ratio (OR) presented higher prevalence of respiratory diseases following PM exposure in all the Athi River schools than the control during the dry and wet seasons. At 95% CI, the RR and OR showed strong associations between high PM10 and PM2.5 levels and lung function deficits and vice versa. The association was more prevalent during the wet season.
CitationWere FH, Wafula GA, Lukorito CB, Kamanu TKK. Levels of PM10 and PM2.5 and Respiratory Health Impacts on School-Going Children in Kenya. J Health Pollut. 2020 Aug 19;10(27):200912. doi: 10.5696/2156-9614-10.27.200912. PMID: 32874768; PMCID: PMC7453813.
University of Nairobi
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