Background An important aspect of sand dust emissions in association with respiratory disorders is the quantity of particulate matter. This is usually expressed as particulate matter less than 10 μm (PM 10 ) and 2.5 μm (PM 2.5 ). However, the composition of PM 10 and PM 2.5 varies. Light detection and ranging is used to monitor sand dust particles originating in East Asian deserts and distinguish them from air pollution aerosols. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the daily levels of sand dust particles and pulmonary function in schoolchildren in western Japan. Methods In this panel study, the peak expiratory flow (PEF) of 399 schoolchildren was measured daily from April to May 2012. A linear mixed model was used to estimate the association of PEF with the daily levels of sand dust particles, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and PM 2.5. Results There was no association between the daily level of sand dust particles and air pollution aerosols, while both sand dust particles and air pollution aerosols had a significant association with SPM and PM 2.5 . An increment of 0.018 km -1 in sand dust particles was significantly associated with a decrease in PEF (-3.62 L/min; 95% confidence interval, -4.66 to -2.59). An increase of 14.0 μg/m 3 in SPM and 10.7 μg/m 3 in PM 2.5 led to a significant decrease of -2.16 L/min (-2.88 to -1.43) and -2.58 L/min (-3.59 to -1.57), respectively, in PEF. Conclusions These results suggest that exposure to sand dust emission may relate to pulmonary dysfunction in children in East Asia.
Watanabe, M., Noma, H., Kurai, J., Kato, K., Sano, H., Tatsukawa, T., … Shimizu, E. (2016). Association between pulmonary function and daily levels of sand dust particles assessed by light detection and ranging in schoolchildren in western Japan: A panel study. Allergology International, 65(1), 56–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2015.07.005