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Is it feasible to construct a community profile of exposure to industrial air pollution?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tanja Pless-Mulloli, Professor Raj Bhopal CBE, Professor Peter Phillimore, Professor Suzanne Moffatt, John Edwards


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Objective - An epidemiological investigation to assess the validity of residential proximity to industry as a measure of community exposure. Methods - 19 Housing estates in Teesside (population 1991: 77 330) in north east England were grouped into zones: A=near; B=intermediate; C=further from industry. With residential proximity of socioeconomically matched populations as a starting point a historical land use survey, historical air quality reports, air quality monitoring, dispersion modelling data, and questionnaire data, were examined. Results - The populations in zones A, B, and C were similar for socioeconomic indicators and smoking history. Areas currently closest to industry had also been closest for most of the 20th century. Historical reports highlighted the influence of industrial emissions to local air quality, but it was difficult to follow spatial pollution patterns over time. Whereas contemporary NO(x) and benzene concentrations showed no geographical variation, dispersion modelling of emissions (116 industrial stacks, traffic, and domestic sources) showed a gradient associated with industry. The presumed exposure gradient of areas by proximity to industry (A>B>C) was evident for all of zone A and most of zones B and C. Conclusions - It was feasible to assemble a picture of community exposure by integration of measurements from different sources. Proximity of residence was a reasonable surrogate for complex community exposure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pless-Mulloli T, Dunn C, Bhopal R, Phillimore PR, Moffatt S, Edwards J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Year: 2000

Volume: 57

Issue: 8

Pages: 542-549

Print publication date: 01/01/2000

ISSN (print): 1351-0711

ISSN (electronic): 1470-7926


DOI: 10.1136/oem.57.8.542

PubMed id: 10896961


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