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Jalaludin B.,Center for Research | Jalaludin B.,University of New South Wales | Cowie C.,Center for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation
Reviews on Environmental Health

Worldwide, there were over 3 million deaths attributable to exposure to excessive levels of particulate air pollution in 2010. This is similar to the number of deaths attributable to high blood sugar (3.4 million) but less than the number of deaths attributed to smoking (5.7 million) and excessive alcohol consumption (5.0 million). Globally, ambient particulate air pollution was the ninth leading cause of premature deaths, and most of the disease attributable to exposure to ambient particulate air pollution is cardiovascular disease. Short-term and longterm exposures to outdoor particulate matter pollution are associated with a range of adverse cardiovascular health effects such as heart rate variability, development of atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, stroke, and deaths. Despite this, there is not the same recognition of particulate air pollution as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality compared to the more established risk factors such as cigarette smoking and hypertension. It is now time to reevaluate the contribution of particulate air pollution to cardiovascular disease. Source

Salonen H.,Queensland University of Technology | Salonen H.,Finnish Institute of Occupational Health | Duchaine C.,Laval University | Duchaine C.,University of Quebec | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology

Endotoxins can significantly affect the air quality in school environments. However, there is currently no reliable method for the measurement of endotoxins, and there is a lack of reference values for endotoxin concentrations to aid in the interpretation of measurement results in school settings. We benchmarked the "baseline" range of endotoxin concentration in indoor air, together with endotoxin load in floor dust, and evaluated the correlation between endotoxin levels in indoor air and settled dust, as well as the effects of temperature and humidity on these levels in subtropical school settings. Bayesian hierarchical modeling indicated that the concentration in indoor air and the load in floor dust were generally (<95th percentile) <13 EU/m 3 and <24,570 EU/m2, respectively. Exceeding these levels would indicate abnormal sources of endotoxins in the school environment and the need for further investigation. Metaregression indicated no relationship between endotoxin concentration and load, which points to the necessity for measuring endotoxin levels in both the air and settled dust. Temperature increases were associated with lower concentrations in indoor air and higher loads in floor dust. Higher levels of humidity may be associated with lower airborne endotoxin concentrations. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Mazaheri M.,Queensland University of Technology | Clifford S.,Queensland University of Technology | Clifford S.,Center for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation | Jayaratne R.,Queensland University of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology

There has been considerable scientific interest in personal exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP). In this study, the inhaled particle surface area doses and dose relative intensities in the tracheobronchial and alveolar regions of lungs were calculated using measured 24-h UFP time series of school children personal exposures. Bayesian hierarchical modeling was used to determine mean doses and dose intensities for the various microenvironments. Analysis of measured personal exposures for 137 participating children from 25 schools in the Brisbane Metropolitan Area showed similar trends for all participating children. Bayesian regression modeling was performed to calculate the daily proportion of children's total doses in different microenvironments. The proportion of total daily alveolar doses for home, school, commuting, and other were 55.3%, 35.3%, 4.5%, and 5.0%, respectively, with the home microenvironment contributing a majority of children's total daily dose. Children's mean indoor dose was never higher than the outdoor's at any of the schools, indicating there were no persistent indoor particle sources in the classrooms during the measurements. Outdoor activities, eating/cooking at home, and commuting were the three activities with the highest dose intensities. Children's exposure during school hours was more strongly influenced by urban background particles than traffic near the school. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Toms L.-M.L.,Queensland University of Technology | Mazaheri M.,Queensland University of Technology | Brommer S.,University of Birmingham | Clifford S.,Queensland University of Technology | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Research

PBDE concentrations are higher in children compared to adults with exposure suggested to include dust ingestion. Besides the home environment, children spend a great deal of time in school classrooms which may be a source of exposure. As part of the "Ultrafine Particles from Traffic Emissions and Children's Health (UPTECH)" project, dust samples (n=28) were obtained in 2011/12 from 10 Brisbane, Australia metropolitan schools and analysed using GC and LC-MS for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -17, -28, -47, -49, -66, -85, -99, -100, -154,-183, and -209.σ11PBDEs ranged from 11-2163ng/g dust; with a mean and median of 600 and 469ng/g dust, respectively. BDE-209 (range n.d. -2034ng/g dust; mean (median) 402 (217)ng/g dust) was the dominant congener in most classrooms. Frequencies of detection were 96%, 96%, 39% and 93% for BDE-47,-99,-100 and -209, respectively. No seasonal variations were apparent and from each of the two schools where XRF measurements were carried out, only two classroom items had detectable bromine. PBDE intake for 8-11 year olds can be estimated at 0.094ng/day BDE-47; 0.187ng/day BDE-99 and 0.522ng/day BDE-209 as a result of ingestion of classroom dust, based on mean PBDE concentrations. The 97.5% percentile intake is estimated to be 0.62, 1.03 and 2.14ng/day for BDEs-47, -99 and -209, respectively. These PBDE concentrations in dust from classrooms, which are higher than in Australian homes, may explain some of the higher body burden of PBDEs in children compared to adults when taking into consideration age-dependant behaviours which increase dust ingestion. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Fajersztajn L.,University of Sao Paulo | De Oliveira Alves N.,University of Sao Paulo | De Souza Zanotti Staglionario Coelho M.,University of Sao Paulo | De Souza Zanotti Staglionario Coelho M.,Center for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation | And 4 more authors.

This special issue of URBE dedicated to Ecological Urbanism focuses on the role architects, landscape designers and urban planners can play in promoting healthier cities in Latin America. In this paper, we survey some of the empirical evidence that links the built environment with particular health outcomes. For many centuries, urban settlements were associated with adverse health outcomes, especially related to untreatable epidemics. As the science of disease transmission developed throughout the nineteenth century, the infrastructure of cities was transformed to promote improved public health. Significant gains were made, but in much of the world - Latin America included - urban health still remains a major challenge, all the more so as drug resistant strains of disease have become more prevalent. We believe Ecological Urbanism offers a promising framework for addressing these challenges. Distinguished by its integrated, multi-disciplinary foundation, Ecological Urbanism directly links both population and habitat health. This creates a natural opportunity for the design professions to play a more consequential role in shaping the health of urban settlements and, by extension, the regions they center. Source

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