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1.  Maternal smoking during pregnancy, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and childhood lung function 
Thorax  2000;55(4):271-276.
BACKGROUND—Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during childhood and in utero exposure to maternal smoking are associated with adverse effects on lung growth and development.
METHODS—A study was undertaken of the associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy, exposure to ETS, and pulmonary function in 3357 school children residing in 12 Southern California communities. Current and past exposure to household ETS and exposure to maternal smoking in utero were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire completed by parents of 4th, 7th, and 10th grade students in 1993.Standard linear regression techniques were used to estimate the effects of in utero and ETS exposure on lung function, adjusting for age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, height, weight, asthma, personal smoking, and selected household characteristics.
RESULTS—In utero exposure to maternal smoking was associated with reduced peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (-3.0%, 95% CI -4.4 to -1.4), mean mid expiratory flow (MMEF) (-4.6%, 95% CI -7.0 to -2.3), and forced expiratory flow (FEF75) (-6.2%, 95% CI -9.1 to -3.1), but not forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). Adjusting for household ETS exposure did not substantially change these estimates. The reductions in flows associated with in utero exposure did not significantly vary with sex, race, grade, income, parental education, or personal smoking. Exposure to two or more current household smokers was associated with reduced MMEF (-4.1%, 95% CI -7.6 to -0.4) and FEF75 (-4.4%, 95% CI -9.0 to 0.4). Current or past maternal smoking was associated with reductions in PEFR and MMEF; however, after adjustment for in utero exposure, deficits in MMEF and FEF75 associated with all measurements of ETS were substantially reduced and were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS—In utero exposure to maternal smoking is independently associated with decreased lung function in children of school age, especially for small airway flows.

PMCID: PMC1745733  PMID: 10722765
2.  Effect of spirometer temperature on FEV1 in a longitudinal epidemiological study 
OBJECTIVES: To assess the magnitude of error in pulmonary function measurements introduced by variation in spirometer temperature under field conditions. In a large scale epidemiological study of school children, the influence was investigated of spirometer temperature on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) measured with dry rolling seal volumetric spirometers and conventional body temperature, pressure, and saturation (BTPS) corrections. METHODS: Linear regression analyses were performed on data from 995 test-retest pairs on 851 different children, with 1-110 days between test and retest, and spirometer temperature differences between -13 degrees C and +9 degrees C. RESULTS: After adjusting for effects of growth (test-retest intervals) and circadian variation (changes in times of testing), differences in standard BTPS corrected FEV1 showed significant (p < 0.05) dependence on differences in spirometer temperature between tests (-0.24%/degree C). CONCLUSIONS: When spirometer temperatures vary widely, standard BTPS correction does not fully adjust for gas contraction. To improve accuracy of volume measurements in epidemiological studies, additional correction for variation in spirometer temperature should be considered.
PMCID: PMC1757668  PMID: 10658554
3.  Air pollution and bronchitic symptoms in Southern California children with asthma. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1999;107(9):757-760.
The association of air pollution with the prevalence of chronic lower respiratory tract symptoms among children with a history of asthma or related symptoms was examined in a cross-sectional study. Parents of a total of 3,676 fourth, seventh, and tenth graders from classrooms in 12 communities in Southern California completed questionnaires that characterized the children's histories of respiratory illness and associated risk factors. The prevalences of bronchitis, chronic phlegm, and chronic cough were investigated among children with a history of asthma, wheeze without diagnosed asthma, and neither wheeze nor asthma. Average ambient annual exposure to ozone, particulate matter (PM(10) and PM(2.5); [less than/equal to] 10 microm and < 2.5 microm in aerodynamic diameter, respectively), acid vapor, and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) was estimated from monitoring stations in each community. Positive associations between air pollution and bronchitis and phlegm were observed only among children with asthma. As PM(10) increased across communities, there was a corresponding increase in the risk per interquartile range of bronchitis [odds ratio (OR) 1.4/19 microg/m(3); 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-1.8). Increased prevalence of phlegm was significantly associated with increasing exposure to all ambient pollutants except ozone. The strongest association was for NO(2), based on relative risk per interquartile range in the 12 communities (OR 2.7/24 ppb; CI, 1.4-5.3). The results suggest that children with a prior diagnosis of asthma are more likely to develop persistent lower respiratory tract symptoms when exposed to air pollution in Southern California.
PMCID: PMC1566453  PMID: 10464077
4.  Acid fog: effects on respiratory function and symptoms in healthy and asthmatic volunteers. 
Acidic air pollutants generally are dissolved in water droplets. Mean droplet diameter may range from more than 10 microns in dense fog to less than 1 micron at low relative humidity. Droplet size influences the deposition of inhaled acid within the respiratory tract and thus may influence toxicity. To help assess health risks from acid pollution, we performed controlled exposures of normal and asthmatic volunteers to sulfuric acid aerosols at nominal concentrations of 0 (control), 500, 1000, and 2000 micrograms/m3. Exposures lasted 1 hr with intermittent heavy exercise. Response was assessed by lung function tests and symptom questionnaires. Under foggy conditions (mean droplet size 10 microns, temperature 50 degrees F), no marked effects on lung function were found. However, both normal and asthmatic subjects showed statistically significant dose-related increases in respiratory symptoms. In a separate study, normal subjects exposed at 70 degrees F with mean droplet size 0.9 microns showed no marked effect on function or symptoms. Asthmatics showed dose-related decrements in forced expiratory performance and increases in symptoms, most obvious at 1000 and 2000 micrograms/m3. The different results of the two studies probably reflect an influence of droplet size, but further investigation is needed to confirm this. The aggregate results suggest that only mild, if any, short-term respiratory irritant effects are likely at acid concentrations attained in ambient pollution.
PMCID: PMC1567570  PMID: 2707195
5.  Potential risks to human respiratory health from "acid fog": evidence from experimental studies of volunteers. 
Observations of high acidity (pH as low as 1.7) in fogwater collected in polluted areas have provoked concern for public health. Effects of exposure to acidic pollutants have not been studied under foggy conditions; thus there is no directly relevant information from which to estimate the health risk. Indirectly relevant information is available from numerous studies of volunteers exposed to "acid fog precursors" under controlled conditions at less than 100% relative humidity. The effect of fog in modifying responses to inhaled acidic pollutants is difficult to predict: depending on circumstances, fog droplets might either increase or decrease the effective dose of pollutants to the lower respiratory tract. Fog inhalation per se may have unfavorable effects in some individuals. Sulfur dioxide is known to exacerbate airway constriction in exercising asthmatics, at exposure concentrations attainable in ambient air. Nitrogen dioxide has shown little untoward respiratory effect at ambient concentrations in most studies, although it has been suggested to increase bronchial reactivity. Sulfuric acid aerosol has shown no clear effects at concentrations within the ambient range. At somewhat higher levels, increased bronchial reactivity and change in mucociliary clearance have been suggested. Almost no information is available concerning nitric acid.
PMCID: PMC1568485  PMID: 3000761

Results 1-5 (5)