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Diesel exposure model reduces allergy risk assessment errors

CINCINNATI -- University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health experts say their research improves prior methods of classifying exposure to diesel exhaust particulates that help minimize inaccuracies and better predict a childs risk for wheezing.

Many prior air pollution studies rely heavily on what are known as proximity (distance) exposure models, which assume all subjects in a given distance from an exposure sourcefor example, a major interstate highwayare equally exposed.

Pat Ryan, lead author of the UC study, says that isnt necessarily true in urban environments, where infants are exposed to a large number of pollutants, and he advocates using the so-called land-use regression model.

"Unlike proximity models," says Ryan, "land use regression lets us consider more complex exposure factorslike elevation and the type or number of passing vehiclesin our initial assessment. This allows us to create buffers around specific sample sites and control for factors influencing that locations overall diesel exposure levels."

Specific models are needed for evaluating exposure levels in large cities to accurately determine exposure levels and identify populations at risk for high exposure to air pollutants, Ryan says.

He will present the UC teams findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Diego on Feb. 26.

Ryan and his coauthors analyzed data from 622 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) who were identified as being at greater risk for developing allergies because at least one of their parents had allergies.

The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates and certain types of traffic on childhood respiratory health and allergy development. All infants in the study had at least one parent with k
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Contact: Amanda Harper
harperad@ucmail.uc.edu
513-558-4657
University of Cincinnati
26-Feb-2007


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