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Application of nasal lavage in studies on the respiratory effects of air pollution in school children

Toepassing van neuslavage in onderzoek naar de effecten van luchtverontreiniging op de luchtwegen van schoolkinderen

Synopsis

An epidemiological study was conducted from January to mid-April 1995 to assess the relationship between (urban) air pollution and respiratory health of children. Pulmonary function measurements and nasal lavages were performed every two weeks in children aged 7 to 12 years at one school in the city of Utrecht and another in the small town of Ermelo. During the study period the children performed daily peakflow measurements and kept a diary on respiratory symptoms and medication use. Ambient air pollution was measured daily by RIVM at the nearest measurement station. Rather novel in this study was the application of the nasal lavage technique, which can be helpful in detecting inflammation processes in the upper airways and partly mirror processes in the lower airways. At the end of the study period it appeared that air pollution levels had been constantly low throughout the study period, which made the calculated effect estimates unreliable. Therefore it has not been possible to relate pulmonary function measurements and nasal lavage results to variations in air pollution. Peakflow measurements and respiratory symptoms were not found to be related to air pollution, probably due to the relatively low air pollution levels.
 

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