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Arch Environ Health. 1999 Mar-Apr;54(2):130-9.

Effects of particulate and gaseous air pollution on cardiorespiratory hospitalizations.

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  • 1Environmental Health Directorate, Health Canada, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa.


We obtained data on daily numbers of admissions to hospital in Toronto, Canada, from 1980 to 1994 for respiratory, cardiac, cerebral vascular, and peripheral vascular diseases. We then linked the data to daily measures of particulate mass less than 10 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM10), particulate mass less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), and particulate mass between 2.5 and 10 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM10-2.5), ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Air pollution was only associated weakly with hospitalization for cerebral vascular and peripheral vascular diseases. We controlled for temporal trends and climatic factors, and we found that increases of 10 microg/m3 in PM10, PM2.5, and PM10-2.5 were associated with 1.9%, 3.3%, and 2.9% respective increase in respiratory and cardiac hospital admissions. We further controlled for gaseous pollutants, and the percentages were reduced to 0.50%, 0.75%, and 0.77%, respectively. Of the 7.72 excess daily hospital admissions in Toronto attributable to the atmospheric pollution mix, 11.8% resulted from PM2.5, 8.2% to PM10-2.5, 17% to carbon monoxide, 40.4% to nitrogen dioxide, 2.8% to sulfur dioxide, and 19.8% to ozone.

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