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Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 1996 Dec;12(12):657-69.

[Air pollution and its health effects on residents in Taiwanese communities].

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Abstract

The are a number of particular features of air pollution in Taiwan, as described below: (1) In Taiwan area, the air load of pollutants is more serious than previously reported. (2) There exists severe air pollution throughout the island. (3) Industry is the major source of pollution. (4) No demarcation exists between plants and residential quarters. (5) There is a high concentration of pollutants indoors/outdoors. The influence of air pollution spreads over all aspects of physical health, primarily on the respiratory tract, causing lung cancer and exaggerating cardiovascular diseases. A few Taiwanese studies are reviewed below which deserve more elaboration. (1) Use PM10 for indexing health effect. The annual average value of PM10 in Taiwan has been around 70 micrograms/m3 in 1994. Dr. Schwarz indicated that no safety margin could be derived; for each additional 10 micrograms/ m3 of PM10, the death number could be increased by 1% on the basis of Western studies. (2) Research with reference to lung cancer cases in the Kaohsiung Medical College Hospital. Living within 3 km of industrial district counted for 9% of cases and caused a 6-fold increase in the risk of disease for people living more than 20 years in the case control study for lung cancer. (3) Death due to cancer of inhabitants close to petroleum and petrochemical industries. For youths and children below 20 years, cancers related to brain tumors were 2-4 fold of what was expected deaths. Analysis of another petrochemical complex in Chienchen, Kaohsiung, revealed the inhabitants within 1 km showed a higher standardized mortality ratio for cancers of the lung, kidney, urinary bladder, and leukemia than was to be expected. (4) Lower lung function and higher incidence of respiratory diseases among residents near a coal-fired power plant (within 3 Km) compared to residents who lived further away from the plant (3-11 Km). (5) Lead contamination around a kindergarten near a battery recycling plant. There was increased lead absorption among children of the exposed kindergarten and its this was associated with the extent of air and soil pollution in the surrounding area. In considering above limited epidemiologic evidence, the following recommendations are presented: (1) to conduct investigation promptly for the correlation of air pollution to disease morbidity and death of inhabitants of Taiwan. (2) to reevaluate ambient air quality standards on the basis of Taiwanese health studies. (3) to assess the analytical data of past records on the concentrations of air pollutants. (4) collection of surcharge fee for air pollution. (5) Regulation for compensation of pollution victims among industry. (6) development of environmental health related industries. (7) Participation of various parties who are concerned the environmental health. One thing is certain, everyong would be able to breath air which, as far as possible, is clean.

PMID:
9011124
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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