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Sci Total Environ. 2011 Dec 1;410-411:80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.09.078. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Proximity to wood factories and hospitalizations for respiratory diseases in children.

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Unit of Epidemiology & Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy.



Exposure to air pollutants emitted by wood industries has been associated with increased prevalence of respiratory and irritation symptoms.


To study whether proximity to wood industries was associated with risk of hospitalization for respiratory diseases in children.


In December 2006, the large majority of the children (3-14 years) living in the Viadana district (Northern Italy) were surveyed through a parental questionnaire (n=3854). Hospital discharge records for respiratory diseases (2002-2006) were obtained from the local Health Unit. The children were geocoded and the distance from their home/school to the wood industries was used as exposure indicator. Poisson regression models were used to assess the association between the distance and hospitalizations.


The hospitalization rates for respiratory diseases increased with proximity to the wood industries: they were 7.55 (95% CI 5.58, 10.22) ×1000 person-year for those who lived far from any wood industry, 11.84 (95% CI 8.87, 15.81) ×1000 person-year for those <2km from the small wood factories and 16.61 (95% CI: 13.57, 20.33) ×1000 person-year for those living within 2km from the two big chipboard industries.


Proximity to wood industries is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization for respiratory diseases and respiratory symptoms in children. Studies with direct measures of exposure are needed and a follow-up of exposed population is advisable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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