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Environ Int. 2014 May;66:174-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.01.017. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Health risks caused by short term exposure to ultrafine particles generated by residential wood combustion: a case study of Temuco, Chile.

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Núcleo de Energías Renovables, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile. Electronic address:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad de los Andes, Chile.
Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Araucanía, Chile.
Núcleo de Energías Renovables, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile.
Hospital Clínico de la Universidad Mayor, Chile.


Temuco is one of the most highly wood smoke polluted cities in Chile; however, there is scarce evidence of respiratory morbidity due to fine particulate matter. We aimed to estimate the relationship between daily concentration of ultrafine particles (UFP), with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 0.1 μm, and outpatient visits for respiratory illness at medical care centers of Temuco, Chile, from August the 20th, 2009 to June the 30th, 2011. The Air Pollution Health Effects European Approach (APHEA2) protocol was followed, and a multivariate semi-parametric Poisson regression model was fitted with GAM techniques using R-Project statistical package; controlling for trend, seasonality, and confounders. The daily UFP were measured by a MOUDI NR-110 sampler. We found that results of the statistical analyses show significant associations between UFP and respiratory outpatient visits, with the elderly (population ≥ 65 years), being the group that presented the greatest risk. An interquartile increase of 4.73 μg/m(3) in UFP (lag 5 days) was associated with respiratory outpatient visits with a relative risk (RR) of 1.1458 [95% CI (1.0497-1.2507)] for the elderly. These results show novel findings regarding the relevance of daily UFP concentrations and health risk, especially for susceptible population in a wood smoke polluted city.


APHEA2; Chile; Relative risk; Residential wood combustion; Temuco; Ultrafine particles

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