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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2016 Jul;219(4-5):372-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Respiratory hospital admission risk near large composting facilities.

Author information

1
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: p.douglas@imperial.ac.uk.
2
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Department of Biostatistics, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; Department of Health Services and Population Research, King's College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: ioannis.bakolis@kcl.ac.uk.
3
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: d.fecht@imperial.ac.uk.
4
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: clare.pearson@kcl.ac.uk.
5
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: lealsanchezmaria@gmail.com.
6
Environment Agency, Evidence Directorate, Deanery Road, Bristol, United Kingdom. Electronic address: rob.kinnersley@environment-agency.gov.uk.
7
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address: c.dehoogh@unibas.ch.
8
Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Public Health and Primary Care, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, United Kingdom. Electronic address: a.hansell@imperial.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Large-scale composting can release bioaerosols in elevated quantities, but there are few studies of health effects on nearby communities.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional ecological small area design was used to examine risk of respiratory hospital admissions within 2500m of all 148 English large-scale composting facilities in 2008-10. Statistical analyses used a random intercept Poisson regression model at Census Output Area (COA) level (mean population 310). Models were adjusted for age, sex, deprivation and tobacco sales.

RESULTS:

Analysing 34,963 respiratory hospital admissions in 4656 COAs within 250-2500m of a site, there were no significant trends using pre-defined distance bands of >250-750m, >750-1500m and >1500-2500m. Using a continuous measure of distance, there was a small non-statistically significant (p=0.054) association with total respiratory admissions corresponding to a 1.5% (95% CI: 0.0-2.9%) decrease in risk if moving from 251m to 501m. There were no significant associations for subgroups of respiratory infections, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

CONCLUSION:

This national study does not provide evidence for increased risks of respiratory hospital admissions in those living beyond 250m of an outdoor composting area perimeter. Further work using better measures of exposure and exploring associations with symptoms and disease prevalence, especially in vulnerable groups, is recommended to support regulatory approaches.

KEYWORDS:

Asthma; Bioaerosol; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Compost; Hospitalization; Respiratory health

PMID:
27061055
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.03.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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