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Environ Pollut. 2017 Sep;228:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.013. Epub 2017 May 10.

The influence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on lung function in a representative sample of the Canadian population.

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Population Studies Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada. Electronic address:
Population Studies Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada.
Department of Biomedical Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON Canada.


We investigated the associations between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and selected respiratory physiologic measures in cycles 2 and 3 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, a nationally representative population sample. Using generalized linear mixed models, we tested the association between selected PAH metabolites and 1-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and the ratio between the two (FEV1/FVC) in 3531 people from 6 to 79 years of age. An interquartile change in urinary PAH metabolite was associated with significant decrements in FEV1 and FVC for eight PAHs, 2-hydroxynapthalene, 1-, and 2-hydroxyphenanthrene, 2-, 3-, and 9-hydroxyfluorene and 3- and 4-hydroxyphenanthrene. Exposure to PAH may negatively affect lung function in the Canadian population.


Epidemiology; Lung function; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Population health

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