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Title: Indoor air pollution, second-hand smoke exposure and respiratory health symptoms among Malaysian schoolchildren
Author: Zainal Abidin, Emilia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 0611
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen.
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Background: Exposure to indoor air pollutants has been associated with poorer respiratory health in children. This study investigates the respiratory health of Malaysian schoolchildren in relation to indoor air pollution. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 2,164 schoolchildren aged 10-11 years in urban and semi-rural schools. Parents completed a questionnaire and concentrations of air pollutants were measured in schools. SHS exposure was assessed using salivary cotinine. Results: The WHO Air Quality Guideline for PM2.5 was exceeded for most of the semi-rural schools while almost all of the urban schools exceeded the annual exposure limit for NO2. The Geometric Mean salivary cotinine concentrations for non-smoking schoolchildren were 0.47 ng/ml. The 3 main predictors of nocturnal cough were the presence of a current smoker at home (OR 1.97; 95% CI: 1.31-2.96), the absence of exhaust system in the kitchen (OR 1.67; 95% CI: 1.03-2.68) and the use of air conditioning (OR 3.10; 95% CI: 1.37-5.71). Exposure to SHS of ≥4 hours per day (OR 2.53; 95% CI: 1.55-4.14) explained approximately 6.0% of the likelihood of reporting doctor-diagnosed asthma. For the measure of asthma severity, NO2 and log average family size were the 2 predictors of limited speech during wheeze; NO2 concentrations of >50 μg/m3 contributes an OR of 5.98 (95% CI: 1.02-34.9) and log average family size with an OR of 14.6 (95% CI: 1.70-126). Conclusion: This study has identified that many Malaysian schoolchildren experience exposure to air pollution indoors that exceeds WHO guidance limits for several pollutants. There was no clear relationship between traffic-generated air pollutants and children’s respiratory health but there was a strong relationship between the number of hours children were exposed to SHS and asthma. There is a need for increased enforcement of existing smoke-free legislation and policies to reduce children’s exposure to SHS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Indoor air pollution ; Asthma in children ; Children