Yonsei Med J.  2005 Apr;46(2):239-244. 10.3349/ymj.2005.46.2.239.

Effects of Air Pollutants on Childhood Asthma

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea. dhyunlim@inha.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Epidemiologic studies have suggested the association between environmental exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the increased risk of incurring asthma. Yet there is little data regarding the relationship between personal exposure to air pollution and the incidence of asthma in children. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of exposure to air pollution on children with asthma by using exposure biomarkers. We assessed the exposure level to VOCs by measuring urinary concentrations of hippuric acid and muconic acid, and PAHs by 1-OH pyrene and 2-naphthol in 30 children with asthma and 30 children without asthma (control). The mean level of hippuric acid was 0.158+/-0.169micromol/mol creatinine in the asthma group and 0.148+/-0.249micromol/mol creatinine in the control group, with no statistical significance noted (p=0.30). The mean concentration of muconic acid was higher in the asthma group than in the control group (7.630+/-8.915micromol/mol creatinine vs. 3.390+/-4.526micromol/mol creatinine p=0.01). The mean level of urinary 1-OHP was higher in the asthma group (0.430+/-0.343micromol/mol creatinine) than the control group (0.239+/-0.175micromol/mol creatinine), which was statistically significant (p=0.03). There was no difference in the mean concentration of 2-NAP between the two groups (9.864+/-10.037micromol/mol in the asthma group vs. 9.157+/-9.640micromol/mol in the control group, p=0.96). In conclusion, this study suggests that VOCs and PAHs have some role in asthma.


VOCs; PAHs; asthma

MeSH Terms

Air Pollutants/*pharmacology
Case-Control Studies
Child, Preschool
Organic Chemicals/chemistry/*pharmacology
Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic/*pharmacology
Sorbic Acid/*analogs & derivatives/metabolism

Cited by  1 articles

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Yonsei Med J. 2016;57(3):698-713.    doi: 10.3349/ymj.2016.57.3.698.


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