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

Near-Road Exposure and Impact of Air Pollution on Allergic Diseases in Elementary School Children: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • 1Department of Integrated Environmental Systems, Pyeongtaek University, Pyeongtaek, Korea.
  • 2Research Development and Education Division, National Institute of Chemical Safety, Ministry of Environment, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Environmental Health Research Division, Environmental Health Research Department, National Institute of Environmental Research, Ministry of Environment, Incheon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kyung Hee University College of Engineering, Suwon, Korea.
  • 5Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. envlim@yuhs.ac
  • 6The Environment Technology Institute, Coway., Ltd., Seoul, Korea.


The study aims to classify schools based on traffic pollutants and their complex sources, to assess the environment, to determine the state of allergic diseases among students using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in children (ISAAC) questionnaire, and to assess their connection to air pollutants.
A total of seven schools were divided into three categories according to the characteristics of their surrounding environments: three schools in traffic-related zones, two schools in complex source zones I (urban), and two schools in complex source zones II (industrial complex). ISAAC questionnaires were administered and the 4404 completed questionnaires were analyzed.
The frequency of asthma treatment during the past 12 months showed a significant increase (p<0.05) with exposure to NO2 [1.67, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.03-2.71] in the complex source zones. The frequency of allergic rhinitis treatment during the past 12 months increased significantly with exposure to Black Carbon (1.60, 95% CIs 1.36-1.90) (p<0.001), SO2 (1.09, 95% CIs 1.01-1.17) (p<0.05), NO2 (1.18, 95% CIs 1.07-1.30) (p<0.01) for all subjects.
In terms of supporting children's health, care, and prevention related to major spaces for children, such as school zones, spaces used in coming to and leaving school, playgrounds, and classrooms are essential to ensuring not only the safety of children from traffic accidents but also their protection from local traffic pollutants and various hazardous environmental factors.


Allergic disease; school children; ISAAC; air pollution; traffic
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