Indoor and ambient air exposure of PAHs and fine particulate to women and children: health impacts in terms of morbidity, February 2002 - June 2005.
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Air pollution and respiratory health were investigated in Kanpur, India, a city of some 3 million inhabitants, 2002 to 2005. Four study sites were selected to reflect typical exposure conditions of women in lower socio-economic strata in the population, covering urban, suburban and rural conditions. Field studies (air quality and exposure monitoring and spirometry evaluation, 240 persons) were done in summer, monsoon and winter seasons. The observed particulate pollution levels were very high. 70% of the 140 days with measurements, the ambient PM10levels exceeded the national PM10 standard of 100 micrograms/m^3, and the ambient PM2.5 levels exceeded the US standard for PM2.5 of 65 micrograms/m^3. Exceedances were observed in all sites. In addition, high levels of PAH and heavy metals in PM were found. The lung function was deteriorated in all study populations, the largest deterioration is observed in the urban slum. Lung function in women was significantly more impaired than in men. An adverse relationship between lung function and air pollution was found for several spirometry parameters