The Effects of Air Pollution on Health of School Children on Hong Kong - Respiratory Symptoms, Lung Functions, Cardio-pulmonary Fitness and Immune Response  

Project Title: The Effects of Air Pollution on Health of School Children on Hong Kong - Respiratory Symptoms, Lung Functions, Cardio-pulmonary Fitness and Immune Response

Applicant: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $120,000

Duration: 01/03/95 to 30/04/96

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

Scope: To look into the relationship between air pollution and the health effects among primary school children studying in different districts with different air quality in Hong Kong regarding the health effects on respiratory symptoms; lung functions; levels of immune biomarkers and cardio-pulmonary fitness.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes: This study looked into the effects of air pollution on health of school children aged between eight and twelve in Hong Kong. Twelve primary schools from three districts with different air quality and pollution sources were chosen. The Kwun Tong district was included as a polluted district with a combination of industrial and traffic pollution; the Mongkok district had its pollutants mainly from traffic emissions whereas the Shatin district had relatively clean air and was included as the control district.

A gradient was observed for most of the indicators of health among the three districts with Kwun Tong district having the worst performance and Shatin district having the best performance after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Air quality seemed to be an important factor for many of the health indicators and improvements in air quality would likely bring about a reduction in respiratory morbidity in the population.