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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 180-183

A comparative study of the effect of automobile pollution on pulmonary function tests of people who reside in high traffic density urban areas and relatively traffic free rural areas


1 Department of Physiology, People's Education Society Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Physiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication17-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
Amrith Pakkala
40, SM Road, T. Dasarahalli, Bangalore - 560 057
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-3334.138892

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  Abstract 

Background: Motor vehicle emissions constitute the most significant source of ultra particles in an urban environment. Traffic related air pollution is an occupational health hazard to individuals who live and work in an environment close to traffic. The present study intends to study the effect of air pollution on the pulmonary system in people who reside in areas exposed to automobile exhaust. Material and Methods: This study was conducted by performing pulmonary function tests (PFT) on 20 people who are exposed to automobile exhaust by virtue of their residence nearer to traffic junctions and comparing them with 20 others of age and gender matched and similar anthropometric profile people, who reside in a rural setting free from vehicular air pollution. Statistical analysis was done by Student's t-test (two-tailed, independent) for inter group analysis. Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups as far as parameters like FVC, FEV 1 , PEFR, FEV 1 /FVC, FEF 25-75% . It can be seen that there is decline in dynamic pulmonary function parameters in the study group when compared to controls, which is statistically significant. Conclusion: The respiratory system are particulate matter (PM 10 ) and sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. These pollutants react with each other, forming hazardous acid sulfate particles, which are capable of reaching deep inside the tracheo-bronchial tree producing a bronchoconstrictor response, as their predominant site of action are the small airways. This was a comparative study to demonstrate the effect of air pollution due to automobile exhaust on pulmonary functions of people who reside in areas exposed to a polluted urban environment with a similar group in the rural relatively pollution free environment.

Keywords: Air pollution, automobile exhaust, forced expiratory volume in first second, to forced vital capacity, forced expiratory flow 25-75%, forced vital capacity, ratio of forced expiratory volume in first second peak expiratory flow rate, people who reside in areas, pulmonary function test


How to cite this article:
Pakkala A, Ganashree C P, Raghavendra T. A comparative study of the effect of automobile pollution on pulmonary function tests of people who reside in high traffic density urban areas and relatively traffic free rural areas. CHRISMED J Health Res 2014;1:180-3

How to cite this URL:
Pakkala A, Ganashree C P, Raghavendra T. A comparative study of the effect of automobile pollution on pulmonary function tests of people who reside in high traffic density urban areas and relatively traffic free rural areas. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Oct 14];1:180-3. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2014/1/3/180/138892


  Introduction Top


Effectiveness of ventilation is determined by the mechanical properties of lung parenchyma, airways, chest wall and the magnitude of force applied to these, which at any given moment reflect the dynamic equilibrium between the activity of respiratory and the retractile forces of the chest bellows. Adequate and efficient ventilation results in a uniform distribution of inspired air to the different regions of the lungs and thus bringing about adequate renewal of alveolar air.

Airborne dust plays a major part in the overall atmospheric pollution and the motor vehicle emissions constitute the most significant source of ultra particles in an urban environment. Traffic related air pollution is an occupational health hazard to individuals who live and work in an environment close to traffic. Pulmonary-function testing besides identifying abnormalities, allow the severity of an abnormality to be quantified and in estimating the extent to which a specific abnormality to be quantified and in estimating the extent to which a specific abnormality can be reversed with appropriate therapy. People who reside near grounds located in the vicinity of traffic junctions, where the maximum number of vehicles passes, are more prone to develop health issues pertaining to the respiratory system.

In view of the inherent reserve capacity of the respiratory system as well as the adaptive effect of exercise, it is interesting to know the effect of air pollution in people who reside in areas with high traffic density. [1] When inhaled, air pollutants cause damage to the airways and lungs, the prevalence of obstructive, restrictive and mixed types of functional impairment of the respiratory system has been found to have direct relationship with the dust concentration and duration of exposure. [2]

Fuel combustion is the primary source of a large number of health damaging pollutants. Most components of vehicular exhaust are oxidant in nature and are highly reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS are free radicals that cause injury in tissues through membrane damaging processes leading to cell dysfunctions. Although these pollutants may interact with other organ systems, their most obvious effects are in lungs because lungs present the largest exposed surface to the atmosphere. [3],[4],[5]

The present study intends to study the effect of air pollution on the pulmonary system in people who reside in areas exposed to automobile exhaust.


  Materials and Methods Top


The present study intends to study the effect of air pollution on the pulmonary system people who reside in areas exposed to automobile exhaust.

This study was conducted by performing pulmonary function tests (PFT) on 20 people who are exposed to automobile exhaust by virtue of their residence nearer to traffic junctions and comparing them with 20 others of age and gender matched and similar anthropometric profile people, who reside in a rural setting free from vehicular air pollution.

Sample size was limited to 20 in each group in view of the time bound nature of the study. The strength of this study is limited by this factor. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects who were willing to participate in the study.

Ethical clearance was obtained from institutional ethical committee of PES IMSR, Kuppam.

Inclusion criteria

Healthy male subjects who are non smokers in the age group of 20-30 years and who reside at grounds nearer to traffic junctions for more than 1 year are included in the study. No other parameters of stress exposure and dietary habits were included in either group. This was one of the limitations of this study.

Healthy male subjects who are non smokers in the age group of 20-30 years and who reside in rural areas free from motor vehicular traffic for more than one year are included in the control group.

Exclusion criteria

Evidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, musculoskeletal abnormality, heart disease, anemia, obesity and smokers.

Past history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension.

The anthropometric data was measured in all subjects. PFT by computerized spirometer measuring FVC, FEV 1 , FEV 1 /FVC, PEFR and FEF 25-75% were measured.

The subjects were explained about the detailed procedure of computerized spirometry and the actual purpose of the recordings before advising them to rest. PFT measurements were done using the equipment obtained from FIM Company with a minimum of three readings on each occasion at a 15-minute interval and the maximum performed values were taken.

Statistical analysis was done by Student's t-test (two-tailed, independent) for inter group analysis.


  Results Top


The control and study groups were anthropometrically matched as evident from [Table 1].
Table 1: Anthropometric parameters in study and control groups

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There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups as far as parameters like FVC, FEV 1, PEFR, FEV 1/ FVC, FEF 25-75% is concerned [Table 2].
Table 2: Comparison of PFT in study and control groups

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  Discussion Top


The present study intends to study the effect of air pollution on the pulmonary system in people who reside in areas exposed to automobile exhaust.

PFT by computerized spirometer measuring FVC, FEV 1 , FEV 1 /FVC, PEFR and FEF 25-75% were measured.

The results were tabulated and statistically analyzed.

It is observed that there is no statistically significant difference with respect to all the parameters measured in both the groups.

It can be seen that there is decline in dynamic pulmonary function parameters in the study group when compared to controls, which is statistically significant.

Exposure is a defined as the contract between the body and the external environmental pollutant. Exposure is one (but not the only) important determinant of the dose of an agent at respiratory sites. Important components of exposure are generally the concentration of the agent in inhaled air, the duration of inhalation, and the amount of ventilation during the period. The same net exposure may be achieved by various combinations of concentration, duration, and ventilation rates. However, short-term peak exposures may elicit biologic effects different from those observed in longer-term, lower-level exposures with the same product of concentration, time and ventilation rate. Diesel exhaust particles of organic extracts induce ROS in macrophages and bronchial epithelial cells, the two key cell types targeted by particulate matter in the lung. ROS activates the promoters of cytokines and chemokines involved in allergic inflammation through activator protein-1 and nuclear factor kappa B signalling pathways. Organic diesel exhaust particles also induce apoptosis and necrosis in bronchial epithelial cells via a mitochondrial pathway. [3],[5]

Most of the immune responses responsible for allergic inflammation are due to an enhanced production of immunoglobulin E, due to poly aromatic hydrocarbons from vehicular emissions. [6] This could be the reason for decline in FVC, FEV 1 , and PEFR in people who reside in areas exposed to automobile exhausts.

There is a significant decrease in FEV 1 /FVC in the study group as compared to controls suggesting an obstructive type of abnormality.

FEF 25-75% indicates flow rates in small airways of less than 2 mm diameter. There is significant decrease in this parameter in the study group indicating greater involvement of smaller airways. Particles generated from diesel exhaust are extremely small and are present in the nuclei or accumulation modes, diameters of 0.02 nm and 0.2 nm, respectively. These small sized particles by virtue of their greater surface area to mass ratio can carry a much larger fraction of toxic compounds, such as hydrocarbons or metals on their surface. Hence chronic exposure to them can lead to chronic inflammation of respiratory tract and lung parenchyma. [7],[8]


  Conclusion Top


The respiratory system are particulate matter (PM 10 ) and sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. These pollutants react with each other, forming hazardous acid sulfate particles, which are capable of reaching deep inside the tracheo-bronchial tree producing a bronchoconstrictor response, as their predominant site of action are the small airways. This was a comparative study to demonstrate the effect of air pollution due to automobile exhaust on pulmonary functions of people who reside in areas exposed to a polluted urban environment with a similar group in the rural relatively pollution free environment.

PFT by computerized spirometer measuring FVC, FEV 1, FEV 1 /FVC, PEFR and FEF 25-75% were measured. The results were tabulated and statistically analyzed.

It was found that there is a significant decline in various PFT parameters recorded in the study group as compared to the control group.

A larger sample size in future studies with reference to other stress parameters and dietary habits is called for.

 
  References Top

1.Pakkala A. Adaptability in nature: Are lungs mouldable? Indian J Physiother Occup Ther 2010;4:17-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Jafary ZA, Faridi IA, Qureshi HJ. Effects of airborne dust on lung functions of exposed subjects. Pak J Physiol 2007;3:30-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Dickson RP, Schwartz DA. Acute and chronic responses to toxic inhalations. In: Fishman AP, Elias ZA, Fishman JA, Grippi MA, Senior RM, Pack AI, editors. Fishman's Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders. 4 th ed. China: McGraw Hill companies; 2008. p. 995-1002.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Huisingh JL, Bradow R, Jungers R. Application of bioassay to the characterisation of diesel emission particle. In: Waters MD, Nesnow S, Huisingh JI, editors. Application of short term bioassays in the fractionation and analysis of complex environmental mixtures. New York: Pienum press; 1978. p. 381-418.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Nel AE, Diaz-Sanchez D, Li N. The role of particulate pollutants in pulmonary inflammation and asthma: Evidence for the involvement of organic chemicals and oxidative stress. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2001;7:20-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Polosa R, Salvi S, Di Maria GU. Allergic susceptibility associated with diesel exhaust particle exposure: Clear as mud. Arch Environ Health 2002;57:188-93.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Singhal M, Khaliq F, Singhal S, Tandon OP. Pulmonary functions in petrol pump workers: A preliminary study. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2007;51:244-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Levsen K. The analysis of diesel particulate. Fresenius Z Anal Chem 1988;331:467-78.  Back to cited text no. 8
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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