Land use regression for spatial distribution of urban particulate matter (PM10) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in a heavily polluted city in Northeast China

  • Hehua Zhang
  • Yuhong ZhaoEmail author


Particulate material 10 μm (PM10) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are representative air pollutants in Northeast China and may contribute more to the morbidity of respiratory and cardiovascular disease than may other pollutants. Up to now, there have been few studies on the relation between health effect and air pollution by PM10 and SO2 in Northeast China, which may be due to the lack of a model for determination of air pollution exposure. For the first time, we used daily concentration data and influencing factors (different type of land use, road length and population density, and weather conditions as well) to develop land use regression models for spatial distribution of PM10 and SO2 in a central city in Northeast China in both heating and non-heating months. The final models of SO2 and PM10 estimation showed good performance (heating months: R2 = 0.88 for SO2, R2 = 0.88 for PM10; non-heating months: R2 = 0.79 for SO2; R2 = 0.87 for PM10). Estimated concentrations of air pollutants were more affected by population density in heating seasons and land use area in non-heating seasons. We used the land use regression (LUR) models developed to predict pollutant levels in nine districts in Shenyang and conducted a correlation analysis between air pollutant levels and hospital admission rates for childhood asthma. There were high associations between asthma hospital admission rates and air pollution levels of SO2 and PM10, which indicated the usability of the LUR models and the need for more concern about the health effects of SO2 and PM10 in Northeast China. This study may contribute to epidemiological research on the relation between air pollutant exposure and typical chronic disease in Northeast China as well as providing the government with more scientific recommendations for air pollution prevention.


Particulate matter Sulfur dioxide Land use regression Childhood asthma Hospital admission 



We acknowledge the data support from Shenyang Environmental Monitoring Center and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Author contributions

Hehua Zhang did all the data processing and wrote the paper, and Yuhong Zhao designed the entire study process and reviewed the work.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Project of China (grant no. 2017YFC0907402, 2017]).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study did not involve any human or animal data; it was deemed negligible risk research and was exempt from ethical review by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, and thus, no consent was required.

Consent for publication

All authors give their consent for publication.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Research CenterShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangChina

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