Health effects of the 2012 Valencia (Spain) wildfires on children in a cohort study
- 246 Downloads
In July 2012, two simultaneous wildfires burnt a big area in Valencia (Spain), where a birth cohort study (INMA) is being developed. The heavy smoke covered the whole INMA study area for several days. We aimed at evaluating the 2012 Valencia wildfire effects on the health of children enrolled in the INMA-Valencia cohort. Two weeks after the extinction of the wildfires, a phone survey was conducted and finally 460 individuals were enrolled. We considered a wildfire period (12-day interval when they were active) and a control period (12-day interval just before wildfires). Parents were asked about respiratory symptoms experienced during both periods, and during wildfires only about the preventive measures adopted and the perception of exposure, along with individual data collected through the different follow-up surveys of the cohort. Conditional logistic regression models were applied, and we included interaction terms for asthma/rhinitis and level of perception of exposure; 82.4 % perceived smoke smell outdoors, 40 % indoors and more than 90 % of the families observed the presence of ash. An adjusted odds ratio of 3.11 [95 % confidence interval 1.62–5.97] for itchy/watery eyes and 3.02 [1.41–6.44] for sore throat was obtained. Significant interaction terms for rhinitis and asthma in itchy/watery eyes and sneezing, and only asthma for sore throat were obtained. Exposure to wildfire smoke was associated with increased respiratory symptoms in this child population, particularly affecting susceptible individuals with asthma or rhinitis.
KeywordsWildfire Children Allergy Air pollution Cohort Asthma Rhinitis
Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (FIS)-FEDER (Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional) 06/1213, 07/0314, PS09/02647 FIS PI11/02591, FIS PI11/02038, and FIS PI13/02032.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
- Amster, E. D., Fertig, S. S., Baharal, U., Linn, S., Green, M. S., Lencovsky, Z., & Carel, R. S. (2013). Occupational exposures and symptoms among firefighters and police during the Carmel forest fire: The Carmel cohort study. The Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ, 15(6), 288–292.Google Scholar
- Caamano-Isorna, F., Figueiras, A., Sastre, I., Montes-Martínez, A., Taracido, M., & Piñeiro-Lamas, M. (2011). Respiratory and mental health effects of wildfires: An ecological study in Galician municipalities (north–west Spain). Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 10, 48. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Delfino, R. J., Brummel, S., Wu, J., Stern, H., Ostro, B., Lipsett, M., et al. (2009). The relationship of respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions to the southern California wildfires of 2003. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 66(3), 189–197. doi: 10.1136/oem.2008.041376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Domingo-Salvany, A., Regidor, E., Alonso, J., & Alvarez-Dardet, C. (2000). Proposal for a social class measure. Working Group of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology and the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine. Atencion primaria/Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria, 25(5), 350–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hanigan, I. C., Johnston, F. H., & Morgan, G. G. (2008). Vegetation fire smoke, indigenous status and cardio-respiratory hospital admissions in Darwin, Australia, 1996-2005: A time-series study. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 7, 42. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-7-42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Iskandar, A., Andersen, Z. J., Bønnelykke, K., Ellermann, T., Andersen, K. K., & Bisgaard, H. (2012). Coarse and fine particles but not ultrafine particles in urban air trigger hospital admission for asthma in children. Thorax, 67(3), 252–257. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Johnston, F. H., Kavanagh, A. M., Bowman, D. M. J. S., & Scott, R. K. (2002). Exposure to bushfire smoke and asthma: An ecological study. The Medical Journal of Australia, 176(11), 535–538.Google Scholar
- Mirabelli, M. C., Künzli, N., Avol, E., Gilliland, F. D., Gauderman, W. J., McConnell, R., & Peters, J. M. (2009). Respiratory symptoms following wildfire smoke exposure: Airway size as a susceptibility factor. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 20(3), 451–459. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31819d128d.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Miranda, A. I., Martins, V., Cascão, P., Amorim, J. H., Valente, J., Borrego, C., et al. (2012). Wildland smoke exposure values and exhaled breath indicators in firefighters. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A, 75(13–15), 831–843. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2012.690686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pavagadhi, S., Betha, R., Venkatesan, S., Balasubramanian, R., & Hande, M. P. (2013). Physicochemical and toxicological characteristics of urban aerosols during a recent Indonesian biomass burning episode. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 20(4), 2569–2578. doi: 10.1007/s11356-012-1157-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Peters, A., Dockery, D. W., Heinrich, J., & Wichmann, H. E. (1997). Short-term effects of particulate air pollution on respiratory morbidity in asthmatic children. The European Respiratory Journal, 10(4), 872–879.Google Scholar