[Frontiers in Bioscience, Elite, 7, 447-468, June 1, 2015]

Ambient Environmental risk factors for childhood wheezing illness

Sophia Tsabouri 1 , Anastasia G. Bleta 2 , Panagiotis T. Nastos 2 , Kostas N. Priftis 3

1Child Health Department, University of Ioannina, Medical School, Ioannina, Grrece, 2Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Department of Geography and Climatology, Faculty and Geology & Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15784, Athens, Greece, 3Paediatric Allergy and Respiratory Unit, Third Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens University General Hospital «Attikon», Athens, Greece

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Weather conditions and wheezing illness
    3.1. Temperature
    3.2. Humidity
    3.3. Wind speed
    3.4. Mist/Fog
4. Ambient air pollution and wheezing illness
    4.1. Sources of exposure
    4.2. The effects of individual pollutants on wheezing illness
    4.3. Ozone
    4.4. Nitrogen oxides
    4.5. Sulphate oxides
    4.6. Particulate matter
5. Weather conditions and air pollution on wheezing illness
6. Aeroallergens and wheezing illness
    6.1. Increase of pollen production and time of pollination
    6.2. Change of pollen distribution
7. Weather conditions and aeroallergens
    7.1. Humidity and aeroallergens
    7.2. Wind and aeroallergens
8. Ambient air pollution and aeroallergens
9. Concluding Remarks
10. References

1. ABSTRACT

It is a great consensus in the scientific community that environmental factors, such as weather conditions and ambient air pollution, have vital impacts on respiratory diseases. Further, these factors imply the potential to have many significant impacts on aeroallergens, and therefore related diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis. The impacts are more pronounced in sensitive groups of population, such as children and elderly, living in urbanized areas. Over the last three decades, studies have shown changes in production, dispersion and allergen content of pollen and spores, which may be region- and species-specific. In addition, these changes may have been influenced by air pollutants interacting directly with pollen. It is not easy to evaluate the impact of climate change and air pollution on the prevalence of asthma in general and on the timing of asthma exacerbations. However, the global rise in asthma prevalence and severity suggests that air pollution and climate changes could be contributing. The objective of this review is to summarize the environmental impacts on pulmonary diseases in children based on recent literature over the world.

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Key Words:Weather impacts, Ambient air pollution, Aeroallergens, Asthma, Wheezing illness, Children, Review

Send correspondence to:Panagiotis T. Nastos, Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Department of Geography and Climatology, Faculty and Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15784, Athens, Greece, Tel: +30 210 7274191, Fax: +30 210 7274191, E-mail: nastos@geol.uoa.gr