Project at a Glance

Title: Changes in lung functions & exposure to oxidants

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Detels, Roger

Contractor: UCLA School of Public Health

Contract Number: A0-133-32

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution


Changes over five years in the frequency of recorded symptoms and results of function testing were compared in three study areas in Los Angeles County Residents in Lancaster were exposed to relatively low levels of oxidants; in Long Beach were exposed to high levels of sulfur dioxide, sulfates, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen; and in Glendora to very high levels of photochemical oxidants and particulates. Changes were more favorable among never smokers than among smokers. There were no differences between communities in the development or loss of reported symptoms. In adults, the majority of the test results were more favorable in residents of the low pollution area (Lancaster) than in the other two areas. Thirteen of 24 comparisons with Glendora and 17 of 24 comparisons with Long Beach were significantly more favorable for Lancaster participants. In no instance was a significant difference noted which was not more favorable for Lancaster participants. In children, test were consistently more favorable results in the single-breath nitrogen observed for Lancaster participants The results suggest that residence in areas exposed to high levels of pollutants in Los Angeles County may be associated with unfavorable changes in lung function. This observation suggests that it may be necessary to review the current rationale for establishing acceptable levels of pollutants in the air over Los Angeles County.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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