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K. Balakrishnan, B. Ganguli, R. Padmavathi, Ravi Sankar, S. Sankar, V. Thanasekaraan Dept. of Environmental Health Engineering Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, Chennai


Few time – series studies have been executed in India for estimating health impacts associated with outdoor air pollution. Health impact assessments for air pollutants in Chennai have been limited to a few cross-sectional studies that have established the baseline prevalence of few air pollution related health end points. The paper describes a pilot project that will estimate health impacts of outdoor air pollutants using exposure –response functions from time -series analyses in Chennai. Study design will center on integrating and analyzing data from the following principal retrospective (2000 to 2003) data gathering components viz. (1) collection of daily average environmental levels of criteria air pollutants (PM 10, SO2 and NOX) from 8 city monitors; (2) collection of city wide daily mortality counts from the centralised death registry of the Chennai city corporation and (3) Visibility data from the city meteorological observatories. Other available environmental information to be retrieved include location of monitoring stations, date of monitoring, day of the week, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed/direction, flow rates, records of pump failures, duration of environmental sampling, time of sampling, concentration of pollutants over the respective averaging period and monthly/ yearly average concentrations. Health information to be retrieved will include age, gender, occupation, place and address at the time of death, permanent address, date of death and recorded cause of death. Finally, statistical analyses will be performed using generalised additive models. Study will provide the first set of local exposure-response functions for air pollution related acute health impacts in Chennai. Study will identify potential data gaps for the design of a prospective time –series analyses for both mortality and morbidity impacts and contribute to developing methodologies for application across many other cities of the country.

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