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Malattie respiratorie dell’infanzia, inquinamento dell’aria e percezione del rischio delle famiglie nella provincia di Piacenza

Roberto Sacchetti1, Giuseppe Gregori1, Enrico Fabrizi2, Silvia Salini3, Alessandra Bonomini4, Benedetta Armellini5

1Pediatria di famiglia, AUSL di Piacenza
2Facoltà di Economia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza
3Dipartimento di Economia, Management e Metodi Quantitativi (DEMM), Università di Milano
4Infoambiente CEAS, Comune di Piacenza
5Liceo Scientifico “Lorenzo Respighi”, Piacenza

Indirizzo per corrispondenza: robertosacchetti16@gmail.com

Children’s respiratory diseases, air pollution and risk perception by families in the province of Piacenza (Italy)

Key words: Respiratory disease, Air pollution, Vehicular traffic, Environment, Lifestyle

Background and objectives - The objective of Aria Pulita 3, hereinafter referred to as “Clean Air 3” (CA3), was to study the changes that have occurred in the paediatric population of Piacenza (Italy) in the last 15 years regarding the epidemiology of the main respiratory diseases, exposure to air pollutants, parental perception of the problem and the lifestyles of children and families compared to what had emerged in the previous studies Clean Air 1 (CA1) carried out in 2003 and Clean Air 2 (CA2) in 2008.
Materials and Methods - A closed-ended questionnaire was administered by the family paediatricians (FP) of Piacenza to a random sample of parents of children aged 1-14. The questionnaires included 38 closed questions. A total of 1,032 questionnaires considered valid for the study were collected.
Results - Compared to CA2 there is a decrease in patients suffering from bronchial asthma (7.9% vs 8.1%) and recurrent bronchitis (13.5% vs 21.2%) while there is an increase in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis (10% vs 9.5%). The number of children exposed to parental cigarette smoke increases (29% vs 25%) and 25% is also exposed to mold in homes and 20% to products of combustion of boilers. An increasing number of children (62% vs 51% of CA1) go to school by car and on foot (27.8% vs 21.7% of CA1) while the use of bicycles (5.1% vs 8% of CA1) and public transport (4.4% vs 9% of CA1) has collapsed. The number of parents who are worried about regularly knowing local PM10 and ozone levels is decreasing.
Conclusions - Compared to the aforementioned previous studies, CA3 shows reduced prevalence values for bronchial asthma and recurrent bronchitis and for allergic rhinitis. The percentage of children exposed to cigarette smoke and other indoor air pollutants remains high, so it is necessary to raise the attention of families on the healthiness of domestic environments and to promote as a rule, on the part of the doctor, an accurate environmental history in the classification of the patient. The number of children arriving at school by car is increasing, so it is essential to urge the institutions to carry out targeted actions to reduce air pollution in the vicinity of schools by encouraging alternative modes of student transport.

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R. Sacchetti, G. Gregori, E. Fabrizi, S. Salini, A. Bonomini, B. Armellini Malattie respiratorie dell’infanzia, inquinamento dell’aria e percezione del rischio delle famiglie nella provincia di Piacenza. Medico e Bambino pagine elettroniche 2019;22(7) https://www.medicoebambino.com/?id=RIC1908_10.html

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