Nitrogen dioxide and respiratory illness in children. Part II: Assessment of exposure to nitrogen dioxide.

W. E. Lambert, J. M. Samet, W. C. Hunt, B. J. Skipper, M. Schwab, J. D. Spengler

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11 Scopus citations


Repeated measurements of nitrogen dioxide were obtained from 1988 to 1991 in the homes of 1,205 infants living in Albuquerque, NM. Passive diffusion samplers were used to obtain a series of two-week integrated measurements from the home of each infant for use in a cohort study of the relation of residential exposure to nitrogen dioxide and respiratory illnesses. Information on stove use and time spent inside the residence was collected at two-week and two-month intervals, respectively. During the winter, in the bedrooms of homes with gas cooking stoves, mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations were 21 parts per billion (ppb); mean concentrations in the living room and kitchen were 29 ppb and 34 ppb, respectively. In homes with electric cooking stoves, the mean bedroom concentration was 7 ppb during the winter. Lower indoor concentrations were observed during the summer in homes with both gas and electric stoves. On average, infants spent approximately 12.3 hours per day in their bedrooms, 7.3 hours in the living rooms, 35 minutes in the kitchens, and 3.8 hours out of their homes. (As a condition of participation, none of the infants spent more than 20 hours per week in day care outside of their homes). The mean time infants spent in the kitchen during cooking was approximately nine minutes per day. We tested whether exposures of infants living in homes with gas stoves could be reasonably estimated by measurements in the bedroom in comparison with time-weighted average concentrations based on time-activity data and simultaneous nitrogen dioxide measurements in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. In 1,937 two-week intervals from 587 infants, 90% of time-weighted exposure (on the three-level classification used in this study) estimates were in agreement with estimates based on bedroom concentrations alone. The agreement of the time-weighted nitrogen dioxide exposure estimates with the bedroom concentrations is attributed to limited amounts of cooking stove use (the mean was 29 minutes per day), small room-to-room differences in nitrogen dioxide concentrations (the mean kitchen-bedroom difference was 12 ppb), and the relatively large proportion of time that infants spent in their bedrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-50; discussion 51-5080
JournalResearch report (Health Effects Institute)
Issue number58
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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