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Korean J Prev Med. 1999 Dec;32(4):473-481. Korean. Original Article.
Cho SH , Choi SW , Kim SM , Ju YS , Kim JY .
Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine & Institute of Environmental Medicine SNUMRC, Korea.
Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Korea.
Department of Occupational Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: In recent days, the problem of odor pollution in community near Sihwa Industrial complex, Kynuggi Province is becoming of significant public concern. We have investigated the health effects of the Sihwa residents from odor pollution comparing with other less polluted areas. METHODS: The Ansan and Kuri Cities were selected as control areas. The parents of the elementary and middle school students in these three areas were surveyed with structured questionnaire twice, Nov 1997 and June 1998 each. As a exposure index, the ambient air concentrations of five major air pollutants(particulates, O3, SO2, NO2, CO) and subjective odor perception were used. We have focused health outcomes such as the prevalence of nonspecific irritant symptoms, respiratory disease among family members and the score of quality of life(QOL). RESULTS: Although the mean concentrations of major air pollutants except particulates were similar or lower in Sihwa than other areas, the odor perception rate and the monthly odor perception days were significantly higher. It suggested that odor producing chemical compounds are the major source of environmental pollution problem. There were higher prevalence rates of nonspecific irritant symptoms and respiratory disease among family members in Sihwa than other control areas. The QOL score was also lower in Sihwa. The odor perception proved to be a most important factor in reporting adverse health effects and lowering the QOL score. CONCLUSION: The residents living near Sihwa industrial complex were suffering from more adverse health symptoms and poorer QOL status than control areas. And it may be due to environmental odor pollution from industrial complex. Therefore, further research will be needed for monitoring of the responsible chemicals emitted from industries.

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