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© 2019 Szyszkowicz M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

RESEARCH ARTICLE |  OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/iasar-2017/1710005

Urban Ambient Air Pollution and Behavioural Disorders

Mieczysław Szyszkowicz*

Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada



Environmental exposures, especially in urban areas, have been associated with various health conditions. The body of research suggests that air pollutants might affect human behaviour in the light of their toxicity on the central nervous system.


This study investigates the association between ambient air pollution concentration levels and Emergency Department (ED) visits for personality disorders, acute reaction to stress, and disturbance of conduct.


Using a health database from Edmonton (Canada), 6,956 such ED visits were identified. A case-crossover design is applied in the study. Conditional Poisson regression method was used to estimate the associations between ED visits and concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Air pollutants, ambient temperature, and relative humidity in the constructed models are lagged by 0 to 5 days. The associations are estimated in the forms of parametric algebraic functions.


The results show odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals along the concentration levels. Positive and statistically significant results were obtained for the exposure to CO and NO2, lagged from 0 to 4 days.


The results of present study suggest an impact of urban air pollution on human behaviour.