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Use of Multiple Linear Regressions to Evaluate the Influence of O3 and PM10 on Biological Pollutants

Authors: S. I. V. Sousa, F.G. Martins, M. C. Pereira, M. C. M. Alvim-Ferraz, H. Ribeiro, M. Oliveira, I. Abreu


Exposure to ambient air pollution has been linked to a number of health outcomes, starting from modest transient changes in the respiratory tract and impaired pulmonary function, continuing to restrict activity/reduce performance and to the increase emergency rooms visits, hospital admissions or mortality. The increase of allergenic symptoms has been associated with air contaminants such as ozone, particulate matter, fungal spores and pollen. Considering the potential relevance of crossed effects of nonbiological pollutants and airborne pollens and fungal spores on allergy worsening, the aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of non-biological pollutants (O3 and PM10) and meteorological parameters on the concentrations of pollen and fungal spores using multiple linear regressions. The data considered in this study were collected in Oporto which is the second largest Portuguese city, located in the North. Daily mean of O3, PM10, pollen and fungal spore concentrations, temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind velocity, pollen and fungal spore concentrations, for 2003, 2004 and 2005 were considered. Results showed that the 90th percentile of the adjusted coefficient of determination, P90 (R2aj), of the multiple regressions varied from 0.613 to 0.916 for pollen and from 0.275 to 0.512 for fungal spores. O3 and PM10 showed to have some influence on the biological pollutants. Among the meteorological parameters analysed, temperature was the one that most influenced the pollen and fungal spores airborne concentrations. Relative humidity also showed to have some influence on the fungal spore dispersion. Nevertheless, the models for each pollen and fungal spore were different depending on the analysed period, which means that the correlations identified as statistically significant can not be, even so, consistent enough.

Keywords: Air pollutants, meteorological parameters, biologicalpollutants, multiple linear correlations.

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