Pollution and lifestyle causes of asthma and allergies among school children of Tamaulipas, Mexico in the U.S.-Mexico border region
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014. All rights are reserved.The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema in school children in the cities of Northeastern Mexican State of Tamaulipas and potential correlation with ambient pollution factors were studied using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) epidemiology research methodology Phase 1. The study indicates that asthma and rhinitis are more prevalent than eczema in both elementary and middle school children with rhinitis prevalence significantly higher in Reynosa elementary school children. Asthma was more prevalent in Nuevo Laredo middle school children than in the other cities' middle school children likely due to higher frequency of smoking among children as a very strong correlation was found between asthma occurrence and children smoking habits. Lead and pesticide intoxications are higher in middle school children than in elementary school children. Middle school children in Nuevo Laredo exhibit two or more time the pesticide intoxications than middle school children in Reynosa and Matamoros; however, the study indicates that Matamoros has the highest outdoor fumigation and Nuevo Laredo the lowest indoor fumigation. Indoor air quality may also be a factor as the study shows the combined results for the three cities of Matamoros, Reynosa, and Nuevo Laredo that 60 % of households use coal or wood for heating purposes, and 60 % of households use natural gas for cooking.