BACKGROUND: City-to-city differences have been reported for the increase in short-term mortality associated with a given increase in ozone concentration (ozone mortality coefficient). Although ozone concentrations are monitored at central outdoor locations, a large fraction of total ozone exposure occurs indoors.
OBJECTIVES: To clarify the influence of indoor exposure to ozone of outdoor origin on short-term mortality, we conducted an analysis to determine whether variation in ozone mortality coefficients among U.S. cities might be partly explained by differences in total ozone exposure (from both outdoor and indoor exposures) resulting from the same outdoor ozone concentration.
METHODS: We estimated average annual air change rates (the overall rate at which indoor air is replaced with outdoor air) and used these to estimate the change in total ozone exposure per unit change in outdoor ozone exposure (ozone exposure coefficient) for 18 cities that had been included in the National Morbidity and Mortality Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS). We then examined associations between both parameters and published ozone mortality coefficients.
RESULTS: For the 18 targeted NMMAPS cities, the association between ozone mortality coefficients and ozone exposure coefficients was strong (1-hr ozone metric: R2 = 0.58, p <0.001; 8-hr ozone: R2 = 0.56,p <0.001; 24-hr ozone: R2 = 0.48, p = 0.001). When extended to another 72 NMMAPS cities, the associations remained strong (R2 = 0.47-0.63;p <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Differences in ozone mortality coefficients among cities appear to partially reflect differences in total ozone exposure resulting from differences in the amount of outdoor ozone that is transported indoors.
- Air change rate
- Air conditioning
- Infiltration rate
- outdoor-to-indoor transport
- Ozone-derived products
- Total exposure