Background: ETS exposure is the #1 respiratory irritant for children. This study reports a survey of ETS exposure among Head Start children and mothers, and examines the relationships between ETS exposure among preschool children to acute and chronic respiratory disease/symptoms. Methods: The sample consisted of 470 Head Start children (primarily African Americans) and mothers. Measures included urine hydroxycotinine (RIA by Serex, Inc) and maternal report of ETS exposure and respiratory disease/symptoms. Results: ETS by physiological measures accounted for 55% of children's ETS exposure and 68% of mothers having either environmental or personal tobacco smoke exposure. Children’s hydroxycotinine ranged from no exposure to levels indicative of an adult smoker (range 0-1400 ng/ml, median=5.85) and mother’s levels ranged from no exposure to 15,300 ng/ml hydroxycotinine (median=9.20). Maternal report of ETS was 44% among children’s primary households and 52% among secondary households (e.g., household where child stays at least 6-8 hours/week). Children's respiratory disease/symptom prevalence was high, though reflects national estimates. Mothers reported that 58% of children had a history of otitis media, 28% reported wheezing, 12% had asthma and 16% reported taking asthma medications. Conclusions: The results are alarming indicating a critical need for ETS reduction interventions in this high-risk population. While maternal smoking is a primary source of ETS for preschool children, our data indicated that other household sources and secondary households are contributing to children’s ETS exposures.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify ETS exposure in Head Start children and their mothers. 2. Describe the relationship between ETS exposure and respiratory disease/symptoms. 3. Discuss implications for ETS reducation strategies in Head Start populations
Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Children
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA