Air Pollution and Health: Toward Improving the Spatial Definition of Exposure, Susceptibility and Risk

Air Pollution and Health: Toward Improving the Spatial Definition of Exposure, Susceptibility and Risk

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Titre: Air Pollution and Health: Toward Improving the Spatial Definition of Exposure, Susceptibility and Risk
Auteur: Parenteau, Marie-Pierre
Résumé: The role of the spatial representation in the relation between chronic exposure to NO2 and respiratory health outcomes is studied through a spatial approach encompassing three conceptual components: the geography of susceptibility, the geography of exposure and the geography of risk. A spatially explicit methodology that defined natural neighbourhoods for the city of Ottawa is presented; it became the geography of analysis in this research. A LUR model for Ottawa is developed to study the geography of exposure. Model sensitivity to the spatial representation of population showed that dasymetric population mapping did not provide significant improvements to the LUR model over population at the dissemination block level. However, both the former were significantly better than population represented at the dissemination area. Spatial representation in the geography of exposure was also evaluated by comparing four kriging and cokriging interpolation models to the LUR. Geostatistically derived NO2 concentration maps were weakly correlated with LUR model results. The relationship between mean NO2 concentrations and respiratory health outcomes was assessed within the natural neighbourhoods. We find a statistically significant association between NO2 concentrations and respiratory health outcomes as measured by global bivariate Moran’s I. However, for regression model building, NO2 had to be forced into the model, demonstrating that NO2 is not one of the main contributing variables to respiratory health outcomes in Ottawa. The results point toward the importance of the socioeconomic status on the health condition of individuals. Finally, the role of spatial representation was assessed using three different spatial structures, which also permitted to better understand the role of the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP) in the study of the relationship between exposure to NO2 and health. The results confirm that NO2 concentration is not a major contributing factor to the respiratory health in Ottawa but clearly demonstrate the implications that the use of opportunistic administrative boundaries can have on results of exposure studies. The effects of the MAUP, the scale effect and the zoning effect, were observed indicating that a spatial structure that embodies the scale of major social processes behind the health condition of individuals should be used when possible.
Date: 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/19928
Superviseur: Sawada, Michael
Faculté: arts
Degré: phd

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