Evaluating the effects of air pollution from a plastic recycling facility on the health of nearby residents

Xin Zhao, Toshihide Tsuda, Hiroyuki Doi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated how exposure to airborne volatile organic compounds emitted from a plastic recycling facility affected nearby residents, in a cross-sectional study. Individuals > 10 years old were randomly sampled from 50 households at five sites and given questionnaires to complete. We categorized the subjects by distance from the recycling facility and used this as a proxy measure for pollutant exposure. We sought to improve on a preceding study by generating new findings, improving methods for questionnaire distribution and collection, and refining site selection. We calculated the odds of residents living 500 or 900 m away from the facility reporting mucocutaneous and respiratory symptoms using a reference group of residents 2,800 m away. Self-reported nasal congestion (odds ratio=3.0, 95% confidence interval=1.02-8.8), eczema (5.1, 1.1-22.9), and sore throat (3.9, 1.1-14.1) were significantly higher among residents 500 m from the facility. Those 900 m away were also considerably more likely to report experiencing eczema (4.6, 1.4-14.9). Air pollution was found responsible for significantly increased reports of mucocutaneous and respiratory symptoms among nearby residents. Our findings confirm the effects of pollutants emitted from recycling facilities on residents' health and clarify that study design differences did not affect the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Air pollutants
  • Mucocutaneous symptoms
  • Recycling facility
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the effects of air pollution from a plastic recycling facility on the health of nearby residents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this