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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

CATALAN-VAZQUEZ, Minerva; RIOJAS-RODRIGUEZ, Horacio; JARILLO-SOTO, Edgar C  and  DELGADILLO-GUTIERREZ, Héctor Javier. Perception of health risks due to air pollution in adolescents in Mexico City. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2009, vol.51, n.2, pp. 148-154. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342009000200011.

OBJECTIVE: Analyze the relations established between air pollution and health-disease-death in a sample of students in Mexico City. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Survey of 1274 students from 14 secondary schools in five areas in Mexico City was conducted between March and April of 2003. We used a multi-stage sampling, based in a basic geostatistical areas (AGEB). RESULTS: A total of 84.4% believed that Mexico City has a high, or very high air pollution; that valuation decreases as it approaches the most immediate place in which the students live. The health risks range from effects on respiratory health, 66.9%, to other effects on daily life, 2.2%. The predictors that air pollution is perceived as serious/very serious are: 1) that they associate it with the possibility of causing death (OR= 1.35, 95% CI=1.02-1.77), and 2) that they attend schools located in the La Merced zone, (OR= 2.23, 95% CI= 1.56-3.21). CONCLUSIONS: Determinants of perception, such as gender, zone where the school is located and the differences in air quality perceived in the city/area/schools, suggest that focalizing components must be involved in environmental policies, in order to make environmental programs more effective at the local level.

Keywords : air pollution; health; social participation; Mexico.

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