Associations between exposure to industrial air pollution and prevalence of asthma and atopic diseases in haifa bay area

Raanan Raz*, Yuval, Ruth Lev Bar-Or, Jeremy D. Kark, Ronit Sinnreich, David M. Broday, Ruthie Harari-Kremer, Lea Bentur, Alex Gileles-Hillel, Lital Keinan-Boker, Andrey Lyubarsky, Dorit Tsur, Arnon Afek, Noam Levin, Estela Derazne, Gilad Twig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Haifa Bay Area (HBA) contains Israel’s principal industrial area, and there are substantial public concerns about health effects from its emissions. We aimed to examine associations between exposure to air pollution from HBA industrial area with prevalent asthma and other atopic diseases at age 17. This is a cross-sectional study. The study population included all adolescents born in Israel and whose medical status was evaluated for mandatory military recruitment by the Israeli medical corps during 1967-2017. We analyzed prevalent asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and rhinoconjunctivitis. We estimated exposure to industrial air pollution by a kriging interpolation of historical SO2 observations and adjusted the associations to the year of birth, SES, school orientation, and traffic pollution. The study population included n = 2, 523, 745 adolescents, among which 5.9% had prevalent asthma and 4.6%had allergic rhinitis. Residency inHBAwas associatedwith a higher adjusted risk of asthma, compared with non-HBA residency. Still, this association was limited to the three lowest exposure categories, while the highest exposure group had the lowest adjusted risk. Sensitivity analyses and other atopic diseases presented similar results. These results do not provide support for causal relationships between HBA industry-related emissions and prevalent atopic diseases.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number516
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Asthma
  • Atopic diseases
  • Haifa bay area
  • Industrial air pollution


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