Contribution of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide exposure from power plant emissions on respiratory symptom and disease prevalence

Eric D. Amster, Maayan Haim, Jonathan Dubnov, David M. Broday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the association between exposure to ambient NO x and SO2 originating from power plant emissions and prevalence of obstructive pulmonary disease and related symptoms. The Orot Rabin coal-fired power plant is the largest power generating facility in the Eastern Mediterranean. Two novel methods assessing exposure to power plant-specific emissions were estimated for 2244 participants who completed the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. The "source approach" modeled emissions traced back to the power plant while the "event approach" identified peak exposures from power plant plume events. Respiratory symptoms, but not prevalence of asthma and COPD, were associated with estimates of power plant NOx emissions. The "source approach" yielded a better estimate of exposure to power plant emissions and showed a stronger dose-response relationship with outcomes. Calculating the portion of ambient pollution attributed to power plants emissions can be useful for air quality management purposes and targeted abatement programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial funding for E.D.A. was provided by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) Fulbright program , US–Israel Educational Foundation . Collection of health outcomes data and environmental sampling was funded by the Association of Towns for Environmental Protection, Hadera . Review Board oversight of the health data collection was provided by the steering committee on power plant effects on health of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environmental Protection. The protocol, sampling method, questionnaires, and supplemental materials were approved by the steering committee on May 26th, 2002. Chairpersons of the committee were Professor Alex Leventhal and Dr. Miki Haran. The “source approach” method was developed with partial support by the Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health – TCEEH .


  • Air pollution
  • Exposure assessment
  • Respiratory health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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