Levels of TRAPs were measured simultaneously indoors in a single classroom and outdoors in the schoolyard. However, given the high correlation between EC and traffic-related PM concentration (Spearman rho = 0.93) and the consistency of our results for these two measures, only the results for EC are included in this manuscript.
Noise has been associated with adverse impacts on quality of life and health, including mental health (Basner et al. It has been suggested that children are vulnerable to noise because of their reduced ability to manage environmental stressors (Ben-Shlomo and Kuh 2002). Three additional schools in an adjacent municipality, Sant Cugat del Vallès, were included in BREATHE (39 schools in total).
Therefore, efforts have been made to understand the impact of noise exposure on cognitive development (Stansfeld et al. Some studies have suggested that the negative impact of road traffic and aircraft noise at school and aircraft on cognitive development in children may exceed that of air pollution (Clark et al. All participating schools were similar to the remaining schools in Barcelona in terms of the socioeconomic vulnerability index (0.66 vs. All families of children without special needs from these 39 schools in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th primary grades were invited to participate in the study by letter and/or presentations in schools. All children had been at the school for 1 year) before the beginning of the study.
The available evidence for such an effect is limited and mostly focused on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology, suggesting a positive association between prenatal (Perera et al. However, children spend long periods of time at school, where levels of TRAPs and noise peak during the day (Kim et al. According to the World Health Organization’s recommendation, a noise level This study was carried out as part of the BRain d Evelopment and Air pollu Tion ultrafine particles in sc Hool childr En (BREATHE) project, which aims to study associations between air pollution and neuropsychological development of schoolchildren.
2006, 2012) and early-life exposure to TRAPs (Newman et al. Only one study has reported a positive cross-sectional association between ADHD and TRAPs exposure during childhood (Siddique et al. Like air pollution, noise is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, generated mostly by traffic in urban areas (Moudon 2009). The available body of evidence on the associations of noise exposure with child behavioral development is limited, but associations have been reported between increased hyperactive symptomatology and both traffic noise at home (Tiesler et al. Schools were selected based on modeled levels of traffic-related nitrogen dioxide (NO) to achieve maximum contrast in TRAP levels (Wang et al. Thirty-six of the 416 schools in Barcelona were selected.
For each school, TRAP levels were measured twice during 1-week periods separated by 6 months, in the warm and cold periods of the year 2012.
In each campaign week, we measured TRAP levels in two schools simultaneously: one located in an area with high levels of pollution, and one in an area with low levels. Initially, we also considered concentrations of traffic-related particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM) [composed of organic particles from motor exhaust, EC, and metals from brake wear (copper, antimony, tin, and iron)] as another measure of exposure to TRAPs.