A 28-day, 2-year study reveals that adolescents are more fatigued and distressed on days with greater NO2 and CO air pollution


This 2-year, 28-day study examined whether adolescents felt greater fatigue and emotional distress the same day and the day after air quality was worse. We linked objective daily air quality measurements to daily self-reports from 422 Mexican–American adolescents in Los Angeles County, California from 2009 to 2011 (50% girls, MAge = 15 years). A robust, within-subject analysis of 9696 observations revealed that adolescents with ongoing physical complaints reported greater fatigue and emotional distress on days that the air contained higher levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Regardless of physical complaints, adolescents on average also reported greater fatigue the day after NO2 levels were higher. The same-day and next-day associations between air pollution and distress were mediated via daily increases in fatigue. Results were robust when controlling for day of the week, and daily temperature and humidity. Sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), PM2.5 and PM10 were not related to daily fatigue or distress.


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