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Methods: Children were selected in sites likely to receive dispersion of air compounds from the waste disposal site and also in a control area, in Cali, Colombia, in 2005. Anthropometric measures were obtained at enrollment and in two follow-up visits at 3 months intervals to obtain standardized z scores of weight for height (WHZ) and height for age (HAZ). In addition, questionnaires including information of socio-economical conditions and morbidity were applied at enrolment and during follow-up visits.
Results: Children exposed had on average 0.16 less standard deviations (SD) in WHZ scores when compared to control group (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -0.34, 0.01). Among those who have lived >50% of their life in the study area, a significantly lower HAZ score was observed (-0.12) associated with exposure. Our data also suggest a larger effect of exposure to the waste disposal site in WHZ among children with symptoms of respiratory disease than among asymptomatic children (p=0.08).
Conclusions: Exposure to this waste disposal site was found associated with lower children’s growth indexes.
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