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Critique of the 2006 Wabuman Study

Critiques:
1. This is not peer-reviewed. It has never been published in a journal, and no assessment of its’ validity has been done by any external sources.

2. Co-funded by industry. We know that this tends to lead to biases.

3. People wore their monitoring systems for one week. I would suspect that people’s health effects would only be an issue during times of heavy smog… temperature inversions, etc. The groups would likely not be monitored during these heavy exposure times.

4. The monitoring was done on all types of people. I would think that those with asthma/copd/heart disease would be the ones most effected, and therefore the studies should have focused on them rather than the general population.

5. Health monitoring was done through the patient’s family physician … which did find increased respiratory disease (albeit mostly infectious) that the case controls. I would be much more interested in Emergency room visits than family practitioner visits.

6. Study goal to recruit 300 volunteers. Only 196 recruited, and only 151 provided complete data. Participants had normal lung function. (it is also important to note that using volunteers markedly weaken any epidemiological study).

7. Children excluded, in part, because of “likelihood if having higher exposures to particles and other chemical constituents than adults because of their activity patterns”

8. Only 40 participants completed the particulate exposure assessment.

9. Unable to determine amount of time outdoors In the study but appears to be less than 15 percent.

10. Comparison is often between Wabuman and other “high-risk” (previous study) groups, like Ft. Sask, Fr. McMurray, rather than a “control” population (like Banff, Red Deer, Calgary)