The Viadana study is a cross-sectional survey investigating the whole paediatric population of the health district of Viadana (Mantua, northern Italy), where several wood manufacturing industries are located. All the children (3-14 years) who were living in the district and who were enrolled in the district’s school registers (year 2006-07) were considered to be eligible for the study (n=4130). In December 2006, during school hours, the teachers of all the 50 (nursery, primary and secondary) schools in the district administered the children a standardized questionnaire for their parents to fill out, and it was subsequently collected within 20 days. The main aim of the study was to evaluate if there is an association between the proximity to chipboard and wood manufacturing industries and several parent-reported health outcomes, including respiratory and irritative symptoms, and socio-sanitary burden indicators.
The original cohort was followed-up between 2007 and 2009 to investigate the association between proximity to the factories and hospitalizations for respiratory diseases.
Moreover, a sample of more than 400 children (6-12 years) was randomly selected among the participants in the baseline study and followed up in 2010. The follow-up included a parental questionnaire and the collection of mouth mucosa cell specimens, where DNA strand breaks and nuclear abnormalities were evaluated by the comet and micronucleus assays. During the same year, NO2 and formaldehyde levels were monitored by passive sampling with the aim of obtaining personal estimates of exposure to air pollution and studying whether children more exposed to air pollutants had a greater level of genotoxic damage