Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



The Baton Rouge Air Quality Control Region has come under fire due to difficulties in reaching attainment of one-hour daily ozone limitations and its general perception as being a polluted place to live. Ozone is a reactive oxygen species which has been shown to result in damage to biological molecules and is detrimental to human physiology, especially in regards to cardio-respiratory structure and function. In the last decade, fine particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in mean aerodynamic diameter have been identified as a possible pollutant that is affecting public health at levels lower than the EPA’s established limits. PM2.5 has also been linked to adverse cardiovascular and respiratory health affects. The intent of this study was to examine the air quality of Baton Rouge and the surrounding five parishes and compare these concentrations to mortality cases for cardiovascular and respiratory causes of death. Poisson regression analysis found that PM2.5 had no significant effect on mortality frequency. Ozone was found to have a negative relationship; as ozone levels increased, mortality rates decreased. Multiple regression of both pollutants confirmed the results obtained individually, with no indications of synergistic or antagonistic effects.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Vincent L. Wilson