New Study: Childhood Asthma Linked to Air Pollution

A new study highlights just how dangerous air pollution can be for children. Dr. Haneen Khreis, who carried out the research for the Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds, showed the link between pollution and childhood asthma.

The study was just published in Environment International, and indicated that as many as 38 percent of all childhood asthma cases are attributable to air pollution. More specifically, the team found that 24 percent of all annual cases could be caused by traffic pollution.

According to Science Daily, Dr. Khreis said that her “team’s previous research has shown that children exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution have a higher risk of developing asthma,” and that the study illustrates that many of the cases diagnosed each year are actually preventable.

Khreis pointed out that it is helpful to stop cars from idling in front of schools, and for children to use walk routes that are not near roads, but that other measures, like tackling traffic problems, must be taken to improve the situation. She said, “New policies aimed at reducing the effects of traffic-related air pollution need to target each link in the full chain of events — from traffic volume and type, to exhaust and non-exhaust emissions, to dispersion to exposure.”

Prior to this particular study, the effects of traffic-specific pollution on childhood asthma had never been quantified. The research highlights the importance of taking action since children are clearly being harmed by pollution.