Traffic Pollution can Trigger Asthma in Kids

Present air pollution levels are linked to asthma development and other conditions among children. This indicates that present regulatory policies may not be sufficient. Recent studies have assessed certain sources/components of a pollutant that may be linked with pediatric asthma in kids(asthma in children).

Over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. This chronic lung disease has been a cause of serious concern among individuals since the 1980s. Although it has been long proven by physicians that exposure to smog and pollution can lead to an attack of asthma among kids and adults suffering from the condition, the role of long-term exposure to pollution remained undefined by researchers.

As per the recent research headed by scientists at the following organizations, it is suggested that long-term exposure to pollution associated with traffic increases the overall risk of pediatric asthma during the early childhood:



  1. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)
  2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The findings of these organizations were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Additionally, recent findings include new characterizations of impact on air pollution by traffic in urban areas.

The study reported that children (between ages 7 and 10) residing in less than one hundred100 meters from a major road had over three times the likelihood of current asthma as compared to those living 400 meters away from the region. This report was made public by Mary Rice (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston, US), the co-author of the study.

Asthma in Kids

The researchers’ measured daily exposure to minuscule particulate matter (PM) suspended in the air after inhaling deposit inside lung’s terminal sac for each participant. This procedure was undertaken by linking home addresses to the following data:

  • Census Data
  • Satellite-derived Atmospheric Data

The main source of fine PM is fuel combustion, road traffic, power plants, etc. The team appointed for research team also analyzed day to day exposure of children to black carbon/soot (a component of very fine PM). The researchers concluded that traffic-related pollutants can increase the risk of asthma in children.

Children exposed to black carbon and fine PM for a lifetime showed signs of asthma. These signs were visible in early childhood (between ages 3 and 5 years). On the other hand, these pollutants showed signs of asthma for mid-aged children (between ages 7 and 10) only among girls.


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Measure to reduce the effect of Traffic pollution

It is important to take ample measures to prevent traffic pollution as far as possible. The government should take steps to ensure cleaner environment by implementing stringent rules against excessive use of vehicles on road, regular checkups to ensure vehicles are maintained in excellent condition and eliminating older vehicles from the road. Carpooling for offices, colleges, and other places can help a lot in this respect.

Carpooling

 On the other hand, rich nutrition to kids will build the immunity of kids and limit the impact of pollution on kids.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28304360
https://www.hindustantimes.com/health/traffic-related-pollution-may-increase-asthma-risk-in-kids-study/story-9pASusdFKQAwXFIvAt4GSP.html
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/traffic-related-pollution-may-increase-asthma-risk-in-kids/articleshow/63999074.cms