Exposure to air pollution from traffic damages Swedish children’s lungs

Source:  American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 13 Oct 2012

Exposure to air pollution from traffic during infancy is associated with lung function deficits in children up to eight years of age, particularly among children sensitized to common allergens, according to a new study.

“Earlier studies have shown that children are highly susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution and suggest that exposure early in life may be particularly harmful,” said researcher Göran Pershagen, MD, PhD, professor at the Karolinska Institutet Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden.

“In our prospective birth cohort study in a large population of Swedish children, exposure to traffic-related air pollution during infancy was associated with decreases in lung function at age eight, with stronger effects indicated in boys, children with asthma and particularly in children sensitized to allergens.”

The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study included more than 1,900 children who were followed from birth through age eight. ….

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“Our study shows that early exposure to traffic-related air pollution has long-term adverse effects on respiratory health in children, particularly among atopic children,” concluded Dr. Pershagen.

“These results add to a large body of evidence demonstrating the detrimental effects of air pollution on human health.”

via Exposure to traffic air pollution in infancy impairs lung function in children.

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