Johns Hopkins scientists report that high levels of a noxious gas from stoves can be added to the list of indoor pollutants that aggravate asthma symptoms of inner-city children, especially preschoolers.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an irritating and toxic form of nitrogen oxide gas, is most prevalent in industrial zones but also found at higher levels in poor homes with unvented gas stoves.
Hopkins researchers say asthma flare-ups were directly related to high concentrations of NO2 in the inner city homes they studied.
Specifically, the researchers compared the frequency and intensity of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness to NO2 levels inside the inner-city homes of 150 Baltimore City 2- to 6-year-olds.
Eighty-three percent of the households had gas stoves, 72 percent were heated by natural gas, and 14 percent used gas stoves for heating in the winter. Forty-two percent of the households had annual incomes under $25,000.
Across the board they found that the pollutant worsened day and night symptoms. Each 20-point increase in nitrogen dioxide levels led to 10 percent more days of cough and 15 percent more days with limited speech due to wheezing.
Read more at Medical News Today