Traffic pollution, especially in cities, adversely affects respiratory health in children with asthma.
A study published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Respiratory Research has found that in this vulnerable group, worsening of respiratory symptoms requiring recurrent additional treatment.
A Mexican research team led by Dr Isabelle Romieu of the Institute Nacional de Sauld Publica, correlated pollutants associated with exacerbation of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children.
Earlier studies suggest that traffic pollution, and diesel particles in particular, may have a greater effect on respiratory health than other pollutants.
This is significant as a large proportion of pollution in cities originates from motor vehicles. At present, no studies have clearly linked different types of vehicular traffic exhaust to respiratory health of either asthmatic or healthy children.
147 asthmatic children and 50 non-asthmatic children, between the ages of 6 and 14, were recruited through a paediatric hospital in Mexico City.
Parents kept a daily record of coughing and wheezing experienced by their children, as well as medication usage.
Atmospheric levels of the pollutants ozone, nitrogen dioxide and diesel particles were recorded in Mexico City during the study.
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