Long term exposure to air pollution is associated with adverse effects on childhood lung function. Air Pollution and Asthma Studies have shown that children’s lung function improves as air pollution decreases. This study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine looked at the relationship of pollution on children’s lung function.
Over 600 children were studied and assessed for asthma, the subjects’ addresses were geocoded and analyzed for proximity to the nearest major roadway.
Living close to a major roadway, was significantly associated with lower lung capacity. Children who lived within 100 meters of a major roadway had a decrease in lung capacity compared to those living over 400 meters away.
The body of evidence regarding early-life exposure to pollution continues to grow. Exposure to particulate matter and irritants has significant effects on lung growth and obstruction. The expected lung capacity growth in 7-10 year olds is decreased by 50% in children living with 100 meters of a major roadway (freeway or highway). The effect isn’t seen in children living more than 400 meters away.
This data is very important as they relate to pubic health regulations and our understanding of the effects of air pollution on the growing lung.