"[Children] living very close to a major road are likely to be exposed not only to a higher amount of traffic-derived particles and gases but also to a more freshly emitted aerosols which may be more toxic," wrote lead author of the research, Joachim Heinrich, Ph.D., of the German Research Center for Environment and Health at the Institute of Epidemiology, in Munich.
"Our findings provide strong evidence for the adverse effects of traffic-related air pollutants on atopic diseases as well as on allergic sensitization," wrote Dr. Heinrich. The results appeared in the second issue for June of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The study examined nearly 2,900 children at age four and more than 3,000 at age six to determine their rates of doctor-diagnosed asthma and/or allergy with relation to long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution.
Both the four-year-old and six-year-old groups of children came from prospective cohort studies and were enrolled at birth in the metropolitan Munich area. Their exposure to traffic pollutants was calculated as a function of the distance of their homes from major roads at birth and at two, three and six years of age. Parents were given questionnaires about their child's respiratory diagnoses and symptoms, and their children were assessed for asthma, wheezing, sneezing and eczema. At six years of age, the children were tested for food allergies. Air was tested for particulate matter (e.g., soot) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at each of forty identified points near high-traffic areas once each season between March 1999 and July 2000.
After controlling for such individual characteristics as parental allergies, pet ownership, and number of siblings, researchers found significant positive associations between distance to the nearest road and asthmatic bronchitis, hay fever, eczema and allergic sensitizations. They also found a distant-dependent relationship between proximity to the road and risk of allergic sensitization, with those living closest to major roads having a nearly 50 percent greater risk of allergic sensitization.
Previous studies have found that pollutants and allergic sensitization are linked, but using distance from major roads as a proxy for pollutant exposure has been confused by the socioeconomic factors that are often closely linked to such locales. However, in Munich, as with other older European cities, the roads and buildings are structured so that economic advantages are not necessarily correlated with living further from the main thoroughfares. In this study, it was possible to determine that economic factors were not a confounding variable in the analysis, but there was a clear difference in the children's allergic development with relation to their proximity to a road.
"We consistently found strong associations between the distance to the nearest main road and the allergic disease outcomes," wrote Dr. Heinrich. "Children living closer than 50 meters to a busy street had the highest probability of getting allergic symptoms, compared to children living further away."
Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy