Dramatic improvements in air quality in U.S. cities since the 1990s may not be enough to ensure normal lung function in children, according to new research published in the April 15 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, a journal of the American Thoracic Society.
In "Lifetime Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Lung Function in Children," researchers report that children exposed to higher levels of air pollution, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and soot (black carbon), had worse lung function than those living in less polluted areas.
By age eight, the lung function of children living within 100 meters of a major roadway was on average 6 percent lower than that of children living 400 meters or more away.
"Few studies have examined childhood exposure to air pollution after the dramatic improvements in air quality of the 1990's to see if exposure to air pollution at these lower levels is linked to children's lung function," said lead author Mary B. Rice, MD, MPH, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, who noted that PM2.5 levels in Boston have declined by more than 30 percent between 1996 and 2006.
Researchers studied 614 children born to mothers who enrolled between 1999 and 2002 in Project Viva, a long-term study of women's and children's health in eastern Massachusetts.
Authors calculated the distance from the child's home to the nearest major highway, and estimated first year of life, lifetime and prior-year exposure to PM2.5, using satellite measurements. They also estimated first year of life, lifetime and prior-year exposure to black carbon using 148 monitoring stations.
At age eight, children underwent lung function tests. Researchers found:
"These important findings are from a novel study combining modern modeling of exposures to air pollution with robust measurements of lung function, conducted in a community with pollutant levels now under EPA standards," wrote Cora S. Sack, MD, and Joel D. Kaufman, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington, in an accompanying editorial. "This adds to the urgency for more work to understand the impacts of these low-level exposures on human health."
Study limitations include the fact that lung function was measured only once and a relatively homogenous study population.
The study will follow these children into adolescence. "We plan to evaluate if the benefits of cleaner air endure by investigating if children with the greatest improvements in air quality continue to have better lung function than their peers in the teen years." Dr. Rice said.
About the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
The AJRCCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society. The Journal takes pride in publishing the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. With an impact factor of 12.996, it is the highest ranked journal in pulmonology. Editor: Jadwiga Wedzicha, MD, professor of respiratory medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute (Royal Brompton Campus), Imperial College London, UK.
Dacia Morris | EurekAlert!
The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München
Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences