Increased exposure to environmental pollution increases the risk of childhood asthma

Life in the big cities leads to several health problems. From the increase of stress levels due to the accelerated pace of life to others related to the physical state. The great presence of cars and other emitting elements harmful gases causes pollution levels to increase, which can lead to the appearance of diseases such as asthma.

This is determined by a review of several cases of childhood asthma performed by Global Health of Barcelona (ISGlobal) and the University of Leeds. In this work we have tried to demonstrate how a greater exposure to environmental contamination in children makes them more likely to develop this respiratory condition.


Increase in childhood asthma

Those responsible for this study reveal that there are approximately 334 million of asthmatics, a number in which children's cases stand out. The number of children suffering from this respiratory condition has grown alarmingly since the 1950s without stopping this trend. At this point the researchers wanted to see to what extent the increase in air pollution caused by traffic in large cities has had something to do.

To verify this hypothesis, the researchers reviewed 4,000 studies epidemiological studies carried out between 1999 and September 2016. Data from 41 of these works were also analyzed, especially those that were carried out in recent years. What was sought was a relationship between the place of housing and environmental pollution in this area of ​​residence, and the presence or absence of childhood asthma.


Harmful elements

According to Haneen Khreis, a researcher at the University of Leeds, thanks to this review, it has been possible to cross data from multiple cases and establish a "association between exposure to air pollution and the development of childhood asthma. "

This new research shows that exposure during childhood to harmful elements emitted by vehicles, such as nitrogen dioxide, NO2, black carbon or soot and suspended particles PM2.5 and PM10, increases the chances of developing asthma.

"Our analysis shows that the strongest effects are associated with exposures to black carbon, a specific marker in the exhaust pipes of vehicles and a pollutant related to diesel engines," says the doctor Khreis who also points out that "more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions". These new studies should include, in your opinion, the exploration of contaminants that go beyond the exhaust pipes.


Another of the researchers of this work, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, says that it is necessary to adopt measures to preserve the long-term health of younger generations. This professional warns that already in 2015 approximately 70% of the world population lived in large cities, where their exposure to these pollutants was constant.

Damián Montero

Video: Polluted Environments Kill 1.7 million Children Each Year


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