“The good news is that there are many ways to prevent children from getting asthma because of their air pollution exposure.
Making it easier to cycle, walk or run to get places, for example, has many benefits for society – including improved air quality, increased physical activity and less climate-warming pollution….
“We also need the government to urgently commit to reaching WHO guidelines for fine particulate matter, the most dangerous type of air pollution…”
Staying within WHO pollution limits would prevent 11% of new diagnoses, study says
Thu 8 Aug 2019
Almost 67,000 new cases of asthma in children across 18 European countries could be prevented every year if levels of tiny particulates polluting the air are cut to recommended levels, research suggests.
The study joins a growing body of research into the impact of air pollution on human health. A landmark study published in April estimated that 4m new asthma cases a year globally among those aged one to 18 were down to levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air.
The latest study, which focused on asthma diagnoses among children aged one to 14, looked at components of toxic air including fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 as well as NO2, both of which are released by road vehicles and sources.
“A considerable proportion of childhood asthma is actually caused by air pollution, particularly PM2.5,” said Dr Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) and a co-author of the research.
The study shows thousands of new cases of asthma could be prevented each year by adhering to guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), but Nieuwenhuijsen and his colleagues write that there is more to do. Evidence suggests there is no threshold level when it comes to the impact of air pollution on health, they say.