Toxic air may CAUSE asthma in children: Pollution not only makes the condition worse but it could be a trigger for it in the first place, research shows
- Study published in British Medical Journal says air pollution may cause asthma
- Previously, studies had shown that air pollution made children’s asthma worse
- Scientists say children who grew up in dirtier air more likely to have condition
It is already known to make children’s asthma symptoms worse.
Now a study has found that air pollution may also cause youngsters to develop the condition in the first place.
Scientists said children who grow up with high levels of dirty air – due to factors such as living next to a busy road or having parents who smoke – are more likely to get asthma.
The research adds to previous evidence that pollution can trigger attacks and worsen symptoms in those who already have it.
Published in the British Medical Journal, it was based on data from three million Danish children born between 1997 and 2014.
A study has found that air pollution may also cause youngsters to develop the condition in the first place
The researchers found that more than 122,000 of them developed asthma and persistent wheezing within the first two years of their life.
Children who had high exposure to tiny air pollution particles called PM2.5, as well as larger particulates, were more likely to be in this group.
The researchers said that air pollution ‘can come from various sources, including power plants, motor vehicles and domestic heating’.
Their report added: ‘The particles (about 3 per cent or less of the diameter of a human hair) can penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system.’
A researchers said that air pollution ‘can come from various sources, including power plants, motor vehicles and domestic heating’
The study said that rising pollution levels may be to blame for an increase in the number of children who suffer from asthma worldwide.
Study author Dr Torben Sigsgaard, from Aarhus University in Denmark, said: ‘Our findings support emerging evidence that exposure to air pollution might influence the development of asthma.’
He added: ‘While this finding needs to be substantiated in future studies, these results suggest that further reductions in PM2.5 might help to reduce the number of children who develop asthma and persistent wheezing in highly exposed populations.’