Pollution Linked to First Time Asthma in Children, Study Says

There are a number of known contributing factors to a child having or developing asthma. It could be hereditary as people who have asthmatic parents are more likely to have it, as well as children whose mothers smoked while pregnant. A recent study of nearly 780,000 Danish children suggests that there is a link between pollution and asthma in children. The children were born between 1997 and 2014. After an initial assessment, the researchers conducted a follow up with the children to see if any of them developed either asthma or persistent wheezing. After accounting for children who had asthmatic parents or mothers who smoked, children who were exposed to increased pollution (both small particle and nitrate) more frequently developed asthma compared to those who weren’t. For each 5 µg-per-cubic-meter a child was exposed to, there was an increased risk of between 4 and 5%.

Particle pollution is more common and the most common sources are cars, construction projects, power plants, fires, and farming. It is a problem because the particles can get stuck in both a person’s lung and bloodstream. In the short-term, they can be irritants.

The study recommends personal air monitoring as a better way of assessing risks. The study concurs with older studies that showed low levels of particle pollution can be a contributing factor to a child developing asthma. A 2019 study also showed that a person’s life expectancy is shorter by about 20 months on average when they grow up with polluted air.

For a the full details on flaws with the report and other potential risks of air pollution on a child’s life, check out Pollution Linked to First Time Asthma in Children, Study Says.

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