A new research study conducted in 10 cities across Europe has discovered that traffic pollution causes around 14% of all cases of chronic asthma in children. This result was completely unexpected, and comparable to the effect of passive smoking, which the World Health Organisation estimates causes between 4% and 18% of childhood chronic asthma cases.
Until this study it was commonly believed that traffic pollution only triggered the symptoms of asthma, but now it is known that the specific range of toxins that are found in the atmosphere around heavily used roads actually cause chronic cases of asthma.
The study was based on research previously used to prove that traffic pollution was linked to asthma cases, but after analysing the data in a different way the researchers realised that living near to busy roads was that actual cause of the asthma, not only a trigger.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Laura Perez, from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, said that, “air pollution has previously been seen to trigger symptoms but this is the first time we have estimated the percentage of cases that might not have occurred if Europeans had not been exposed to road traffic pollution. In light of all the existing epidemiological studies showing that road-traffic contributes to the onset of the disease in children, we must consider these results to improve policy making and urban planning.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com