Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Exposure of Schoolchildren to Traffic-Related Air Pollution

Heavy vehicle traffic is related to wheeze among schoolchildren: a population-based study in an area with low traffic flows (31 page pdf, Martin Andersson, Lars Modig, Linnea Hedman, Bertil Forsberg and Eva Ronmark, Environmental Health, Oct. 13, 2011)

Today the focus is on a study of the health threat posed by emissions from traffic within 200 m of schoolchildren in a cold climate. The results indicate that these emissions pose a threat even when the traffic is not heavy and this implies an even greater link between traffic and pollution generally.

Key Quotes:

“The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of exposure to vehicle traffic outside the home on asthma, wheeze and allergic sensitization among 7-8 years old children in Northern Sweden”

“This study showed that already at low levels of exposure, vehicle traffic is related to an increased risk of wheeze among children”

“We found significant associations between vehicle traffic flows and wheeze and asthma among schoolchildren. The effect was most pronounced for heavy traffic and a dose-response relationship was indicated regarding wheeze.”

“The results indicate that vehicle traffic emissions may pose a threat to public health also in large areas of the world where background pollution and traffic intensity are low and an even larger threat to respiratory health in highly trafficked communities where the risk may be underestimated.”
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