April 23, 2009

Smog linked to inducing asthma in children

Childhood asthma rates could increase as much as 30 percent with exposure to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution, a California study suggests.

The study, published in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, is the latest to come from the Southern California Children's Health Study, a project pioneered by the Air Resources Board in the early 1990s.

The eight-year study followed 217 non-asthmatic children from a wide area of Southern California. Home air monitors allowed scientists to compare the children's exposure to air pollution and newly diagnosed cases of asthma.

The study said higher amounts of nitrogen dioxide, a constituent of smog, are associated with the development of childhood asthma.