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[reuters] Traffic Pollution Can Stunt Lung Development: Study
01-26-2007, 11:33 AM,
#1
[reuters] Traffic Pollution Can Stunt Lung Development: Study
LONDON (Reuters) - Traffic pollution can prevent the lungs of children who live near busy roads from developing properly, making them more likely to suffer respiratory and heart problems later in life, U.S. researchers said on Friday.

They found that children who had lived within 500 yards (500 meters) of a highway from the age of 10, had significantly less lung function by the time they reached 18 than youngsters exposed to less traffic pollution.

"Someone suffering a pollution-related deficit in lung function as a child will probably have less than healthy lungs all of his or her life," said James Gauderman, of the University of Southern California.

The lead author of the study, published online by The Lancet medical journal, said reduced lung function in later life was known to be a risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers studied the effects of traffic pollution on 3,600 children living in southern California over an eight-year period.

Each year they carried out tests to measure how much, and how quickly, the children could exhale after taking a deep breath. They also recorded the distance the youngsters lived from freeways and other busy roads.

Children who were otherwise healthy but who lived close to main roads had a significant decrease in lung function.


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