Science Gazette

As a consequence of breathing in traffic-related pollution, about 2 million children globally acquire asthma

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According to a second study conducted by the same research team, there are 1.8 million extra deaths worldwide due to urban air pollution.

According to a new research released today, a traffic-related air pollutant may be responsible for over 2 million new episodes of pediatric asthma each year, an issue that is especially acute in large cities throughout the globe. The research is the first to determine the number of instances of pediatric asthma caused by this pollutant in over 13,000 places throughout the globe, from Los Angeles to Mumbai.

Susan Anenberg, a co-lead author of the report and a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, stated, “Our study revealed that nitrogen dioxide puts children at risk of getting asthma, and the issue is most severe in urban settings.” “The results show that clean air should be a key component of health-promoting efforts for children.”

Anenberg and her colleagues looked at nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the ground, a pollutant produced by tailpipe automobile emissions, power plants, and industrial locations. From 2000 to 2019, they also kept track of new instances of asthma in youngsters. Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed.

The following are some of the study’s significant findings:

Two-thirds of the anticipated 1.85 million new pediatric asthma cases worldwide related to NO2 in 2019 occurred in cities.

In recent years, the proportion of pediatric asthma diagnoses associated to NO2 in metropolitan areas has decreased, owing to stricter clean air legislation enacted by higher-income nations such as the United States.

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Despite advances in air quality in Europe and the United States, pollution in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East has increased, notably NO2 pollution.

Asthma problems in children due to NO2 pollution are a major public health concern in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

NO2 was connected to around 13% of the global pediatric burden of asthma and up to 50% of asthma cases in the world’s most populous 250 cities, according to a recent study by GW researchers.

Overall, the number of instances of pediatric asthma associated to NO2 has decreased from 20% in 2000 to 16% in 2019. That positive news indicates that cleaner air in Europe and portions of the U.S. have resulted in large health advantages for children, particularly those living in communities near busy highways and industrial facilities.

The researchers conclude that much more needs to be done, both in higher-income nations and in areas of the globe currently trying to reduce dangerous NO2 emissions from automobiles and other sources.

According to a second research led by Veronica Southerland of GW, Anenberg, and their colleagues, urban air pollution is responsible for 1.8 million more deaths in 2019. According to this modeling research, 86 percent of adults and children living in cities throughout the globe are exposed to fine particulate matter levels that exceed the World Health Organization’s standards.

“Reducing fossil-fuel-powered mobility may help children and adults breathe comfortably and may offer large health rewards, such as fewer occurrences of juvenile asthma and excess fatalities,” according to Anenberg. “At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced, resulting in a better environment.”

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