Polluted Air is Contributing to 1/3 Cases of Childhood Asthma

A recent study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health indicates that around 33% of new cases of childhood asthma are linked directly to the inhalation of polluted air across Europe.

The study examined the lives of more than 63 million children across 18 European countries and found that the effects of breathing polluted air are profound, having potentially life-shortening consequences.

The findings of the study have suggested that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) limits on a number of air pollutants are not strict enough and are frequently breached in any case.

The study revolved around several pollutants, all contributing to the development of asthma. Primary amongst which was PM2.5, defined as atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres.

These particulates cause inflammation and lead to the development of asthma, particularly amongst those who are genetically predisposed. It was estimated that if all 18 countries cut their levels down to the lowest on record, found in Scandinavian nations, a total of 191, 883 children would not have developed asthma.

PM2.5 is primarily produced by means of burning fossil fuels in transport, heating and industry. It has been estimated that if the nations studied were simply to stick to the WHO-mandated guidelines, 11% of cases could be prevented.

This disparity between 33% and 11% is the cause behind the suggestion that the WHO levels are too lax, not going far enough to prevent the causes of asthma and other health complications.

In the UK alone, “major lifestyle changes” would be required to reduce air pollution to safer levels according to Professor Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, an author of the study. These lifestyle changes involve the eradication of the use of fossil fuels to as much an extent as possible.

In light of the study, the UK government has come under fire once again for its lack of action surrounding air pollution. Air pollution is a major health concern and is not limited to the outside world, as polluting particulates can enter buildings where they become statistically more dangerous.

If you have concerns about the air quality of your indoor environment, contact Ductbusters today.

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