Cleaner air improves children's lung function


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Children who move from air-polluted communities to areas with cleaner air are likely to show improvements in their lung function, according to researchers.

"This study confirms our earlier work showing that air pollution can have long-term effects on lung health in children," Dr. Edward L. Avol of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles commented in statement. "It also shows that cleaning up the air actually has a measurable effect on children's health," he added.

Dr. Avol and colleagues looked at 110 children who moved with their families from Southern California to a new location. The researchers measured the children's lung function at the beginning of the study, when they were 10 years of age, and again at age 15. Their findings are published in the December issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Children who moved from air-polluted communities with high levels of particulate matter to areas where the levels of such pollution were low had increased growth in lung function, the report indicates. When children moved to areas where particulate matter levels were higher, the reverse situation happened–there was a decrease in growth of lung function.

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