Near-roadway pollutants decrease children's lung function

Lung function was measured on 1811 children from 8 Southern Californian communities. Exposure to regional ozone (O3), NO2, particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 µm (PM10) and 2.5 µm (PM2.5) was measured continuously at community monitors.

Image: Early Morning traffic, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia.

An increase in near-roadway total nitrogen oxides (NOx) of 17.9 ppb was associated with deficits of 1.6% in forced vital capacity (FVC) (p=0.005) and 1.1% in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (p=0.048).

Residential proximity to a freeway was associated with a reduction in FVC. Lung function deficits of 2–3% were associated with regional PM10 and PM2.5 (FVC and FEV1) and with O3 (FEV1).

NRAP and regional air pollution have independent adverse effects on childhood lung function.


Associations of children's lung function with ambient air pollution: joint effects of regional and near-roadway pollutants. Robert Urman et al. Thorax doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-203159

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