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Child in poor air quality

Air pollution can increase the risk of childhood conditions, new research shows

New research published in the European Respiratory Journal shows that air pollution can increase the risk of children developing asthma and eczema.

Air pollution is when the air around us contains substances that can be harmful. This might come from things like car fumes or smoke from burning coal, and can often be prevented.

This Canadian study followed almost 1,300 children throughout their childhood. The researchers calculated the levels of air pollution in the areas were the children were born. With this information they were able to work out how much air pollution the children were exposed to.

The researchers then looked at whether the children had been diagnosed with asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis (which can cause cold-like symptoms) during their childhood.

The study found that being exposed to some types of air pollution at birth increased the risk of developing asthma and eczema during childhood. This was true even when other factors, such as home environment, were taken into account.

These results suggest that improving air quality may help prevent asthma and eczema in children. More research is now needed on how exactly air pollution increases the risk of these diseases. Knowing this can help us to reduce the effects of air pollution in the future.

Read the article in full.

Read our factsheet on air pollution.

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