Study shows that air pollution increases child hospital admissions for lung conditions
Researchers in Spain have found a link between exposure to high levels of a pollutant known as particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), and an increased risk of children being admitted to hospital with lung conditions.
PM2.5 is an air pollutant most commonly emitted by diesel vehicles that can have a range of negative effects on the lungs.
The study, published in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, focused on the levels of PM2.5 and its impacts on child lung health in the Spanish city of Seville.
Researchers looked at PM2.5 measurements in Seville between 2007 and 2011 alongside records of 2,130 non-routine hospital appointments in children under 14-years old with lung conditions. They found that, during times where PM2.5 levels in the air were high, children were more likely to be hospitalised with bronchiolitis, pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis.
Based on these findings, the researchers have called for tougher measures to reduce the levels of this pollutant in line with amounts recommended by the World Health Organization.