Air Pollution Stunts Kids Lungs

Background: The lungs undergo major growth between the ages of 10 and 18 years. It has been thought that exposure to air pollution during this period may limit lung growth.

Summary: Children from communities with greater air pollution were found to have significantly poorer lung function than children from communities with cleaner air. The lungs of children who grow up in communities with polluted air never fully develop.

Comment: The specific pollutants associated with these lung deficits include nitrogen dioxide, acid vapor, and elemental carbon. The origin of these pollutants is no mystery. All are products of fuel combustion.

Do we the people care to curb the spewing of air pollution by motor vehicles and power plants? In the end, it is all our problem.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

Related Links


New Research Shows Air Pollution Can Reduce Children's Lung Function

Children who live in polluted communities are five times more likely to have clinically low lung function - less than 80 percent of the lung function expected for their age. New data from the Children's Health Study suggests that pollutants from vehicle emissions and fossil fuels hinder lung development and limit breathing capacity for a lifetime.