Air pollution is associated with increased emergency department visits for heart and lung disease:
Outdoor air pollution is a major health threat worldwide. New research by George Mason University found that exposure to certain air pollutants is linked to increased emergency department (ED) visits for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Mason Assistant Professor of Global and Community Health Dr. Jenna Krall led the research with colleagues from Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Pittsburgh. They found that exposure to pollutants such as ground-level ozone and nitrogen oxides, which are created from burning fossil fuels, led to increased ED visits. The study was published online in August
Childhood obesity linked to air pollution from vehicles
Early exposure to air pollution from vehicles increases the risk of children becoming obese, new research has found.
High levels of nitrogen dioxide, which is emitted by diesel engines, in the first year of life led to significantly faster weight gain later, the scientists found. Other pollutants produced by road traffic have also been linked to obesity in children by recent studies.
Nitrogen dioxide pollution is at illegal levels in most urban areas in the UK and the government has lost three times in the high court over the inadequacy of its plans. The pollutant also plagues many cities in Europe and around the world.
Impact of London’s low emission zone on air quality and children’s respiratory health:
Low emission zones (LEZ) are an increasingly common, but unevaluated, intervention aimed at improving urban air quality and public health. We investigated the impact of London’s LEZ on air quality and children’s respiratory health.
We did a sequential annual cross-sectional study of 2164 children aged 8–9 years attending primary schools between 2009–10 and 2013–14 in central London, UK, following the introduction of London’s LEZ in February, 2008. We examined the association between modelled pollutant exposures of nitrogen oxides (including nitrogen dioxide [NO2]) and particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2·5 μm (PM2·5) and less than 10 μm (PM10) and lung function: postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1, primary outcome), forced vital capacity (FVC), and respiratory or allergic symptoms. We assigned annual exposures by each child’s home and school address, as well as spatially resolved estimates for the 3 h (0600–0900 h), 24 h, and 7 days before each child’s assessment, to isolate long-term from short-term effects.
Dioxins as potential risk factors for autism spectrum disorder:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has emerged as a major public health concern due to its fast-growing prevalence in recent decades. Environmental factors are thought to contribute substantially to the variance in ASD. Interest in environmental toxins as causes of ASD has arisen due to the high sensitivity of the developing human brain to toxic chemicals, particularly to dioxin and certain dioxin-like compounds (dioxins). As a group of typical persistent organic pollutants, dioxins have been found to exert adverse effects on human brain development. In this paper, we review the evidence for association of exposure to dioxins with neurodevelopmental abnormalities related to ASD based on both human epidemiological and animal studies.