Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Living Near A Highway Affects Lung Development In Children, Study Shows

Date:
January 26, 2007
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Southern California found that children who lived within 500 meters of a freeway since age 10 had substantial deficits in lung function by the age of 18 years compared to children living at least 1500 meters away.

Children who live near a major highway are not only more likely to develop asthma or other respiratory diseases, but their lung development may also be stunted.

According to a study that will appear in the February 17 issue of The Lancet and now available online, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) found that children who lived within 500 meters of a freeway, or approximately a third of a mile, since age 10 had substantial deficits in lung function by the age of 18 years, compared to children living at least 1500 meters, or approximately one mile, away.

"Someone suffering a pollution-related deficit in lung function as a child will probably have less than healthy lungs all of his or her life," says lead author W. James Gauderman, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "And poor lung function in later adult life is known to be a major risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases."

The study draws upon data from the Children's Health Study (CHS), a longitudinal study of respiratory health among children in 12 southern California communities. More than 3,600 children around the age of 10 years were evaluated over a period of eight years, through high-school graduation. Lung function tests were taken during annual school visits, and the study team determined how far each child lived from freeways and other major roads.

"Otherwise-healthy children who were non-asthmatic and non-smokers also experienced a significant decrease in lung function from traffic pollution," continues Gauderman. "This suggests that all children, not just susceptible subgroups, are potentially affected by traffic exposure".

Lung function is a measure of lung health based on how much air a person can exhale after taking a deep breath, and how quickly that air can be exhaled. Children's lung function develops rapidly during adolescence until they reach their late teens or early 20s. A deficit in lung development during childhood is likely to translate into reduced function for the remainder of life.

"This study shows there are health effects from childhood exposure to traffic exhaust that can last a lifetime," says David A. Schwartz, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). "The NIEHS is committed to supporting research to understand the relationship between environmental exposures and diseases, and to identify ways to reduce harmful exposures to all populations, especially children so they can realize their full potential for healthy and productive lives."

Previous studies have demonstrated links between lung function growth and regional air quality. The findings in this study add to that result, demonstrating that both regional air pollution and local exposure to traffic pollution affect lung development.

"This study provides further proof that regional air quality regulations may need to be adjusted based on local factors, including traffic volume," says Gauderman. "This is important because in areas where the population continues to grow, more and more children are living or attending school near busy roadways. This may be harmful in the long run." Gauderman adds that community leaders, school districts, and developers should consider these results when developing new schools or homes.

Study sites included the cities of Alpine, Anaheim, Glendora, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Elsinore, Long Beach, Mira Loma, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Dimas, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Upland.

Funding for this study came from the California Air Resources Board, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Hastings Foundation.

Reference: W. James Gauderman, Hita Vora, Rob McConnell, Kiros Berhane, Frank Gilliland, Duncan Thomas, Fred Lurmann, Edward Avol, Nino Kunzli, Michael Jerrett and John Peters, "Effect of exposure to traffic on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age: a cohort study," The Lancet, Volume 368, February 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Living Near A Highway Affects Lung Development In Children, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125185843.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2007, January 26). Living Near A Highway Affects Lung Development In Children, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125185843.htm
University of Southern California. "Living Near A Highway Affects Lung Development In Children, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125185843.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins