Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Traffic-related pollution near schools linked to development of asthma in pupils, study suggests

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine
Summary:
Living near major highways has been linked to childhood asthma, but a new study suggests that traffic-related pollution near schools is also contributing to the development of asthma in kids.

A new study suggests that traffic-related pollution near schools contributes to the development of asthma in kids.
Credit: iStockphoto/Robert Hadfield

Living near major highways has been linked to childhood asthma, but a new study led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that traffic-related pollution near schools is also contributing to the development of asthma in kids.

Related Articles


The researchers found that the risk of developing asthma due to exposure at school was comparable to that of children whose exposure occurred primarily at home, even though time spent at school only accounted for about one third of waking hours. Children in schools located in high-traffic environments had a 45 percent increased risk of developing asthma. The study appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and is now available online.

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness in developed countries and has been linked to environmental factors such as traffic-related air pollution.

"While residential traffic-related pollution has been associated with asthma, there has been little study of the effects of traffic exposure at school on new onset asthma," said lead author Rob McConnell, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "Exposure to pollution at locations other than home, especially where children spend a large portion of their day and may engage in physical activity, appears to influence asthma risk as well."

The study drew upon data from the Children's Health Study (CHS), a longitudinal study of children in Southern California communities that was designed to investigate the chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health. Using a cohort of 2,497 kindergarten and first grade children who were asthma-free when they entered the CHS, researchers examined the relationship of local traffic around schools and homes to diagnosis of new onset asthma that occurred during three years of follow-up.

Traffic-related pollution exposure was assessed based on a model that took into account traffic volume, distance to major roadways from home and school and local weather conditions. Regional ambient ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter were measured continuously at one central site in each of the 13 study communities. The design allowed investigators to examine the joint effects of local traffic-related pollution exposure at school and at home and of regional pollution exposure affecting the entire community.

Researchers found 120 cases of new asthma. The risk associated with traffic-related pollution exposure at schools was almost as high as for residential exposure, and combined exposure accounting for time spent at home and at school had a slightly larger effect.

Although children spend less time at school than at home, physical education and other activities that take place at school may increase ventilation rates and the dose of pollutants getting into the lungs, McConnell noted. Traffic-related pollutant levels may also be higher during the morning hours when children are arriving at school.

Despite a state law that prohibits school districts from building campuses within 500 feet of a freeway, many Southern California schools are located near high-traffic areas, including busy surface streets.

"It's important to understand how these micro-environments where children spent a lot of their time outside of the home are impacting their health," McConnell said. "Policies that reduce exposure to high-traffic environments may help to prevent this disease."

The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Hastings Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine. The original article was written by Meghan Lewit. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. McConnell et al. Childhood Incident Asthma and Traffic-Related Air Pollution at Home and School. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2010; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901232

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine. "Traffic-related pollution near schools linked to development of asthma in pupils, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409142431.htm>.
University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine. (2010, April 9). Traffic-related pollution near schools linked to development of asthma in pupils, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409142431.htm
University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine. "Traffic-related pollution near schools linked to development of asthma in pupils, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409142431.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Maine Storm Surge Sparks Power Explosions

Raw: Maine Storm Surge Sparks Power Explosions

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Police dash cam video shows a series of explosions along the beach in Maine as heavy storm surge soaked electrical transformers. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Searching For The Loch Ness Monster? Try Google Street View

Searching For The Loch Ness Monster? Try Google Street View

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) — For the anniversary of the notorious "Surgeon&apos;s Photo" of the Loch Ness monster, Google used Street View to let those online join the search. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — As money runs out at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, around 85 chimps are facing homelessness. The centre closed when the Ebola epidemic was ravaging the country but now that closure is beginning to look permanent. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Completes 6th Leg of Quest to Circumnavigate Globe

Solar Plane Completes 6th Leg of Quest to Circumnavigate Globe

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 lands in the Chinese city of Nanjing, finishing the sixth stage of its landmark 12-leg quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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