Saturday, July 8, 2017

Air Pollution Linked to Asthma in Children

Researchers are finding that exposure to air pollution is having a negative impact on children living near sources of the pollution. In Pennsylvania, researcher Deborah Gentile is finding that of children living near sources of air pollution, like steel mills, and power stations, up to a third are experiencing asthma or asthma-like symptoms. In Allegheny County, the rate of children with asthma is almost twice the national rate.

The likely cause of this is the children’s exposure to PM 2.5, or particulate matter that is more than 2.5 microns in diameter. PM 2.5 is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and is made up of thousands of different chemical components. These particles become embedded deep in the lungs and have been linked to health problems such as lung cancer, asthma attacks and even premature death.

Gentile also says that minority families and people of lower socioeconomic status are disproportionally effected by this problem as they cannot afford to live in places further away from these sources of pollution.

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