Children’s exposure to higher levels of air pollution, including fine particulate matter also known as PM2.5, and impure carbon particles can most negatively impact their lung functioning, finds a new study.
The findings showed that by the time a child reaches the age of eight, his or her lungs are greatly affected by inhaling the PM2.5 that includes aerosols, smoke, fumes, dust, ash and pollen as well as black carbon.
Also, children living the closest to major highways had the greatest reductions in their lung function.
The lung functioning of children living within 100 meters of a major roadway was on average 6 percent lower than that of children living 400 meters or more away, said the lead author Mary B. Rice, instructor at Harvard Medical School in US.
For the study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, the team studied 614 children born between 1999 and 2002.
They calculated the distance from the child’s home to the nearest major highway, and estimated first year of life, lifetime and prior-year exposure to PM2.5, using satellite measurements.