Air pollution stunting children’s lungs, study finds
A six-year study examined the lung function of 2,400 children aged 8 or 9 at 25 schools across East London. A direct correlation between air pollutant exposure and reduced lung growth was found, with children living in highly polluted parts of cities having up to 10% less lung capacity than normal, with warnings the damage could be permanent. Such children have an increased risk of disease such as asthma and bronchitis and, and the prospect of a permanent reduction in lung capacity.
The tests checked the volume of air each child could breathe, as well as levels of inflammation in their lungs, with urine tests to check for heavy metals, which are produced by vehicles.
The study was designed to assess the impact of London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) which since 2008 has discouraged larger diesel vehicles such as lorries from entering the capital. The research found the measure had made no difference.