NO2, which is produced due to the combustion of fossil fuel contribute to childhood asthma.
A new study suggests, one in ten childhood asthma could be linked to traffic-related air pollution. The new research was published in The Lancet Planetary Health Journal which mentioned 4 million new cases of asthma are recorded every year, in 92 % of cases are recorded in developing areas. These areas have traffic pollution levels well below whom guidelines as the authors of the study suggest they need to be reviewed. In the study of children from 194 countries and 125 major cities, South Korea was accounted for most number of traffic-pollution attributed childhood asthma with 31% of cases. Ireland ranked at 122 while the UK was ranked 24th.
In the new study, the authors used NO2 for the traffic pollution mixture to concentrate specifically on traffic pollution on childhood asthma. NO2 is a common pollutant found due to the combustion of fossil fuel and has severe adverse effects on health. The researchers combined the global data of NO2 with data on population distribution and asthma incidence to estimate childhood asthma cases.
Senior author of the study, Dr. Susan Anenberg, George Washington University, USA said, “Nitrogen dioxide pollution appears to be a substantial risk factor for childhood asthma incidence in both developed and developing countries, especially in urban areas. Our findings suggest that the World Health Organization guideline for annual average NO2 concentrations might need to be revisited and that traffic emissions should be a target to mitigate exposure.” According to WHO, asthma is the most common non-communicable disease and its occurrence has increased exponentially since the 1950s.