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  • 7/26/2011

Pollution affects stressed kids more


Children with stressed parents may experience more lung damage from traffic pollution than kids living with less anxious parents.

A team of researchers at the University of Southern California examined lung function in about 1,400 children aged 10 to 12 years and estimated the level of their exposure to air pollution by measuring the levels of definite pollutants called nitrogen oxide in areas around their residential.

Nitrogen Oxide, an air pollution indicator, usually emits from motor vehicles, power plants, and off-road equipments. The chemical may not only cause damage to respiratory system especially in children but also worsen health conditions such as asthma.

At the next phase of the research, scientists studied the relation between the levels of lung damage in children and the stress levels of their parents.

The findings, which appeared in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine showed that air pollution levels varied widely, from six parts per billion of nitrogen oxides to 101 parts per billion, depending on where the children lived.

In addition, when the nitrogen oxides levels increased by 22 parts per billion, the lung function of kids living in high-stress homes decreased by 5 percent.

However, children living with more relaxed parents experienced no respiratory damage at the same level of pollution.

"We see the whole effect of traffic-related air pollution in those children who were exposed to higher stress," Talat Islam told Reuters.

Her previous findings had showed that children exposed to traffic-related air pollution who were living in high-stress homes are 51 percent more likely to develop asthma than kids exposed to the same pollutants but living in a low-stress environment.

The new study did not define how living in stressful environments affects the level of lung damage caused by air pollution but scientists urged parents to choose less polluted areas when deciding about their residential areas.

Source: iribnews.ir

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