Smaller Particle Pollution Found to Have Greater Association With Childhood Asthma

Smaller Particle Pollution Found to Have Greater Association With Childhood Asthma
With air pollution research constantly evolving, we’ve encountered unprecedented new findings over the past couple of decades. One of these findings is that smaller particles (often referred to as fine, ultrafine, or nanoparticles) tend to be more harmful than their larger, coarse counterparts.

A recent study has again highlighted this consistency in results, with the finding that smaller particulate matter has a more significant association with childhood asthma than larger particles. This finding indicates that the smaller particles have a greater impact which the larger particles lack.

The study was carried out in seven Chinese cities and was presented to caregivers as a questionnaire. In total, the caregivers of just under 30,000 children with an age range of 3 to 6 years responded, giving a significant sample size to the study. Of these children, 52.1% were boys.

For each child, the environment in which they grew up was questioned. Of the 30,000 children, 2.3% had mothers who either previously or continued to smoke during pregnancy. A further 29.7% of the surveyed children were exposed to cigarette smoke passively while at home.

Each 10 µg/m3 increase of PM1 was found to have a corresponding 55% increase in the risk of childhood asthma. For PM2.5 and PM10, each 10 µg/m3 increase in exposure was also found to increase the risk of childhood asthma.

Perhaps most interestingly, the researchers found that PM2.5 had little impact on the association with childhood asthma. Instead, PM1 was the biggest contributor and accounted for the increased childhood risk of asthma.

While there is a statistically significant association between childhood PM1 exposure and childhood asthma, it is noted there is little epidemiological evidence of an association between PM1 and respiratory diseases.

Want to read more? You can find the full article here.
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