Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Public Health >

Improvements in Air Quality Lead to Better Child Health

April 15, 2016
Public Health

A study at the University of Southern California (USC) has shown that reductions in air particulates in the region have led to a decrease in respiratory illness amongst children. Researchers looked at three groups of children aged between five and 18 between 1993 and 2012 making up a total study group of 4,600, finding that general decreases in air pollution coincided with a reduction in breathing problems amongst children when they were between 10 and 15 years old.

Study leader Kiros Berhane believes the results show a clear correlation between air quality and breathing difficulties. “I think we can safely say this is one of the clearest pieces of scientific evidence to say reduction of air pollution can lead to improvement in respiratory health for children. The fact that you know clean air leads to better health in children should be taken seriously because it really has implications for how we live and how productive we become,” he said.

The most notable improvements were seen in children who already suffered from asthma. Levels of particulates have dropped by almost 47% in Southern California over the past 20 years thanks to stronger state environmental regulation. During the same period scientists found that children with asthma were 32% less likely to report respiratory symptoms while the figure dropped to 21% for children without asthma. Symptoms which were judged by questionnaire responses included coughing, congestion in children that didn’t have a cold or flu.

You can read a full copy of the report HERE.