Researchers have confirmed what parents in large cities have likely suspected for years: pollution caused by traffic can cause childhood asthma. The research study was conducted in Europe and looked at the health of children in 10 cities. The results show that as much as 14% of childhood asthma cases could be caused by air pollution from traffic.

In past studies, researchers determined that traffic pollution could trigger asthma attacks in children already diagnosed with asthma, but the study published in the European Respiratory Journal is the first time medical researchers have been able to prove that the air pollution can be the cause of the disease.

“This is the first time we have estimated the percentage of cases that might not have occurred if Europeans had not been exposed to road traffic pollution,” said the report’s lead author, Dr. Laura Perez of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. “In light of all the existing epidemiological studies showing that road-traffic contributes to the onset of the disease in children, we must consider these results to improve policy making and urban planning.”

What do you think of the findings?

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT