New study shows diesel exhaust air pollution lower than EPA standards damages children’s lungs

Research to be published this week shows that even low levels of particulate matter and black carbon air pollution, components of diesel exhaust, damages children’s lungs.

This Boston study shows that by age eight, children living within 100 meters of a major roadway have, on average, 6 percent lower lung function than children living 400 meters or more from the roadway – even at levels below EPA standards.

Experts believe that lung damage in young children may be irreversible.

The lead researcher of this study is Mary B. Rice, MD MPH, a pulmonary and critical care physician with a research focus on air pollution, climate change, and respiratory health at Harvard Medical School.

In an accompanying editorial, Cora S. Sack, MD, and Joel D. Kaufman, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington wrote, “These important findings are from a novel study combining modern modeling of exposures to air pollution with robust measurements of lung function, conducted in a community with pollutant levels now under EPA standards,”

We do not need to emit diesel exhaust pollution and damage children’s heath. There are cleaner alternatives. Please click the link below and sign our petition asking the EPA to protect workers and nearby residents by regulating ports, rail yards, and other freight facilities.

The study, “Lifetime Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Lung Function in Children,” will be published in the April 15 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, a journal of the American Thoracic Society.  To learn more, watch for the next issue, or check out the press release below.

Even low levels of air pollution appear to affect a child’s lungs, American Thoracic Society

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