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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 13:33 GMT
Traffic 'linked to coughing'
Children coughed more near main roads
Young children suffer more coughing attacks the nearer they live to a main road, according to researchers.

Nearly 3,500 children living in Leicester were involved in the study.

A team from the University of Leicester focused on children aged between one and five.

They assessed the link between how much a child was exposed to microscopic particles produced primarily by diesel engines and what respiratory problems they had.

Small particles from diesel exhaust... can penetrate deep into a child's lungs
Dr Jonathan Grigg

The study found cases of coughs increased by up to 3% for every 100 metres closer the children lived to a busy main road.

It claims particles pumped out by vehicles are an irritant on a child's airways.

It adds weight to past research which has established a link between air pollution and increased cases of asthma and other breathing problems.

Dr Jonathan Grigg, senior lecturer in paediatric respiratory medicine, said: "We know that small particles from diesel exhaust are one of the most dangerous air pollutants - since they can penetrate deep into a child's lungs.

"Our study into the health effects of living near road traffic has provided clear evidence that particles from vehicles are a significant irritant on the airways of young children."




SEE ALSO:
Pollution 'could cause asthma'
04 Jan 01  |  Health


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