From 2000 to 2019, George Washington University researchers investigated nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the ground in major cities across the world while following new instances of asthma in children. They discovered that nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant predominantly emitted by tailpipe vehicle emissions, could be responsible for roughly 2 million new instances of pediatric asthma each year. Two-thirds of the anticipated 1.85 million new cases of childhood asthma in 2019 occurred in cities, according to the report.
Asthma is a condition that causes your airways to narrow and swell, as well as create excess mucus. This can make breathing difficult, resulting in coughing, whistling (wheezing) on exhalation, and shortness of breath. In the United States, asthma is the most frequent chronic medical illness among children, impacting over 6 million children. Certain triggers, such as allergies, viral infections, or airborne particles, can easily inflame a child’s lungs and airways, making it difficult to breathe. Experts note that uncontrolled asthma can result in asthma attacks, which are the top cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and lost school days among children.
According to a report released on Wednesday, the number of instances of juvenile asthma connected to nitrogen dioxide has decreased from 19% in 2000 to 15% in 2019. According to the authors, this slight increase demonstrates that clean air measures in Europe and the United States have helped children, particularly those living in areas near busy highways and industrial facilities. Particulate matter, unlike nitrogen dioxide, travels over the world. According to George Washington University experts, this air pollutant is responsible for 1.78 million extra deaths in 2019. According to the modeling, 85 percent of adults and children in cities around the world are exposed to particulate matter levels that exceed the World Health Organization’s 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air limit.
In June, the Environmental Protection Agency said that it will reconsider altering the current 35-microgram US guideline. The world’s only hope for improving childhood asthma is a cohesive public health approach and harmonized air quality standards. New research on traffic-related air pollution reveals that as more motorists trade in ancient gas guzzlers for sleek electric cars, the switch might benefit millions of youngsters every year. Susan Anenberg, the co-author and professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, said, “Air pollution continues to be a major cause of asthma in children around the world.”