United Kingdom air is worst in Europe for causing child asthma

The study of 194 countries and 125 major cities worldwide found the rate of traffic pollution-related childhood asthma in Ireland is 150 per 100,000 children each year.

Senior author Dr Susan Anenberg, of George Washington University in the USA, said: "Our findings suggest that the World Health Organisation guideline for annual average NO2 concentrations might need to be revisited, and that traffic emissions should be a target to mitigate exposure".

Nitrogen dioxide, which comes from vehicle exhausts, has been described as a "substantial" risk factor for the condition, meaning busy United Kingdom cities such as London and Manchester are not good for lung health. South Korea had the highest proportion of traffic pollution-attributable childhood asthma incidence.

"Our findings suggest millions of new cases of paediatric asthma could be prevented in cities around the world by reducing air pollution", said Susan C. Anenberg, Associate Professor at the George Washington University in the US.

The government of Taiwan recently backtracked on a plan to deal with the ever-severe issue of air pollution by phasing out old diesel vehicles, in the wake of protests over an amendment introduced in 2018 that mandated tougher emission standards, reported Central News Agency.

"Recent examples include Shenzhen's electrification of its entire bus fleet and London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone congestion charges".

The Daily Mail reports that the number of childhood asthma cases is rising steadily from the 1950s, making the inflammatory illness the most common among children on a global scale.

Traffic-related air pollution may result in asthma development as pollutants may cause damage to the airways, leading to inflammation that triggers asthma in genetically predisposed children.

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