Researchers of Keck School of Medicine, University of South California, have found a correlation between children who live in disturbed families and the affect that air pollution has on their lungs. It has been found that children exposed to high parental stress are more vulnerable to being adversely affected by air pollution. In comparison, children who live in happy homes are found to be better resistant to the affects of air pollution.
Basis of the study
For the study, researchers considered fourteen hundred children belonging to the age group of 10 to 12. The study was restricted to the children residing in California. Children belonged to families of different income groups, socioeconomic diversities and lifestyle disparities. The aspects that were studied were the lung function of children, affect of air pollution on the lungs and changes in the affect of air pollution when exposed to stress. The study gave some very interesting results.
Results of the study
The conclusions of the study were interesting. Lung function of children was found to be normal even when exposed to traffic pollution, when children were not under stress at home. However, when stress at home increased, the health of their lung when exposed to air pollution plummeted. Similarly, lung health stayed normal when children were exposed to stress at home but not to air pollution. Based on the study, it can be said that there is no correlation between stress at home and lung health of children unless they are exposed to traffic pollution. It was also found that stress was higher in families that fell in the income range below $30,000 and those who live in poor living conditions.
What does the study suggest?
Assistant professor Talat Islam of Keck environmental health division said that the relation between the three elements might be due to the different activities of the body that connect stress and traffic pollution. The biological pathways of these effects are common. Exposure to stress and traffic pollution causes similar damage to the cells and their inflammation. According to Talat Islam, the combined effect might be the reason for increased health hazard. The children who were exposed to smoking when in the womb also had weaker lungs. The team of researchers is expecting that the results of their study can help in bringing traffic regulations in order to reduce traffic pollution in residential areas owing to the fact that children are more vulnerable to lung diseases.