Air Pollution Is Attacking Young Lungs, Study Shows
An article published several years ago in Pediatrics Digest stated air pollution has a substantially greater effect on the lungs of children than health professionals had expected. The information in the article came from a study published by Taiwanese researchers who were researching the effect of the local allergy season on the severity of asthma attacks in young children. They were also investigating the effects that unnatural airborne particle pollution was having on these young lungs.
The initial goal of this study was just to determine the measurable effect on lung function from these pollutants. There was some concern over whether the effect would be substantial enough for research purposes, especially in children who did not have asthma or other allergy conditions. However, what they found was far more dramatic than what they had expected. In fact, on testing days following days with notable rises in the air pollutants they were studying, the children’s lungs were displaying capacities so remarkably smaller that the researchers initially doubted the findings. The researchers now presume that the pollutants were causing irritation and that the airways were shrinking as a reaction to that.
Science had previously established that inferior air quality exacerbates symptoms in people, especially the young and the old, with asthma and other lung diseases. Some research has even linked poor air quality to heart disease. This research has put forth tangible evidence that air pollution has a measurable health effect over time. This evidence reinforces the importance of achieving clean air through the use of air purifiers with HEPA filter technology.
In the study, researchers from the National Taiwan University, studied one-hundred children. Some of these children had asthma or even hay fever, but many of them had no known allergies at all. Modern science has always suspected that children are particularly susceptible to air pollution and that the damage may be more permanent than it is in adults. Scientists believe the cause of this is the smaller airways and the fact that children have immature immune systems. Once per month during the course of the one year study the scientists collected and analyzed data concerning a wide range of pollutants. These pollutants included mold spores, ozone and other small particles. These small particles are often the byproduct of burning fossil fuels which is common in industrialized areas. Noteworthy is the fact that HEPA technology traps each item tested for, and doctors often suggest HEPA air filtration for allergy relief and overall indoor air quality. The typical 10-year old has a lung capacity between 2 and 3 liters. The researchers were able to identify that even modest increases in pollution particles was decreasing that capacity by approximately 0.16. That’s as much as 8-percent of the child’s overall lung capacity. The researchers also identified a similar effect when testing for mold spores even when accounting for expected levels of other pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide. Ozone affected airway restriction as well.
The researchers concluded that we should expect damage to young lungs from spores and pollutants even when there is no observable change in the severity of asthma attacks.
HEPA filtration is the number one way to clean the air inside your home; it can trap up to 99.97% of airborne particulates that are as small as 0.3 microns. Hospitals, the military and other top facilities rely on HEPA technology because of its history of proven effectiveness.
In addition to a genuine HEPA filter, the air purification system that you select should have a pre-filter that captures larger particles. Also, an activated carbon filter is always a good add-on, since it can adsorb gases, vapors and VOCs with ease. Most importantly, though, you should invest in a HEPA air purifier by a leading manufacturer.
- Administration Staff