We know that traffic pollution affects our lungs negatively, but we’ve never known precisely how or to what degree. Scientific studies, however, have changed that. Several years ago research provided evidence that children living close (< 0.34 miles) to a freeway were sustaining lasting respiratory damage.
The research team analyzed the lung functions of nearly 1,500 children ages 10 to 18 living in Southern California. These children were monitored for a period of ten years in an area well known for its high levels of traffic pollution. The children who lived closest to a freeway demonstrated reduced growth in lung function measured by using standard lung function tests.
According to the findings published online by the British journal Lancet detected impact on small lung airways is consistent with knowledge of the common pollutants in vehicle exhaust. In addition, scientists had long theorized that pollutants have the largest impact on the smallest lung airways because of how deeply we can inhale them.
In this published research, Dr. W. James Gauderman, the lead author and a USC professor of preventative medicine, stressed that the research did not limit itself to the smoggiest areas, such as the LA basin. In fact, they studied children in areas where pollution was well below the averages, and in those areas, the findings were consistent.
Another important point is that the researchers identified the diminished growth in nonsmoking teenagers and non-asthmatics. This is important because it demonstrates that there were at least no obvious other factors altering the results.
By 18, the lung has mostly stopped growing, which was the significance of the age range. The important thing to realize is that we can undo damage while the lung still grows. If a child reaches 18 with this diminished growth, they will have diminished lung function for their entire lives. If the child is younger, we can correct the problem, and then lung growth can return to normal and then compensate.
What we can take from this research is that children living near a busy road are at risk of respiratory conditions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an urban area, and it can even be in a rural area with extremely low pollution levels.
HEPA Air Purifiers Are A Solution
HEPA air purifiers are both effective and cost-effective. An air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter in the home is the perfect approach to removing 99.97% of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns from the air. This includes the particles in traffic pollution, and it also removes mold spores, dust, pollen, pet dander and dust mites. The activated carbon component removes all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including gases, chemicals, odors and even viruses.
It’s a scary thought: Traffic pollution can change your child’s physiology forever. Here’s a comforting thought: You can do something about it. You can take control, and it’s affordable. To protect the health of your family, there is no better investment than a HEPA air purifier. It will ensure the quality of the air your family breathes while in their home. Take this crucial step today and buy a HEPA air purifier.
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