Sunday November 17, 2019

According To Study, Ozone Exposure At Birth May Up Asthma Risk

Exposure to ozone (O3) -- a common air pollutant -- at birth may increase the risk of developing asthma by age three, a new study suggests.

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Medical Doctors With a Caring Heart
Medical Doctors With a Caring Heart. Pixabay

Exposure to ozone (O3) — a common air pollutant — at birth may increase the risk of developing asthma by age three, a new study suggests.

The study, presented at the 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference, showed that 31 per cent of the participants developed asthma, 42 per cent had allergic rhinitis and 76 per cent had eczema.

“Our findings show that the hazard ratios for ozone measured at birth as a single pollutant showed statistically significant higher risks for development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema,” said lead author Teresa To from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Canada.

The study also found that 82 per cent higher risk of developing asthma was associated with each 10 parts per billion (ppb), or ppb increase in exposure to ozone at birth.

For the study, 1,881 children were recruited who were followed from birth to 17 years of age, on average.

Childhood asthma can trigger COPD in later life. IANS

 

According to the researchers, children are at a higher risk because their lungs and other respiratory organs are smaller, and they spend more time in outdoor physical activities that make them breathe faster and more deeply.

The research team took annual average concentrations of pollutants from fixed monitoring stations.

Development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were determined based on any records of health services used for these conditions.

The researchers adjusted for variables such as parental history of asthma and early home exposure to pollutants.

Earlier, some studies have shown that ozone depletes antioxidant activity and increases indications of inflammation in the respiratory tract fluid lining and affects lung growth.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

“Air pollution isn’t only one or a few countries’ problems, but rather a global public health concern,” said To, also a professor at the University of Toronto.

“While there are individual actions one can consider to reduce exposure to air pollutants, it also requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and international levels,” she noted. (IANS)

Next Story

South Pole’s Ozone Hole Smallest on Record Since 1980s

Normally, the ozone hole grows to a maximum area of about 8 million square miles around late September to early October

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South, Ozone, Record
NASA reported the hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer averaged only 3.6 million square miles. Pixabay

The South Pole’s ozone hole is currently the smallest on record since it was first detected in the 1980s, according to NASA.

NASA reported the hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer averaged only 3.6 million square miles. Normally, the ozone hole grows to a maximum area of about 8 million square miles around late September to early October.

“That’s really good news,” NASA scientist Paul Newman said. “That means more ozone over the hemisphere, less ultraviolet radiation at the surface.”

Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer, cataracts, suppress immune systems and damage plants.

South, Ozone, Record
NASA reported the hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer averaged only 3.6 million square miles. Pixabay

However, NASA scientists said the shrinking ozone hole is most likely from weather changes, not recent efforts to cut pollution.

“It’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures,” Newman said. “It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.”

Chlorine in the air needs cold temperatures in the stratosphere and clouds to convert into a form of the chemical that eats ozone, Newman said. The clouds go away when it warms up.

This year temperatures were 29 degrees warmer than average right below the stratosphere.

Also Read- World Health Organization Says First Local Case of Polio Found in Zambia Since 1995

Man-made chlorine compounds, which can last in the air for 100 years, damage the ozone, creating a gap. The effects are most evident over the Antarctic, “because of the special atmospheric and chemical conditions that exist there and nowhere else on the globe,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 1987 international Montreal Protocol banned many of the chlorine compounds used in refrigerants and aerosols, like hairspray, to lessen the damage. Since then, the size of the ozone hole has slowly declined but remains large enough to produce significant ozone loss.

Scientists project the Antarctic ozone to recover back to its 1980 level around 2070.

The hole reaches its peak in September and October and disappears by late December until the next year. (VOA)